But Can I Retire Early If I Need To?

Thomas Graffeo |

“…But can I retire early if I need to?”

I recently had a great meeting with a client, whom I've had the pleasure of serving for many years. I’m not sure who left more excited about her future, her or me. We set up plans years ago and have been following a steady path for her growth towards retirement. Due to some developments at her workplace, her job has come into question and she really wanted to know how she was doing financially. I thought this would be a great opportunity to dig into her situation to help find the current answers she was seeking.

I always like to borrow from Stephen Covey and “begin with the end in mind.” I quickly realized she was thinking her “end” of working may be coming sooner than she anticipated. She asked the critical question: “But can I retire early if I need to?” We started by looking at her current expenses and debts, really seeing what was necessary versus what was optional. I don’t make those determinations. I simply ask questions and the answer is usually self-evident to the client: like, “is $200 a month on specialized pet food really critical?” (and sometimes it is!). Once we examined her expenses and timeframes, we looked at where she wanted to spend her time in retirement. For some people, it’s the beach or the golf club. For others, it's elbow deep serving others. Using the latest software, we built a model of the future she wanted.  One of my greatest joys is helping people envision their retirement (that’s why we call our planning platform DovEnvision). Through this process, we look at both the good and bad times in the economy and the markets. We stress tested the model we built for her, just like engineers who computer stress test their designs before building. After making a few adjustments, our software showed we built a model portfolio that potentially could withstand various economic outcomes. With our plan, she will likely have more money available every month when she is retired than when she is working! That brought a big smile to both of us.

“Yes, you can potentially retire early if you need to,” was my answer to her. It was a great moment for us both.

If you have similar questions about your future, please reach out to us at (949) 276-5800. It would be our pleasure to guide you in your journey toward financial freedom.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.  All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.