Each year, more retirees decide to forego using a financial adviser or large investment firm and attempt to manage their retirement savings themselves. This trend reflects a distrust of financial agents and an increased sense that to do something ‘right’ requires one to do it themselves. This do-it-yourself mentality can initially be liberating, but it is important essential to understand the various factors involved in such a move.

Consider the following:


Money management is a life-long process and you likely have some knowledge from experience. However, investing on a day-to-day basis and managing both your retirement savings and income stream is complex. The learning curve is steep. Ask yourself if educating yourself and spending the time ‘in the trenches’ is how you want to spend your retirement.

Couples Consideration

If you are single, you have carte blanche with your money. However, as a partner in a couple, you must share the process of savings and investment. Do not embark on a ‘do-it-yourself’ investment plan if your partner is not willing to be involved. The risks for misunderstandings and financial miscues are too great.

Emotional Entanglement

Day-to-day involvement with financial markets and products produces stress and anxiety. Your investments will certainly have their ups and downs. Keeping a steady hand on the big picture requires strong emotional preparedness. Ask yourself if you have the demeanor to handle market volatility. Remember, the services of an advisor alleviates much of the stress and limits the emotional aspect of investing.

Fees, Taxes, & Estate Planning

Doing the investment and income stream planning on your own requires diligent consideration of taxes, fees, and long-term estate issues. Paying an advisor a fee for such services can be a huge relief. Consider how to best use advisors to get what you need at the best price, and free your retirement time up to enjoy yourself and time with your family.

Your retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. This does not mean to pay no attention to your savings or income stream strategies. You may want to manage the whole process on a day-to-day basis, but be sure to carefully review the above issues and think how you want to spend your time. Using an advisor or investment company has many advantages as well. Seek out the appropriate help, set your price, and free up your time to spend with family and friends.

Source: Wall Street Journal