In this edition of our monthly newsletter, we would like to personally thank Legacy Trust co-founder, Bob Prevette. After eleven successful years, Bob will be retiring at the end of June. His valuable expertise combined legal, fiduciary, planning and sales expertise that directly influenced Legacy’s growth. Bob’s unwavering client-first philosophy and ethical leadership provided the foundation for our culture and principles by personifying integrity, honesty, kindness and generosity. I have worked alongside Bob Prevette for two-thirds of my professional career, and he has earned not only my deepest respect, but also a sincere appreciation for his commitment.
Please enjoy the following blog written by Bob, which reflects on his unique position in helping others plan for their futures mirrored by his own transition into retirement.
– Bill Walker
I have been helping other people plan for their retirement for over 30 years. Now it’s my turn. I took my first official step toward that goal on my last birthday when I turned 65 and applied for my Medicare card. Talk about a reality check! I have spent my 66th year preparing for the moment when I would turn over my client duties and corporate responsibilities to capable colleagues; turn in my office key and credit card; clean out my desk, and walk out the door. As well as I like to believe I have prepared, there is a voice in the back of my head screaming – “last paycheck!!” Social Security will help and my wife likes her job…for now…but as dedicated as I have been to filling the retirement savings bucket, I now must be even more vigilant to avoid taking it back out too quickly. At this point, I have three choices: continue to invest for future growth, cut back on expenses, or continue to work in some part-time capacity to supplement retirement income. I expect my best course will be some combination of all three.
Invest for Future Growth
I have advised my clients for many years on the long-term benefits of a well diversified, growth oriented portfolio and continue to apply those time-tested principles in the management of my own nest egg. I know there will be occasional volatility and I will need to guard against emotionally driven decisions that people are prone to make in stressful times. In my experience, people who have let fear overtake their rational thoughts have more often than not paid a significant price.
Cut Back on Expenses
My wife and I decided one way we were going to prepare for retirement was by decreasing our expenses. We started by downsizing our home three years ago in preparation for a tighter retirement budget. Spontaneous and impulse purchases will soon be a thing of the past. I’ve been scouring the credit card statement and checkbook to eliminate or curtail unnecessary expenses that have crept into the budget over time. An admission: when it comes to spending habits, it is easier to give advice than to take it. I’m listening now! Matching income sources and expenses to balance the budget is one of the foundational principles of good financial planning and is absolutely crucial in retirement.
Supplement Retirement Income
I also hope to stay active with a few consulting assignments that will not only be a supplemental source of income, but will also help me bridge from full-time employment to eventual full-time retirement. I don’t know yet what that will exactly look like, but I am eager to explore possibilities. In that way I intend to guard against the psychological letdown that some retirees experience when leaving their careers, and in some cases, their identities behind.
I have been blessed with excellent healthcare insurance yet the rules keep changing and costs only seem to go up. Maybe I’ll stay healthy and not need much medical care beyond basic maintenance…maybe. But I’ve already survived cancer once and one can never know for certain. And what if I stay healthy and develop Alzheimer’s like my mom. She recently passed away at nearly 95 and had spent the last few years of her life in a high quality nursing home. I’ve learned that you can get great total care for $8,500 per month and how fast it mounts up. I never thought long-term care insurance was a good investment. Too late for second thoughts on that.
Beyond the financial considerations and physical health, what about mental health? Will I miss the daily interactions with clients and colleagues? Will I have enough “outside” interests to occupy my time and mind? I think so. I hope so. I’ll find out soon enough. Many retirees I know tell me they are busier now than ever.
Stay Engaged with Family and Friends
I plan to spend more time with my family, fish more, read more for fun, build a model railroad, start playing guitar again, tackle some overdue home projects, travel, volunteer and squeeze in a little work where I can. I may even learn how to play piano!
All considered, I think everything will be fine. I’ve always been a glass half-full kind of person and maintain an optimistic view of life and the future. My wife and I have been conscientious in our planning and have children and grandchildren who are a source of great joy and support. Preparing financially is important but I’ve come to believe that half the battle is waged between the ears. I intend to win that one!