Kristin Lee Smith
What is the optimal age to start planning for retirement? I truly believe that it should start as early as possible and be part of a more comprehensive financial planning process. Our team has quite a few young professional clients, and we typically encourage these folks to start thinking specifically about maximizing retirement savings at the start of their careers. Saving money in a qualified retirement vehicle such as an employer-provided 401(k) plan is only one part of the retirement planning process, but it’s a vital one given the value of the money invested and long-term, compounded returns invested in a tax deferred vehicle.
How do you advise your clients?
Initially, we start our young clients with an Investment 101 primer if they are new to investing or financial markets. We spend a lot of time with our clients going through career, financial and personal goals and objectives. Our planning is only as good as the information we uncover in a Socratic exercise with our clients, and this process should be repeated every one to two years to continually add key, new variables, and remove obsolete variables so that the retirement/financial plan reflects ‘real life’ and the long-term objectives of our clients.
When developing a retirement plan, we want to create a reasonable, achievable plan that is flexible yet complementary to our clients’ lifestyles and charts a course for achieving their goals pragmatically. Ironically, many times a good plan can be a safety net against the unexpected—the things we did not originally take into account.
What are the most common mistakes you see? Simply not having a plan, not having a plan that is not reasonable or understandable, or having a plan that is not flexible enough to accommodate life’s changes.
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GENCapital is a wealth management firm offering investment management, financial planning and business advisory services for individuals, families and organizations. With a concierge approach, extensive resources and generations of experience, we go beyond traditional investment strategies and partner with you to deliver a plan customized to your goals. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, our team of qualified and reliable professionals is committed to developing long-term relationships and building your wealth for generations.
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