Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day is a hilarious movie starring Bill Murray, Andie McDowell and Chris Elliott.  Phil, Bill Murray, is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to report on the city’s famous groundhog to see if winter will continue for six more weeks.  Bill Murray’s character is stuck repeating this day and wakes up each morning to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher.  When Phil realizes what’s happening he takes his life to extremes by over eating, jumping from buildings, sitting in the bathtub with a toaster, leaping in front of a moving truck and hitting people (Ned) in the face.  No matter what he does he wakes up each morning as if nothing happened.

The stock market is like Groundhog Day.  Each day reporters cover the actions of the stock market hunting for clues as to what the future may bring.   If the market is rising, reporters want to know if this is the beginning of a new bull market.  Will the stock market “breakout” and bound forever upward or is this a trap to get the individual investor to buy at the market top?   Likewise, if the market is falling, the media will look for a fearmonger to report on the end of times.  The market is falling so we must be standing on the precipice about to plunge into the abyss.

CNBC parades an army of analysts, fund managers, experts, academics, gurus and other fortune tellers to try and explain each tick in the market.   Guests are given 30 seconds to explain the market’s movements while giving the viewer hope they know what will happen to stocks for the next five decades.   The guests usually appear as part of a panel so there are various opinions. The guests battle each other trying to prove their point while the anchor is yelling at them to stop so CNBC can pivot to a “breaking news” story about the changing wind patterns in Eastern China or some other fascinating narrative.

The process repeats itself every Monday through Friday, a financial Groundhog Day.  Each day the market will rise and fall.  Does it matter what happens to the daily movements of your stocks?  It does not, because, in the end the stock market always wins.   In a recent chart and article posted by Market Watch, they highlighted the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1896 to 2016, a 120 years of market data.[1]   The chart subtitle is, “Human Innovation Always Trumps Fear.”[2]  Despite world wars, a depression, Black Monday, Black Tuesday, Pearl Harbor, Sputnik, the JFK assassination and the Great Recession the stock market has always recovered!

How can you avoid your financial Groundhog Day?

  • Turn off your TV and enjoy life. The stock market will be there tomorrow.
  • Don’t worry about daily movements in the stock market.  Have faith in capitalism because great companies win in the end.
  • Focus on your short and long term financial goals. You can’t control the stock market but you can control your financial plan.  It’s more important to spend time refining your goals than it is to try and find the next hot stock.
  • Diversify your investment holdings to reduce your portfolio risk. A well-constructed portfolio of stocks, bonds and cash will, or should, keep you invested in good times and bad.
  • Extend your investment time horizon to avoid short-term ripples in the stock market. From 1926 to 2014 there have been seventy twenty-year rolling periods where stocks have made money 100% of the time.[3]

It’s easy to get sucked into the whirlpool of a financial Groundhog Day so you must be diligent in focusing on your goals.  The simple act of thinking about generational wealth will keep you moving forward towards your goals.

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~ Maori Proverb

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.   For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.

June 24, 2017

Note:  Past performance does not guarantee future results.  Your results may differ than those posted in this blog.

 

 

[1] http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-dows-tumultuous-120-year-history-in-one-chart-2017-03-23?link=sfmw_fb, by Sue Chang, Markets Reporter, June 23, 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibbotson®SBBI® 2015 Classic Year Book, Market Results for Stocks, Bonds, Bills and Inflation 1926-2014.

My Fabulous Fanatical F’s!

The financial services industry consists of several participants from major Wall Street Investment Firms to your local bank teller.  The industry is crowded with overlapping terms like broker, advisor, planner, analyst, money manager, wealth advisor, consultant, agent, etc.  Each firm distinguishes themselves from the competition by trying to be better, bigger, cheaper, smarter, or safer.   The list of adjectives used to describe wealth management firms would make Noah Webster proud.

I, too, try to separate myself from the pandemonium[1] of wealth management firms, so here are my fabulous fanatical F’s.

