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“Hello. My name is Bob Woods.  And I’ll be taking care of you.  Today’s special is Retirement.  What can I bring you for starters?  May I suggest the “nest egg” soup and the “income” sandwich combination?”

Ok, I’m not a waiter.  I am a financial planner who specializes in income planning and asset preservation. I’ve been doing this for 38 years and to be honest with you, of the thousands of folks that I’ve spoken with over those years, I’ve never started an interview like that. But I have learned that getting someone’s attention is important. Recently, something got mine.

I had just seen a short film by David Eckenrode.  It was about a man, Daniel Suelo, who had been written about by author Mark Sundeen in his book “The Man Who Quit Money.” It chronicled Mr. Suelo’s choice of giving up money and living, successfully by some folks standards, in a cave “off the grid and off the land” for the last 12 years.  The film could have been viewed as soulful, even a triumph of sorts.  But what the film said to me in my capacity as a financial planner was “Is this a choice that some may have to make someday?  Is this what retirement might be about?”

For the majority of us that answer is a resounding, “I sure hope not!” But it should raise a few questions.  Like how important is money to my future happiness?  What will I need money for?  What’s truly important to me?

What I have learned over my career (mostly from my retired clients) is that retirement is about the genuine quality of your life…the really important things like traveling with and spending more time with family, smiles over dinner with friends or, perhaps, doing some gardening or a loved hobby or sport. It’s about enjoying what you’ve worked hard to achieve and not worrying everyday about having enough money to do it.  It’s about putting your visions, goals and dreams into a financial plan and then finding a proficient, experienced, retirement income planner who sees it like you do and knows how to safely help you make it happen – worry free.

Of course, you could be like Daniel Suelo, “quit money” and find a cave. But that wouldn’t be my professional recommendation.

I wish you good fortune.


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