Navigating the Transition to Retirement

Navigating the Transition to Retirement


If you are looking to discuss what happened last night on your favorite television show, I am not the person to ask. Whatever show you are itching to talk about, I probably did not see. Many shows over the years have been recommended to me—The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, to name a few—and I have not seen one episode of any of them. It is not that I have something against TV. I own TVs and DVRs and pay way too much for cable just like you do, so I am not part of the anti-TV faction trying to warn you that TV will rot your brain. My main problem with TV is time; I simply do not have enough of it to keep pace. It is time-consuming to keep tabs on global financial markets while dealing with the complexities and logistics of a five-person family schedule. At the end of the day, there just is not enough time to keep track of what Don Draper and Walter White are doing on a weekly basis.

Believe me, it is not for a lack of trying. I used to record popular television series on my DVR. I also bought Season 1 of The Wire on DVD. But the DVR play-list just grew, and the DVDs just sat there unopened. Not watching these shows felt like not doing my chores; my list of to-do’s just kept growing. The idea of catching up with all of my shows became a stressful thought—the exact opposite of what sitting down to watch TV is supposed to accomplish. So now when I want to relax in front of the tube, I just throw on a ballgame or a show I can watch without needing to know what occurred in the last episode.

One show I watch regularly that fits that description is Shark Tank. If you are not familiar with the show’s premise, it involves small business owners presenting to a five-person board of successful—and sometimes famous—entrepreneurs (aka the Sharks). If the Sharks like what they hear about the presenter’s business or idea, they invest their own money to become a shareholder in the company. Think of it as venture capital meets American Idol.

Expertise/Experience is Capital
On the surface of it, small business owners enter the Shark Tank in search of capital to grow or expand their business, but there is more to it than that. As you watch the show regularly, you notice that a lot of the small business owners are actually quite successful at what they do, often -heading profitable, well-run businesses that bring in millions of dollars in sales each year. Many of these businesses are in a strong financial position and could -easily self-finance any expansion from their own -coffers. It is not so much the Sharks’ -capital that they need; rather, it is their expertise and experience.

All of the Sharks have gone through the process of growing a small business into a large one—some of them multiple times. They have been through it. They know what is involved in taking a small business to the next level. They know where to start. They know what connections and resources to tap. They know what pitfalls will likely show up on the way. For a small business owner who is looking at expansion for the first time, that is tremendously valuable knowledge to be able to leverage, which is why many of these small business owners happily sell off a significant share of their company despite the fact that they do not really need the money.

Retirement is Personal Growth/ Expansion
A good retirement planner does the same thing for those facing retirement. No one currently working at Bell Investment -Advisors is retired (obviously), but we have gone through the process many times with our clients over the years. We know what it looks like. We know where to start and what to expect. We have connections to other professionals who can provide help in often overlooked areas like health insurance/Medicare planning. And perhaps most importantly, we know the potential pitfalls that lie ahead, so we can help you steer clear of them.

The most frequent questions about retirement range from the simple (e.g., “How do I get money?”) to the complex (e.g., “When is the optimal time to take my Social Security benefit?”) to the seemingly abstract (e.g., “What does retirement look like?”). Regardless of the nature of your retirement questions, we can help you with the answers because we have been through countless retirements before.

To have your retirement questions -addressed, all you have to do is contact us. We won’t ask for a 51% share of your future earnings, and you will certainly find our team of experts much less hostile than the Sharks.

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