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What's Up Magazine

Raymond James Financial Services

Feb 08, 2013 08:46PM ● By Anonymous

Revisit Your Portfolio’s Asset Allocation—Many investment professionals believe that market volatility is here to stay. If it is, are you comfortable with the level of risk in your portfolio? Risk tolerance can change based on your net worth, age, income needs and financial goals. Is your portfolio structured to earn the rate of return that you will need in order to achieve your goals? Review your holdings and your asset allocation and make whatever adjustments are needed.

Evaluate Your Retirement Income—Most retirees have several sources of income such as Social Security, pensions, investments, rental properties, etc. Think about how secure each source is. Can you really count on that inheritance? Are there likely to be vacancies in your properties that would interrupt cash flow? Are your investments stable enough to provide a steady income? There are many variables that go into determining the optimal way to draw Social Security. Have you sat down with a knowledgeable professional to determine if your Social Security plan is best suited for your particular circumstances?

Check Your Retirement Plan—Don’t fixate on a number…“we’ll be fine when our portfolio reaches $X”. Drill down into what type of assets you have, your current and future cash flow situation, the rate of return and inflation rate you’re assuming, and the length of your plan. Develop a realistic idea of your spending needs in retirement. Retirement has a lot of moving parts that must be monitored and managed on an ongoing basis.

Create an Estate Operations Manual—Most people focus on the legal aspects of estate planning: wills, trust, beneficiaries and taxes. We believe that you should also have an “Estate Operations Manual” which details, in a step-by-step fashion, exactly what will happen after you pass, so that your executor can carry out your wishes in a stress-free manner. This manual would answer questions such as: where is all the paperwork (wills, account statements, insurance policies) located? Who should be contacted – attorney, banker, financial advisor, CPA? How are the estate expenses (attorney fees, funeral, mortgage payments) going to be paid? Have I communicated my wishes to my heirs in a way that will avoid potential conflicts? We have found that it is these types of practical considerations that can cause the most heartache for beneficiaries.

Establish a Review Schedule with Your Advisor—Your advisor can help you with specialized tools, with impartiality, and with the experience earned by dealing with many market cycles and different client situations. It’s vital that you communicate fully with your advisor. Err on the side of over-communication. Establish a regular schedule for getting together and reviewing your portfolio, your financial and retirement plans, and what’s happening in your life.

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

Raymond James Financial Services

645 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Suite 200
Severna Park, Md. 21146
410-544-6823 • 800-717-1848