When preparing for retirement, many individuals believe that the process of financial planning is something that can be taken care of at the last minute. However, being financially secure and having a steady inflow of money to support a comfortable lifestyle during retirement takes planning and sacrifice that is nearly impossible without professional help.
Stifel Nicolaus’ vice president of investments, Dennis Holman, has over 40 years in the financial planning industry, and is not only proud to offer sound financial strategies – he gets to know his clients.
“I started out in the mental health field, and have a master’s degree in rehab counseling,” said Holman, who transitioned his career to become a certified financial planner. Having been in the financial planning business for as long as he has, Holman has clients all over the country, but predominantly serves the local community of Fallbrook.
Traditionally, individuals who solicit help from the Stifel Nicolaus team tend to be in their 40s and 50s, and are just beginning to lay the groundwork for financial planning.
“A lion’s share of the people I see are getting closer to retirement, and need to figure out how much money they are going to need,” said Holman, who said it is important to figure out how financial obligations will fall into place upon retirement.
“The biggest challenge is helping people have a realistic expectation of retirement,” he said. “They need to know what kinds of considerations they will need to make in wills and trusts; see if their insurance is adequate, and see how long a period of time it will take for estate planning to accumulate.”
Holman stated many individuals need to learn that the lifestyle they live while working may be drastically different upon retirement.
“Many presume they are going to live at that lifestyle, but can only support a small portion of it,” said Holman. “These people are grossly and inadequately prepared for retirement. This does not mean that they cannot retire; it means their expectations of what retirement is going to look like is out of line.”
Holman’s customers tend to be pleased with his honesty, and know that he really is looking out for their best interests.
“My customers are trained over time to have reasonable expectations of retirement,” said Holman. “We always talk about things that can go wrong, so people feel like they are getting thoughtful advice. The more knowledgeable the client, the more successful they will be, and the easier it will be to discuss with them about what the alternatives are.”
“It’s a compliment when a client refers somebody they know to me,” said Holman. “There is a degree of risk for clients, and I really appreciate that they are referring folks to me.”
For individuals who are pre-investors, or individuals who are beginning to look at how they can financially plan for retirement, Holman is able to offer ideas and strategies that will help them successfully start the process.
“[Pre-investors] need to set a budget and follow it for a couple of months so they can see how they are spending their money,” he said. “I will be happy to point out where they need to cut back. If someone spends $50 on coffee a month but can’t save, that may be a place to cut back. We have to sacrifice, and can’t always have it all. People tend to have the same issues at an older age and with a good income. If they know they need to save, they become accustomed to a certain lifestyle.”
Despite the rough economy, Holman believes it is important for investors to stick to a plan, despite how rough it may be to do so.
“I feel so badly for people who are suffering through this economic period,” said Holman. “As a note of encouragement, I’d say if you have a plan, go over with your advisor and stick with it. If you create a plan, you are more likely to succeed. It is not going to be perfect, but I can guarantee that you will not succeed without one.”
Stifel Nicolaus is located at 5256 S. Mission Rd., Suite 1201, Bonsall Calif. 92003. To contact Dennis Holman or any of the other associates at Stifel Nicolaus, call (760) 643-1235.
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