3 Tips to “Spring” Into Retirement with Confidence

With so much uncertainty in the market and changes to retirement rules and regulations, many pre-and current retirees are feeling fearful, apprehensive and even unprepared for the future. This uncertainty should be met with unwavering confidence in your plans and decisions to experience your best years to the fullest potential. Compass Retirement Solutions has developed three tips to help you become more confident before and through retirement.

Man Walking on Beach

Define Goals to Focus on During Retirement

Having goals in place during retirement is a great way to stay focused and confident. Do you want to relax at home? Would you like to travel? How about volunteer at a local library or school? Regardless of what your goals are, focusing on hobbies that you are passionate about and understanding how you would like to spend your free time, will allow you to define a preliminary budget and realize items that are wants compared to needs.

Author of You Can Retire Earlier Than You Think and Chief Investment Strategist for Capital Investment Advisors, Wes Moss, conducted research and discovered that retirees that define goals, or “core pursuits,” are more happy and fulfilled than those that don’t.

Decrease Your Debt

Living without debt will give you the freedom to use the funds you have much more efficiently. Debt is a looming shadow that causes stress, worry, and frustration. As of March 2016, research by Robert Harrow reported on Value Penguin, found that average credit card debt is $6,351 for Americans 65 and over. Cost of living, the Great Recession in 2007, and acting as co-signees for children and grandchildren are only a few of the reasons that debt is higher than it has ever been for retirees.

Take time to decrease your debt and stretch your funds in retirement as much as possible so that you can live your best life.

Stay Educated on Retirement

Regardless of where you are in the retirement journey, learning will increase your confidence substantially. Whether you are speaking to an advisor, reading articles and books, or keeping up with the changes surrounding the market and regulations, understanding the opportunities and risks associated with retirement planning will pay off – literally! Learning about maximizing your social security, market performance, or forecasted events will help you feel confident in discussing your retirement and comprehending situations that may occur and require deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry.

Confidence is key in so many facets of life and plays just as important of a role after we leave the workforce. Following even one of the three tips will help you navigate through the retirement journey with the confidence you need.

If you would like to book an appointment to speak with Marvin Mitchell, CEO of Compass Retirement Solutions, please call 314-373-1598 or email admin@compassretirementsolutions.com.

Marvin Mitchell Has the Remedy for Every Financial Disease

Financial diseases are dangerous, and those who’ve already into, or are about to enter into, retirement are especially susceptible to contagion.  These diseases are virulent, aggressive, and deadly to financial health…

…But not incurable.

For those looking to vaccinate themselves against financial misfortune, Compass Retirement Solutions is ready and willing to provide treatment.  


The Disease

Retirees afflicted with “riskopathy” see significant volatility in their portfolio, and that volatility almost always leads to other, more serious financial problems. Now, an important distinction should be made here—risk isn’t of and in itself a problem, so long as it’s consumed in measured amounts. The real problem arises when investors who have a history of risky behavior pre-retirement, fail to kick the habit when they approach retirement.

The Cure

The cure for “riskopathy” is as obvious as it is challenging to do for some investors—take less risk. Use the Rule of One Hundred to determine just how much risk is tolerable. To put the Rule of One Hundred into play, take the number one hundred and subtract it by the age of the retiree. For example, if a retiree is seventy years old, no more than 30% of their investment portfolio should be “at risk” in the market. At the age of sixty, no more than 40%. Everything outside the Rule of One Hundred should be tucked away in safe, secure, low-yield investments.

“Old Fogy’s”

The Disease

“Old Fogy’s Disease” is less virulent than “Riskopathy,” but dangerous nonetheless—it is the result of a long lifespan littered with poor financial planning. Those plagued by Old Fogy’s Disease start to run out of money as they continue to age.

The Cure

The only way to combat Old Fogy’s diseases is by creating a guaranteed income stream that is capable of supplementing retirement investments and pensions. With a sustained income stream, money will keep coming in, even if investments fall by the wayside due to changes in the market or economy at large. Guaranteed income streams are particularly advantageous for married couples as they inherently create security for both spouses in the event one or the other passes prematurely.


The Disease

Inflation-itis is famous for sneaking up on retirees. Unlike Riskopathy which can devastate a retirement virtually overnight, Inflation-itis is a slow moving cancer. Generally, it will go completely undetected for years, and during that time it will gradually consume retiree buying power. Retirees who keep significant sums of cash in the bank are particularly at-risk where money earns minimal interest. If that money is only earning 1% to 2% interest per year—very typical rates for most retail banks—and inflation is at 3%, retirees are taking a loss of 2% or 1% respectively on that money every year.

The Cure

A cure is simple though it involves risk, and that risk comes in the form of taking that money from the relative safety of the bank, and putting it into something like the stock market, fixed annuities, certain types of bonds, or fixed-index annuities.