Faith.  I put my trust and faith in Christianity and know God is in control of our plans.  God promises us daily bread and He will take care of our needs.   Give us this day our daily bread.  ~ Matthew 6:11. He also tells us not to worry about tomorrow.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow… ~ Matthew 6:34.

Facts.  My investment philosophy is based on financial science from the research and findings of Nobel Laureates and industry titans.   The pillars of investment success are found in asset allocation, the efficient market hypothesis, modern portfolio theory and the five-factor model.[2]   These four principles are superior to excessive trading and market timing.

Follow Up.  I have a servant’s heart and believe in constant contact with an open line of communication to my clients.

Fiduciary.  I’m a fiduciary and, by law, I must put your interests first and disclose all conflicts of interest.  As a registered investment advisor, I’m bound by the fiduciary standard.  In addition, I’m a Certified Financial Planner™ and must adhere to the fiduciary standard.  According to Investopedia a fiduciary is an individual who must act with “…the highest legal duty of one party to another, it also involves being bound ethically to act in the other’s best interests.”[3]

Financial Planning.  The plan is the thing.  The financial plan will be your blueprint for your financial dreams.   The financial plan will help outline your financial goals and this, in turn, will establish your asset allocation and investment selection.   According to one study, individuals who complete a financial plan have three times (3X) the assets of those individuals who do little or no planning[4]

Funds.  My mutual funds of choice are managed by Dimensional Fund Advisors and The Vanguard Group.  These two firms adhere to strict investment guidelines, keep their fees low, and put the investor first.

Fees.  The lower your investment fee, the higher your investment return.  The industry average for advisors and planner’s hover around 1% of the assets managed on your behalf.  My firm fees are half of the industry standard or 0.50%.

Fun.  I love what I do and consider my career a calling.  I’m a financial missionary trying to help as many people as possible.

It’s paramount you work with an advisor and firm who’ll put your interests first.  If you’re not sure your investment firm is serving in your best interest, it’s time to make a change.

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success. ~ Pablo Picasso

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.  For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.

June 22, 2017

[1] A group of parrots’ is referred to as a pandemonium.

[2] http://www.barrons.com/articles/a-different-dimension-1388824465, Beverly Goodman, January 4, 2014.

[3] http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fiduciary.asp, website accessed June 22, 2017.

[4] http://www.nber.org/papers/w17078

Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman is conquering the summer box office competition.   The Wonder Woman movie has brought in $438.5 million so far and shows no sign of slowing down.  Wonder Woman was established by DC Comics in October of 1941 as a heroine from the Amazon and she is part of the Justice League with Batman, Superman and Aquaman.   She has been described as a feminist icon promoting peace while fighting evil.[1]

Lynda Carter brought Wonder Woman to television in the 1970s while Gal Gadot currently graces the big screen.

As a father of a daughter, I read books to her at an early age highlighting strong women like Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Mary, Sacagawea, Mother Teresa, Margaret Mead, Helen Keller and many more.  It was important to me for her to see women of courage in trail blazing roles.   My daughter is a trailblazer and she’s currently working with refugees on the other side of the world.

Women are also Wonder Women when it comes to investing.    Women investors have outperformed men over the past few years.  Men tend to trade more often than women and this is a problem because of the added costs and underperformance by trying to time the market.  Women, on the other hand, tend to be buy and hold investors.[2]

Women need to take charge of their investments and planning because women tend to outlive men.  According to one study 90% of women will handle money on their own due to marrying later, getting divorced and living longer than men.[3]  A woman aged 65 today can expect to live to age 86.6 while men will live to 84.3.[4]

How can you lasso more financial and investment knowledge?

