What To Do Next?

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Financial Advisor and Branch Manager

Maurice Stouse

Investors have come through quite a lot over the past two months. Terms such as “unprecedented” or quotes such as “never seen anything like this before” and “this is different” are heard and seen everywhere. So, what might investors be thinking or doing, next?

Fear is widely seen as the most significant motivator of behavior. Fear is what often motivates people to action or to inertia. You can see it in career choices, how time is spent, even how hard someone works. Most of us see working for the things (including investments) that we have. If you look back over history, you can find countless examples of financial success where the focus was more on getting things like your investments to work FOR you instead of you working for them.

So, what then to do next for investors? Think about this as an opportunity to put focus into the power of planning. That can be planning for your wealth accumulation and growing your assets, or it can be planning to have income when you are no longer working (having your investments work FOR you).

Retirement planning has never been more of the responsibility of the individual than it is now. The average 401k balance is typically seen as not nearly enough to replace income. The advent of the 401k meant the burden of retirement income in most cases shifted from the employer to the employee.

Focusing on three basic parts of your finances could be a significant step for you to take. The first part is a Balance Sheet. An ongoing, working document of all your assets minus your liabilities and coming up with your net worth. Your personal Balance Sheet can help you focus on where you are while you are also thinking about where you want or need to be.

The second part is your ongoing Income Statement. This is a weekly or monthly accounting for what is coming in and what is going out. Focusing on your Income Statement can allow you to become an even better consumer and a greater saver. If you have a monthly surplus, that can make its way to your balance sheet in the form of a growing asset and net worth.

The last part would be a Retirement Income Statement. By maintaining one of these, you’ll be able to estimate expenses and income needed or desired for your retirement.  The simple rule of thumb is to try and set aside an ending retirement savings or investment balance of 25 times of desired annual income in retirement. And you can use any of a variety of financial calculators today to figure out how much you would need to set aside and at what rate of return to get to the needed goal.

And finally, have you fully addressed medical expenses in retirement? Are you contributing to an HSA (Health Savings Account)?

Many people think we have just gone through what is known as an economic reset. Investors can now reassess and determine through the power of planning, to control their ultimate outcome.

Maurice Stouse is a Financial Advisor and the branch manager of The First Wealth Management and Raymond James and he resides in Grayton Beach. He has been in financial services for over 33 years. His main office is located at First Florida Bank, a division of the First, A National Banking Association, 2000 98 Palms Blvd, Destin, FL 32451. Branch offices in Niceville, Mary Esther, Miramar Beach, Freeport and Panama City, Pensacola, and Tallahassee. Phone 850.654.8124. Raymond James advisors do not offer tax advice. Please see your tax professionals. Email: Maurice.stouse@raymondjames.com.Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC, and are not insured by bank insurance, the FDIC or any other government agency, are not deposits or obligations of the bank, are not guaranteed by the bank, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal. Investment Advisory Services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. The First Wealth Management First Florida Bank, and The First, A National Banking Association are not registered broker/dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Views expressed are the current opinion of the author, not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James, and are subject to change without notice. Information provided is general in nature and is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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