“Nursing Home-atosis”

The Disease

Healthcare is expensive, and nursing homes are extremely expensive. That expense is at the root of “nursing home-atosis”. Retirees who are forced to go into an assisted living facility or nursing home can endure a rapid deterioration of their wealth due to exorbitant costs. Remember—the average nursing home costs about $85,000 per year, so it’s important take precautions to avoid this “disease.”

The Cure

There really isn’t a cure for “Nursing Home-atosis,” only vaccines—prevention and protection through strategic investment. A good health insurance, or long-term care plan is the best course of action, though it does require “approval.” If approval proves difficult, contact Compass Retirement Solutions to learn of alternate options.

Uncle Sam Syndrome

The Disease

Of all the diseases in this list, perhaps none is more common nor devastating than Uncle Sam Syndrome.  With Uncle Sam Syndrome, retirees surrender too much money to the federal government—through taxes, fees, penalties, or some combination thereof.

The Cure

The good news surrounding Uncle Sam Syndrome is that it is readily preventable with strategic financial planning. Consider sinking money into tax-friendly investments like property, a Roth IRA, or a Roth IRA conversion. Those are just a few of the ways to make future income streams tax-free.  

Visit the Doctor

Preventative care is the best way to address financial health concerns, and there’s no better doctor’s office to visit than that of Compass Retirement Solutions. Led by founder and principle advisor Marvin Mitchell can help anyone plan for a retirement that’s ready to combat any unexpected “financial disease.”  To learn more about our solutions, visit our Solutions page or call 314.373.1598 to schedule a consultation.

Four Dangerous Retirement Assumptions

Planning for retirement is important but it isn’t easy, and making the wrong assumption about what’s best or how a particular strategy will pan out can be extremely risky.  

Why?—because assumptions lead to decisions, and some decisions are simply irreversible. So before making any assumptions about retirement, be sure to evaluate all the potential variables in detail and with an industry expert.   


#1 – In the end, a Roth IRA will cost less than a traditional IRA.

Don’t just fall-in-line with conventional wisdom because it pays to do the math.

For young people with their highest earning years ahead of them, a Roth IRA will always make more sense than a traditional IRA. But that conventional wisdom has some murky language. Who are “young people”? Where does that demographic start and where does it end? Honestly, that term should only encompass those in their late teens through late 20s—beyond that (the highest earning years), the tax breaks that come with a Traditional IRA are too important to simply brush aside. Having said that, there are always some cases where it will make sense for a person in their highest earning years to take the immediate tax hit and go with a Roth IRA.

Bottom line?—don’t assume one IRA is automatically better than the other, try to make accurate earning projections, get some good advice, and then choose.  


#2 – Delaying social security will yield the most income over time.

This is a fatal assumption to make because every situation is different. For some people, waiting is the undeniably wrong thing to do. For others drawing on social security too early is incredibly dangerous.  Factors like dependency, asset accumulation, and physical health can all influence when and where Social Security should be drawn.

Bottom line?—don’t assume a delay in Social Security is a smart investment, get advice from a trusted financial counselor before making a decision.


#3 – The more money in bonds, the safer the portfolio

Now this is one assumption that is 100% TRUE…if the year is 2001.

Unfortunately, it’s not.

The year is 2016 and in 2016, this is not a safe and easy assumption.  Right now, interest rates are lower than ever, which means returns on many new bond purchases are only safe as long as interest rates remain historically low. The moment interest rates start inching upwards, bond holders will bleed money and eat a loss. So is putting money in bonds right now really a safe play?—it’s not so simple to say.

Bottom line?—before sinking significant sums of money into bonds, have any portfolio thoroughly evaluated by a professional with established market knowledge to determine the optimal “safe strategy.”    


#4 – Whether it’s the lotto or a retirement package—always take the lump sum.

Not so. When presented with a choice between a lump sum payment or a steady, measured pension, it is extremely important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of both options. 

Yes, the lump sum traditionally affords retirees with more freedom and flexibility because it’s readily dispensable cash, cash for travel, cash to remodel the house, cash to give to the grandkids…cash for whatever.

Having said that, pension payments are safe, stable, and effortless. A check will arrive at pre-determined, fixed intervals with virtual certainty. For those not interested in having to actively think about the best, most-responsible use of their money, going with a pension is a fantastic fit.

Bottom line?—lump sum payments are only right for the right people, so don’t get pushed into blind acceptance.


Consult with a professional, consult with Compass Retirement Solutions

Compass Retirement Solutions enables investors to weigh different potential options and openly see the pros and cons of every possible decision. Compass helps people walk through the market and clearly determine what’s right for their retirement.  

From identifying the optimal time to start drawing those social security checks, to defining the healthy amount of risk within a given portfolio, Compass helps clients cover all the bases in order to facilitate a safe, secure, and happy retirement.

Compass Retirement Solutions also places tremendous emphasis on the mitigation of investment fees, and the strategic avoidance of unnecessary federal, state, and municipal taxes. Long-term strategic planning is the name of the game for Compass, and the income plans they design for clients are specifically built to endure the ill-effects of inflation, failing health, or general economic turmoil for up to forty years of retirement.

