Your Questions

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Many of the most common mistakes retirees make with their planning is caused by simply not knowing what they didn’t know to ask or question. If you don’t know enough about something, how can you know what to ask?

Top 5 Questions

We know it is difficult to know who to trust with your investment that you have spent a lifetime to earn and save.

Over the years we have found that some of the most common questions in the discovery process of finding the right wealth advisor for you are as follows:

SimplePath Wealth Management, LLC is an independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Florida. We answer directly to our clients, not to corporate management. We partner with AssetMark to provide asset management, manager due diligence & investment technology to our clients. AssetMark provides access to over 35 high quality, well-vetted investment strategists.

The performance of our over 35 available strategists is available upon request at any time and we can also provide simulations against your current strategy. We do not believe in managing your money in-house. Although we could likely have a higher profit margin if we did, we do not believe it is in your best interest. We cannot be meeting and servicing clients and watching the markets and the economy at the same time and be effective at both. We have found that doing so is not an effective use of our time. We believe that it would be nearly impossible to have the access and resources that institutional investment firms have on a day-to-day basis. They also have teams of CFA’s on staff (not simply one) that collaborate on their decisions. Relying on one person or team for your life’s savings is, in our opinion, like putting all your faith in one spaghetti model during hurricane season.

SimplePath Wealth Management, LLC (SWM) collects a negotiated annual advisory fee based on the assets that are being managed. This provides us an incentive to grow your accounts along with you rather than having a commission-based model that could create a conflict of interest. This is called a fee-only model. SWM can also be compensated through a financial planning fee either in addition to or in place of the above, as a one-time or ongoing fee. If our affiliate firm, SimplePath Insurance & Tax Planning, LLC provides any insurance services such as Medicare, life insurance, or annuities, they would be compensated directly by the insurance carrier and the costs would be built into the product rather than coming out of your account value. This could represent a conflict of interest that must be disclosed at the time of the recommendation.

Because of the level of service we provide our clients and the cost to bring on a new client, we traditionally prefer to bring on clients with no less than $250,000 in investable assets. In addition, each money manager also has account minimums for their various portfolios that could range from $1K to $1M, depending on the strategy.

Our relationship is based on much more than investments or returns. It is our goal to be your financial advocate to help guide you through the many complex financial decisions throughout your lifetime. One of the main differences we provide is the level of diligence and holistic planning that we do for our clients. We are looking to bring on a select group of families and work with them for multiple generations to help them achieve their goals and keep their wealth within their families. The best part is that we often cost the same or less than what you’re currently paying, but may not even know it.

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Retirees Make

  1. Relying on the advice of only one source for your investment strategy (even if it’s your own). We believe it is best to diversify your strategies using multiple viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives. No one manager or strategy will be right in all markets and all conditions. It’s like watching the meteorologist’s spaghetti models during a hurricane. They can’t all be right.

  2. Not taking advantage of all your tax strategies. We find that most retirees have bought into the age old advice of maxing out their 401(k) and qualified plans. However, this leaves them with little to no tax diversification when they need it most. After all the deductions are behind them and their RMD’s are ahead of them.

  3. Not having your estate planning in order. Keep in mind that most of these documents are there to protect you when you’re still living, not just after you pass away. You also don’t want to handcuff your loved ones when they are trying to help you in a time of need, or while trying to efficiently distribute your assets. Don’t be a statistic. Get your ducks in order while you have an opportunity to do it according to your wishes, not a judge or the IRS’s.

  4. Spending too freely in relationship to income/savings. Most of our clients do not have this issue as they have been great savers, but I continuously run into high income earners that have little to show for it and often it is because they do not have a handle on what their actual spending is. They spend more than they should. A good rule of thumb is that you should not be withdrawing more than 4% of your retirement savings to live on. If you are still working, you should be saving a minimum of 15% of your annual gross income (before taxes are taken out).

  5. Putting yourself in danger of running out of money by helping others too freely. This often occurs by well-intentioned parents that simply do not understand how to gauge the impact on their personal savings by giving away money to their family. Or sometimes it’s simply because they can’t say “No”. Sometimes this can lead to elder abuse as the children can take advantage of their parents’ generosity. Your children and grandchildren need to understand that they can take out loans for school, business, and housing. You can’t take out a loan for retirement!

  6. Paying off the mortgage to prepare for retirement. Sometimes this is a great strategy, but sometimes it is not. You don’t want to simply pay it off in order to avoid having a payment without it being part of a well thought out strategy. It may just end up going to the nursing home or it could create a huge tax bill, depending on where you take the money from to pay it.

  7. Paying too high of fees for your investment or retirement accounts − or simply not knowing what the fees are. Although the investment industry has worked hard to increase fee transparency it still has a way to go. If you think you are not paying your current advisor, that is usually a sign that the fees are hidden. Get an analysis to see what you are really paying.

  8. Not protecting your assets from creditors, predators & a government gone wild. There are many risks to your portfolio including divorce, disability, accidents, nursing homes, legislative and tax changes and more. Many people only plan for the risk of market loss, but there are plenty of other sources that create a potential risk to your money.

  9. Risking money you can’t afford to lose in the hopes of a better return. Warren Buffet said “Rational people don’t risk what they have and need for what they don’t have and don’t need”. Don’t take unnecessary risk simply to compete with your neighbor or your ego. Investing should be based on your personal goals and objectives.

  10. Not having at least one guaranteed source of income, aside from Social Security, to last for both you and your spouse’s lifetime — so you can enjoy your retirement doing what you really want to do. If you spend your road trip watching the gas gauge to see when you will run out of gas, then you have missed the entire enjoyment of the trip itself. Our parents and grandparents had a much simpler retirement by having a pension. There is something psychologically appealing to replacing one paycheck for another.

R E A D Y     T O    T A K E

The Next Step?

For more information about any of the services or products listed, choose a time to speak with one of our advisors or register to attend one of our upcoming events.


Or give us a call at (727) 304-6000