You may ask yourself, will you run out of money? Will you have a secure retirement that will last the rest of your life?
With the world economy facing the worst challenge since the Great Recession, or even the Great Depression, and stock markets looking more and more like they are in a destructive bubble, sorting out retirement planning, personal finance, Social Security, financial planners, and more can seem overwhelming.
Will things get better for you in the long run? Or will the coronavirus crisis put you down for the count? Do you know how your financial advisor has performed remotely?
Are you sitting trust fund pretty? OR worrying about money in retirement, the risk of running out, long term care risks, or even covering medical expenses and paying bills?
What’s your financial world look like in this new social distancing, work from home, toilet paper shortage world? Will the stimulus the Fed is cranking out drive mega-taxes and hyperinflation down the road?
Will your Roth IRA stay tax free? What will the long term impact of higher payroll taxes on small business do to your wealth trajectory?
Can you count on your income streams? Is your guaranteed income really guaranteed? For instance, if you have annuities or life insurance, you may be surprised to find that the guarantees are only so strong as the insurance company your agent steered you to. Shakier companies tend to pay higher commissions to attract business, and the low interest rates and economic downturn may stress such companies like never before.
How shaky is your income in retirement? Will your nest egg suffice, or will you have to rely on a credit card? I don’t care how rich or secure you are, these very human questions are sure to have crossed your mind lately.
Getting solid answers is very hard to do. The state of American financial advisor education is tragically poor. Most have no more training than what little basic government sales license require, and over 91% do not have to put their clients’ interests before their own at all times.
As a research PhD specializing in the wealth management world, Jeff Camarda of Camarda Wealth is exploring this with various universities across the country, but the reality is a long way off, to say nothing of the professional regulator structures that must be built. So his immediate passion is to make quality, objective, PhD-grade advanced wealth education widely available.
To that end, his team launched the Family Wealth Education Institute that was tasked with doing some blind market research to find out what folks cared about in wealth ed. What follows is an interview-format description of her findings. These are based on the responses of some two hundred folks over 40, having at least a 4 year and some graduate degrees, with household incomes of $150,000 minimum.
What advanced wealth topics are you most interest in learning?
The top five were:
1) Estate Planning – Wills, Trusts, & Tax Control – 69.39%
2) Retirement Planning – 51.53%
3) Generating Retirement Income – 48.98%
4) Asset Protection Planning – 44.90%
5) Choosing Financial Advisors – Education, Skills, Fiduciary Test, & Background Checks – 38.27%
When you think about Retirement, what is the #1 question or worry that comes to mind?
Summary: When it comes to retirement, our survey group is concerned with running out of money, maintaining their standard of living or living too long other than what they planned for (95). Others are concerned we are facing another Great Depression, and that given the economy’s sad state, that they won’t have time to replace earnings. Many expressed concerns over health/impairment problems they didn’t plan on financially. Some worried that the cost of assisted living/health care will be too high, and that the government will raise taxes and curtail their ability to afford retirement. The high cost of medical insurance was mentioned by a few, and some doubted they would actually collect Social Security. Some wondered, “am I making the right choices and decisions now?
Other Notable Comments: “Can I afford someone other than a family member to manage my finances if I cannot?” “ How can I protect my nest egg from all the thieves and liars in financial services?” “Will this corona virus go away so when I retire I can do something and still be alive?” “Will there be money left for my family legacy?”
When you think about investing, what is the #1 question or worry that comes to mind?
Summary: Risk, safety, and preservation of capital/principal are at the forefront of this question’s respondent’s minds. They second guess themselves when it comes to choosing the right stocks. In an unstable/volatile stock market which many worry is on the precipice of another Great Depression due to coronavirus and government missteps. Largescale risk and not knowing who to trust or where to find legitimate and unbiased financial information is overwhelming. They are untrusting of the financial advisor world at large, fearing non-fiduciary advisors, however they are open to finding the right advisor they can trust – if only they knew how.
Other Notable Comments: “Taxes are concerning!” “Are advisors investing ethically and responsibly in the right companies?” “Where to find personalized planning I can trust?” “How much will I pay for expert advice?” “Will I have enough to leave for the education of my grandchildren?”
When you think about your estate or leaving money to your heirs; what is the #1 question or worry that comes to mind? 185 responses
Summary: Death and Taxes is the first thing that comes to mind for our pool in this question. They worry when they pass, all they have saved/gained will be taken away by Uncle Sam. They want to know how to avoid high taxes so their heirs can enjoy their wealth. They question how they can live comfortably now in retirement without spending everything they have saved, so their heirs have an inheritance and be protected. They wonder if their executor will do it the way they envision, that it will be fair, so that their heirs will not fight. They wonder how a trust works and would like to learn more about trusts. Others want to verify their trust/will is in order, and it will be easy for their heirs to execute. Legal morass/ probate court are a concern. Will my children become trust fund babies? I want to assist but not destroy them, wondering what is reasonable to give them compared to their success.
Other Notable Comments:
“How can I spread out the money over time to my heirs?” “Will there be enough for my spouse when I die?” “Will they be able to find where all my account information is?” “The legal fees involved in probate”
When you think about taxes, what is the #1 question or worry that comes to mind? 187 responses
Summary: The number one issue raised how can I minimize or avoid taxes? They wonder why they are so high, how much they will go up, taxation of their income. They ask “How can I shelter more of my income?” They fear there will be high increases coming due to political favors, tax breaks and Covid relief. Estate tax is a big concern. They want to understand and learn more about tax shelters, and (egad!) they want the rich to pay more. They want to be able to live on their net income after taxes.
There you have it! A somewhat choppy, mixed bag of opinion, but quite informative none-the-less.