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Absolute Retirement

We are believers in the idea of Absolute Retirementsm. So much so we trademarked it.

Allow me to tell you a story. Years ago, I was visiting a client in North Dallas. I was in the Perot Systems building, and while waiting for a cab in the lobby, another person came up and also began waiting. Twenty or so minutes went by and the cab didn’t show. Finally, one did, but they didn’t know who had called it. So he and I shared a cab to the airport.

Now, no one has ever considered me shy. So during the cab ride, I broke the ice by asking “How do you like it here?”

The exhaustion in his voice was palatable.

He said “I hate it.”

“There’s not an original idea in this town. If the neighbor buys a new Mercedes, then everyone starts talking about getting one, but one just a bit more expensive. If someone gets their kids a pool, oh no, we have to get one. Ditto for the country clubs and vacations. Everyone is borrowing money hand over fist to out-spend their neighbors. I’m going broke.”

This went on for about ten minutes more. I was so taken back by his resignation, we rode the rest of the way to the airport in silence.

I swore I would not allow myself or my family to get into that position or place. My life, and my retirement, were mine. Absolutely.

That was 1987, the same year I left a large bank over a concept that led to my founding this company. I started speaking more and more about an Absolute Life and an Absolute Retirementsm.

Getting into the weeds a bit more, how does this apply to financial advice, investment management etc?

Let’s begin with some thoughts on your parents.  Presuming they have passed, did they live a long time, or less so?  What about your grandparents on both sides?  How much you will need for retirement is based on your life expectancy and not the average person’s history.

What about the investing side?  Anything you can tell your portfolio manager helps them invest.  The more detailed, the better they can adjust away from “average.”  Your degree of precision sets how “absolute” your assets (money) matches your liabilities (retirement needs).

After this, it becomes complicated quickly and goes beyond this short piece.  However, we can expand on this idea when we meet with you.  We enjoy teaching clients how to do the math so they fully understand it, if they are inclined to do so.  Schedule a meeting for coffee, and we’ll go over this idea and why it is so important at no charge.

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(recently copied from our web page of the same title)