  • Read. Reading books, websites, or newsletters will increase your investment knowledge.  Several books and websites help women investors.  Here are a few investment books I’d suggest: Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach, Smart Women Love Money by Alice Finn, The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias.
  • Ask. If you don’t know, ask!  If you’re working with an advisor, make sure you understand what you own and the fees you’re paying.  If you’re not sure, ask.  It’s your money and financial welfare so don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.  If your advisor isn’t willing to answer your questions, it’s time to get a new advisor.
  • Watch.  Webinars are great educational tools.  A Google search can identify companies who provide financial webinars.  You can watch a webinar when it’s convenient for your schedule, a tremendous benefit.
  • Plan. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.  Your plan will guide you towards your financial goals.   A financial plan will also help you avoid pitfalls, traps and scams.  If you know where you’re going, you’re more likely to get there!
  • Save. It’s important to establish multiple channels for saving and investing.    Investors should have, at a minimum, savings accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts.  The accounts can be automated to help you stay committed to your plan.
  • Beware. Be on guard to sales promotions and investment scams promising you eye popping returns.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!  You can also check your broker or advisor on public websites like the SEC Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD), FINRA Broker Check or Brightscope.  A click on an advisor’s profile will introduce you to their background and history.
  • Mentor. Are you able to help a young lady or two get started in the world of business or investing?  If you’re a successful investor, can you pass on your knowledge to the next generation of wonder women?   Young women are looking for strong women to help guide them financially and you may be the one to lead them on their journey.

You have the power to control your financial destiny.  Take control and be brave as you set out to conquer the world of investing.  I know you can do it!

I’m not afraid of storms as I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Louisa May Alcott.

Be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else. ~ Judy Garland.

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.   For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.

June 20, 2017

Notes.  Wonder Woman is the property of DC Comics.

 

[1] http://www.dccomics.com/characters/wonder-woman, website accessed June 20, 2017.

[2] http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/08/investing/women-better-investors-than-men/index.html, Heather Long, March 8, 2017.

[3] Ibid.

[4] https://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html, website accessed 6/20/17.

Alexa, Conquer the World!

Amazon is taking over the world one acquisition at a time.   On Friday Amazon announced its buying Whole Foods.  Whole Foods will join Audible, The Washington Post and Zappos as Amazon subsidiaries.  As an Austinite I can hardly wait to order miniature empanadas from my Prime account and have them delivered by a drone.

Amazon isn’t the first company to pursue world domination.   Sears Roebuck was one of the first companies to dominate the corporate landscape.  At one point, Sears was the largest retailer in the world while owning the tallest building in the world.  Sears owned Craftsman, Kenmore, Dean Witter, Discover Card, Coldwell Banker and Allstate Insurance.   The Sears Catalog was the early version of the internet.  A shopper could purchase almost anything from the catalog including a home.  Sears was the bluest of the blue chips and a fixed member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.    Sears Holdings is a skeleton of its former self and they’ve sold most of their iconic holdings including the Sears Tower.   A $10,000 investment in Sears Holding in April of 2003 is now worth $7,680 delivering an average annual loss of 1.85% per year for the shareholder.[1]

Berkshire Hathaway is the opposite of Sears Roebuck.  Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, is a financial behemoth owning notable companies like Geico, See’s Candy, Benjamin Moore & Co., Fruit of the Loom, Justin Brands and Kraft Heinz.  A $10,000 investment in Berkshire in May of 1990 is now worth $346,500.[2]   A $1,000 investment in Berkshire Hathaway in 1964 is worth $13 million today![3]

I’m rooting for Mr. Bezos to succeed.  So far, so good.  A $10,000 investment in Amazon in May of 2007 is now worth $5 million.

How can you find the next Mr. Buffett or Mr. Bezos?  An investor trying to find one or two companies to last a life time is difficult.  A better alternative for most individuals is to own a portfolio of low cost mutual funds.

The Dimensional Funds listed below consist of large, small, international, and real estate companies.  It also contains a bond fund.  The funds in the portfolio had a wide range of returns.   The DFA US Small Cap portfolio returned 42.21% in 2013 while the Emerging Market Fund lost 14.85% in 2015.   Despite the wide range of returns in the individual funds the portfolio averaged 9.79% over the past five years.  The combined portfolio generated a 19.5% return in 2013 and lost 0.80% in 2015.[4]

  • DFA US Core Equity I (DFEOX)
  • DFA International Core (DFIEX)
  • DFA US Small Cap (DFSTX)
  • DFA Real Estate (DFREX)
  • DFA Emerging Market (DFCEX)
  • DFA Investment Grade (DFAPX)

It’d be nice to find an early stage Amazon or Berkshire that grows into a multi-national corporation generating market crushing returns for generations, however, this may not be possible.   I’d recommend allocating 5% to 10% of your portfolio if you’re going to try and find the diamond in the rough.   The remaining 90% to 95% of your account should be invested in a diversified basket of low cost mutual funds to be held for the long haul.

