The following stories are hypothetical and in no way provide a direct example of any of our clients. Each of our clients has a unique story, but we have found that these stories have provided our future clients with a better understanding of how we approach each relationship and how we go through the financial planning process.
Mike and Laura, a couple in their early fifties, knew time was quickly passing by and that their retirement could soon be around the corner. They hoped it was, but they weren’t certain and decided it was time to stop procrastinating and take action. Having previously worked with a national brokerage firm for the management of their investment assets, they knew they wanted to work with an experienced, independent, fee-only advisor. Attracted to Tim Decker’s “Sleep-Well-at-Night Investor” approach, they choose to work with ISI Financial Group to get answers to their retirement questions and take the necessary steps to secure their retirement. These questions included wanting to know when they could retire and how much they could withdrawal from their assets without the worry of depleting them during their lifetime.
A business owner was working with Tim Decker, President of ISI Financial Group, on his own personal financial plan and wealth management. The business owner’s company employs 115 people and had an existing 401(k) for company employees through another advisor and administrator. In working together on the business owner’s financial plan, Tim learned that his client’s 401(k) plan was a bundled plan with an insurance company. A bundled 401(k) combines together the services of the 3rd party administrator, the record keeper, and the advisor. This type of plan is common in companies with less than 500 employees and less than $20 million in plan assets. Because it bundles together its fees for the three services, a bundled 401(k) plan often makes it difficult for a company to truly understand their 401(k) cost structure. Without transparency in 401(k) plan expenses, employers lack the necessary information to adequately fulfill their fiduciary reporting responsibilities to employee participants.
George and Mary retired several years ago. Over the years before and after retirement, George had enjoyed following the financial markets and reading financial publications to help him pick investments for his and Mary’s investment portfolios. As time went on, however, George realized he was managing their nest egg in an economic climate with increasing volatility. His do-it-yourself approach, while satisfying, was getting old. It also hadn’t produced the returns he and Mary expected or needed.
About the same time, Mary, who never had much interest in their financial affairs confided that she had great concern about her ability to handle their finances if George suddenly became incapacitated or died. She wasn’t confident in her ability to manage their financial affairs on her own.
George had read Tim’s book, “The Sleep-Well-At-Night Investor,” and both George and Mary had listened regularly to Tim’s radio show, “Financial Freedom,” on Saturday afternoons. They also had heard from friends who were clients of Tim’s that he applies the same “Sleep-Well-At-Night Investor” approach to the management of his own investment portfolio. When they realized that it was time to hire someone, ISI Financial Group was, for them, a logical choice.