Is Your Retirement “Magic Number” Stressing You Out?

As someone who is obsessed with watching market numbers in all varieties daily for my clients, it may seem odd for me to talk about one number that constantly comes up in planning conversations: Your retirement “Magic Number.”

It’s not that you shouldn’t have a goal to plan for, of course. It’s that this Magic Number at times gets entirely too much weight. People can focus on it so much that their entire life is boiled down to the success or failure based on reaching that number on time. The stress builds and builds. We hear, “If I can just get to $_______, I’ll be happy to call it a career.”

That’s a perfectly nice concept. There’s just one problem: Your retirement Magic Number can shift. What works well for you today as a number to aim for could be entirely different tomorrow. I’m not just talking about factors like adjusting for inflation, either. I’m including factors that can occur close to home as well.

Let’s say you have a child in their late 20’s who comes to you one day and says, “I’d really like to open my own business. I have a business plan and a couple other people who want to come on board with my idea. But I could really use some financial support for the first year in getting this dream of mine off the ground. Can you help me out with that?”

Well, there’s something you didn’t see coming, did you?

You want to help your child but how much money are we talking? Like most startups, what he thinks he may need today from you may require three or four times as much. How does that extra amount grab you? How do you feel about that impacting your retirement Magic Number?

The point is, life is full of these unanticipated twists and turns. When we build investment portfolios for clients at Fiduciary Financial Partners, we’ll certainly be looking at the long-term, but it’s rarely a future that’s set in stone because the scale may have to slide. After all, what if you reach the retirement Magic Number and realize that you have to care for a spouse much earlier and to a more dedicated degree than you ever expected? That number assumed that you both would be able to travel to various places together and play a lot of golf from the moment you retired. How does that picture need to change? While we can’t predict when such events that happen to us or the people we care deeply about, we can prepare by investing wisely with assets that continue to work hard even in your retirement years.

The retirement Magic Number can change but that doesn’t automatically mean that some things as part of your future need to be sacrificed either. You’re more than a number. That’s the way we view every client at Fiduciary Financial Partners too. Let’s have a conversation about the bigger picture of where you want to be in life today at 630.780.1534.

John Eberle

John Eberle, CFA® is a Financial Advisor & Chief Investment Officer at Fiduciary Financial Partners. For nearly 20 years in the investment management industry, John has helped high net worth individuals plan a future that they and their families can embrace with confidence.

Fiduciary Financial Partners, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. This blog is solely for informational purposes. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Fiduciary Financial Partners, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Fiduciary Financial Partners, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. 

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