Tag Archives: Wealth Management

Betting, Hoping and Planning

by Neil Byrne, JD, LLM, CPA Stock Yards Bank Wealth Management & Trust


It is almost Derby time. So what better topic to discuss than betting?

According to the dictionary, a bet is defined as “an act of risking a sum of money on the outcome of a future event.” Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Finally, a plan is defined as “a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.”

All of these concepts are wonderful in their own right, and can bring joy to individuals in the right context. It is fun to bet on the Derby, or to hope your tournament bracket wins your office pool. Unfortunately, too many people are unnecessarily making a bet on retirement security by simply hoping their savings, Social Security, and other resources will be enough.

Most people choose their career, their college major, and their home, not to mention their spouse, among various other important items in their life. What about retirement? How many people are hoping to be able to retire “one day” but haven’t put together a detailed plan for actually retiring? If you have not put together a plan, then you likely are not planning for retirement, but rather, are betting on retiring – one day.

Below are a couple of items to consider when putting together a retirement plan. While things like investment returns, basis, and tax rates are unquestionably important, for a moment, we suggest that you think “bigger picture,” and ponder how some more basic considerations can affect your successful retirement plan.

Your Needs and Wants
Even the age at which you retire is up for consideration. After all, setting a uniform retirement age is said to have been started in Germany by Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, at least partially as a way for him to force troublesome government employees into retirement. Germany initially set it at 70, and then lowered it to 65*. Of course, whether that is true or not, neither Chancellor Von Bismarck, nor anyone else should really dictate when you retire. Naturally, taking retirement benefits that are only available at certain ages into account is an important part of the plan. But, with a little foresight, you can retire when it is appropriate for you.

After all, retirement is about you. To ensure that you are making the best decisions, you will want to have a good handle on your family dynamics, as well as your budget, assets, and liabilities. Do you have robust savings that can withstand unforeseen expenses? Have you considered what your wants and needs truly are? It may be appropriate to “bet” or “hope” for a dream item down the road, but we want you to plan for your true needs and wants in retirement.

Your Biases
Personal biases can have long-term consequences, and so, many people have a critical need for objective retirement advice. A 2008 book by Professor Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational, explains many of our biases and how they affect several facets of modern life. Two sections of the book, however, are especially relevant here.

First, people like to procrastinate – big surprise. But, it is true, and it can harm your retirement readiness.

Second, people like to keep all their options open for as long as possible, even when inaction produces a negative outcome. Undoubtedly, financial planning can be complicated. Moreover, retirement planning forces you to make an avalanche of choices – when should I draw Social Security? When should I stop working? Is Long Term Care Insurance for me? And on and on . . .

These two biases can work together to turn a plan into a bet before you even realize it. Betting may be fun on the first Saturday in May, but leave the betting for the track, and the hoping for your tournament bracket. Let’s plan for your retirement.

*See: https://www.ssa.gov/history/age65.html AND http://mentalfloss.com/article/31014/why-retirement-age-65

In The News – Great Britain Leaves European Union

AMark

June 24, 2016

Dear friends and clients,

In a very close vote the citizens of Great Britain voted to formally leave the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned and will step down in October after failing to rally support for remaining a part of the EU. Global stock markets are responding negatively and the Euro and Pound are both falling against other currencies. The U. S. stock market responded this morning with a negative opening.

What are the consequences of the vote? There is a real fear that the British vote will be the beginning of the end for the European Union by encouraging other members to leave. This would have negative implications for global trade and further weaken economic growth in both Great Britain and Europe. Markets are being negatively impacted by the uncertainty surrounding the process of leaving the EU. Strategists are also concerned about the impact on the sales and earnings of multinational companies domiciled in the United States and the rest of the world. Many of these companies gained access to European markets through Great Britain and will now be forced to contract separately with Great Britain and the EU. The rising dollar will also impact the earnings of U. S. multinational companies due to currency translation accounting rules.

The worst fears are probably being overstated. Great Britain will more than likely retain preferred trading status with the European Union. It is in the best interest of the EU to negotiate trade agreements without restrictions, penalties, or tariffs so as not to disrupt the fragile economic growth in that region. The strong dollar, stable political and economic environment, and the very low interest rates throughout the Eurozone will encourage capital flows into the United States which will support our capital markets.

What happens next? Prime Minister Cameron will travel to Brussels next week to meet with the other twenty seven member country leaders. They will begin the process of defining the new relationship between the EU and Great Britain politically and economically. His successor will then begin the formal two years of meetings required by law to negotiate Great Britain’s way out of the European Union and to renegotiate trade accords with member countries. European leaders will be focusing on the agreements necessary to regulate future trade between the EU and Great Britain, the access British companies will have to EU markets, and any banking restrictions on banks domiciled in Great Britain. The hope is Great Britain will still have access to the European mainland markets without tariffs or other barriers to trade.

In conclusion, expect continued market volatility. We advise clients to remain invested through these periods of higher than normal uncertainty. We will continue to manage risk in portfolios through the diversification and security selection process. Please contact your wealth advisor with any concerns or questions.

The Wealth Management Group

Louisville
200 South Fifth Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 625-1005
Email:WealthManagement@syb.com
Indianapolis
11450 N. Meridian Street
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone (317)-238-2816
Email:WealthManagement@syb.com
Cincinnati
101 W. Fourth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513)-824-6146
Email:WealthManagement@syb.com

We provide the information in this newsletter for general guidance only. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, investment, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

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