Each Compass retirement plan appropriately accounts for posterity, and helps parents put money aside for both their kids and grandkids.

Remember—the key to a healthy and happy retirement is proper preparation and planning. Is professional retirement planning mandatory?—no. But in the event of an economic crash, it’s a retiree’s only seatbelt.

If you’ve never reached out to a financial advisor for retirement planning—or if you are currently dissatisfied with the professional guidance you’re receiving—the time to contact Compass Retirement Solutions is now.

Compass offers free, comprehensive financial portfolio review for anyone with at least $200,000 in accumulated retirement savings.

To schedule your consultation, contact Marvin Mitchell at 314.373.1598 to determine what makes more financial sense for you.

Recognize Risks to Your Family’s Wealth

All too often, family wealth fails to last. One generation builds a business—even a fortune, in some cases—and it is lost in ensuing decades. We see it happen again and again… but why?

Often, it is because families fall prey to serious money blunders, both old and new. Classic mistakes are made, and the effects of changing times are not appropriately factored into decisions. If you know what to look out for, however, you will have a better chance of avoiding financial calamity. Consider how your family can sidestep the following financial traps as you progress into the future.


Failing to plan is always a risk, but so is failing to respond to acknowledged financial weaknesses. Long-term financial success requires foresight and a well-thought-through approach.

Consider the case of a fictional multimillionaire named Alan as an example. Alan gets a call on afternoon from his bank, which considers him a VIP private banking client. Alan is informed that his six-figure savings account lacks a designated beneficiary. Thanking the banker, Alan promises to come in soon to take care of the issue… but never does. With a busy schedule, the detour always seems too inconvenient. 

While Alan knows about this financial weakness, he fails to act upon it. As a result, procrastination costs him when those assets end up subject to probate, costing his heirs in the end. In the meantime, they find out about other lingering details that were not buttoned up with Alan’s other holdings, and they feel the negative financial impact.

Minimal/Absent Estate Planning

Forbes noted that 55% of Americans lack wills, and every year multimillionaires die without them. These are not just rock stars, athletes and actors; they are small business owners and entrepreneurs you might meet every day. Some at least create a living trust, pour-over will or basic will created online, but that is not always enough.

Anyone reliant on a will risks handing the destiny of their wealth over to a probate judge. A wealthy person that has a child with special needs, a family history of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, a former spouse or estranged children may need more thorough estate planning. The same is true if he or she wants to endow charities or give grandchildren a strong start in life. If the person is a business owner, there is definitely the need for coordinated estate and succession planning.

A finely crafted estate plan has the potential to perpetuate and enhance family wealth for decades—perhaps generations. Without it, however, heirs may have to deal with probate and painful opportunity costs such as the lost potential for tax-advantaged growth and compounded interest.

Lack of a “Family Office”

In the past, wealthy families sometimes chose to assign financial management to professionals, and family mansions boasted offices where those professionals worked closely with the family. These traditional “family offices” have largely vanished, but the concept of close collaboration with financial professionals is as relevant as ever.

Today, wealth management firms consult with families, provide reports and assist in decision-making in an ongoing relationship. Personal and responsive service is key. When your financial picture becomes too complex to confidently address on your own, tapping a consultant remains advisable.

Technological Flaws

There are some modern concerns to take into consideration that have not always threatened wealth. For example, hackers can hijack email accounts and personal information in order to trick banks, brokerages and financial advisors into allowing unauthorized asset transfers. Also, which social media can help you build a business and personal brand, it can also expose personal information to identity thieves that want to access your assets.

Some businesses and families take precautions such as installing digital and physical security systems, but when they experience problems or find them inconvenient, they turn the systems off. Unscrupulous people, even some you may know or trust, can take advantage of these mistakes.

Failing to Communicate

When a family wants to sustain wealth, they must understand both how to do it and why it is important. Equally importantly, all family members must be on the same page with regard to decision-making. If family communication about wealth tends to be opaque, the mechanics and purposes of the strategy may never be adequately communicated to heirs, and mistakes will be made.

No Decision-Making Process

In the typical high-net-worth family, financial decision-making is vertical and top-down. Parents or grandparents may make decisions in private, and it could be years before heirs learn about or fully understand it. When the heirs become the decision-makers upon the death of elders, the heirs may already be in their 40s, 50s or 60s… and now they have current (and perhaps former) spouses and children that must be factored into family wealth decisions.

Some of this financial planning stress can be alleviated through horizontal decision-making. In this scenario, multiple generations understand and participated in the guidance of family wealth. Estate and succession planning professionals can help ensure that decisions are made with an aware ness of different communications styles, fostering in-depth conversations. Good estate planners know that silence does not necessarily mean agreement, for example, and will coax necessary discussion.

The Bottom Line

There may be abundant risks to financial wealth, but most, if not all of the issues mentioned above can be avoided through smarter planning. Collaborate with financial and legal professionals, and you can avoid many of the challenges that have derailed earlier generations. Most importantly, it is never too soon to begin. Want to discuss these challenges in more detail? Reach out to us any time.