As many of you have noticed, I reached the milestone where reading anything without glasses is apparently humorous to watch. And while it is obviously easier to just struggle to read a statement or menu than to keep up with my glasses, sometimes you just really want to see more.
Over the years we have used several different tools to peer into your future, but we made a commitment a long time ago that our office would not go down the road of providing thick, three-ringed binders full of information and projections that didn’t actually answer the questions you were asking. Until recently, I had not found one platform that would allow us to explore simple and/or comprehensive questions.
Over the last year, we have been training and practicing with our new planning software suite from eMoney. eMoney is one of the most robust systems available. They currently serve over 76 thousand financial advisors, representing over 4.4 million households. We are now at the point where we believe this tool can help make us better at planning and adjusting to all of the changes life throws at us. And, most importantly for you – we feel we can use this tool in a way that will not add significant complexity to how you work with us.
Going forward, you will have the ability to link outside accounts to the eMoney system. This means we will be able to review your progress on all your savings, without constantly needing you to send us copies of retirement account statements. This will greatly help us in being able to see where you are and where you are likely headed.
Here are a few of the other questions we will now be in a better position to explore:
- How much should we be setting aside for college for kids or grandkids?
- Based on how we are spending, how long might our savings last?
- If we both lived to 90, what kind of an estate will we need to plan for?
- Could we afford to give a significant amount to charity without disrupting our plans?
- How much do I need to save monthly to have the option to retire in 13 year?
We are rolling this new tool out to all our advisory clients over this next year. As it comes time to schedule your review, we will reach out early and provide you a simple questionnaire that confirms much of what we already know about you and likely a few questions we haven’t asked yet. This will all be consolidated into the planning software as a base of facts that we can use to ask the specific questions you may want to know.
Much of this process will continue to happen behind the scenes. Other than the questionnaire and potentially linking accounts you hold elsewhere to our system (this will be optional, but helpful) you will not need to do anything new.
We look forward to serving you in the coming year, focusing on your values, and helping you plan for the road ahead.