Happy shopping!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  ~ Galatians 6:9

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.   For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.

Note:  Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.  Your returns may differ from those listed in this blog.

June 18, 2017

 

[1] Morningstar Hypothetical Tool.

[2] Ibid.

[3] http://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-berkshire-hathaway-historical-returns-2017-5, Andy Kiersz, May 5, 2017.

[4] Dimensional Fund Advisors Returns Web.

Worst Crash Ever?

Jim Rogers is a legendary investor and prolific author.   In a recent interview with Business Insider, Mr. Rogers called for the worst correction ever and added we’re headed for disaster.[1]  In fact, Mr. Rogers has made similar predictions for the past six years.[2]

Worst ever?  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 21,235 on June 12, 2017.  A correction of 85% would send the index to 3,185 a level not seen since December 1991.

The U.S. stock market has suffered some doozies over the years.   Notable stock market corrections include 1907, 1973/74, 1987, 2000 and 2008.    On October 19, 1987, the stock market fell 22.5%.  During the Great Recession of 2008 the stock market dropped 37%.   The Great Depression lasted ten years and is considered the worst (economic) time in our country’s history with the stock market falling 85% from 1929 to 1932.  Despite these thunderous corrections the stock market has always recovered.

When I started my investment career my grandfather asked if I’d read The Great Depression of 1990 by Dr. Ravi Batra.  I told him I hadn’t because I didn’t think it would happen.  He said it’s important to read several points of view to make informed decisions.  I read the book.  The stock market of the 1990s increased 426% hitting 10,000 before 2000.  A $10,000 investment in the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (VFINX) on 1/1/1990 was worth $52,668 by 12/31/1999 averaging 18.07%.[3]

We, too, must be leery of overly optimistic forecasts.  Harry S. Dent, Jr., The Roaring 2000’s: Building the Wealth and Lifestyle You Deserve in the Greatest Boom in History, projected the Dow Jones Industrial Average would reach 35,000 by 2008.   It closed at 8,776.  A $10,000 investment in the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (VFINX) on January 1, 2000 was worth $10,361 by December 31,2000 averaging .32%.[4]

It’s not wise to invest on conjecture, however, if you’re concerned about the worst correction ever here are a few steps you can employ to protect your assets.

  • Avoid excessive leverage and debt. Your total debt load should be less than 38% of gross income.  If your monthly gross income is 38%, your total debt payments should be less than 38%.   Likewise, your investment account should avoid excessive margin.  You’re allowed to margin (or borrow) 50% of your account balance to buy additional investments. I’d recommend limiting your margin balance to 10% of your account balance.
  • Keep a cash reserve. A cash hoard of three to six months of expenses is recommended.  If your monthly expenses are $10,000, your cash value should be between $30,000 to $60,000.
  • Invest in Treasury Bonds. U.S. Treasury investments will perform well during times of calamity.   They are inversely related to stocks.  If stocks fall, treasuries will rise.  During the correction of 2008 U.S. Treasury Bonds rose 25.9%.
  • Rebalance your account. A portfolio of stocks, bonds and cash will fluctuate with market conditions.   Rebalancing once or twice per year will return your account to its original allocation.  It will help reduce your portfolio risk.
  • Diversify. Diversify your holdings across stocks, bonds and cash.  The stock holdings should be spread between large, small and international companies.
  • Avoid Concentration. Individual stock positions comprising more than 10% of your account balance should be trimmed to 3% to 5%.  Reducing your dependence on one or two stocks will benefit you during a market meltdown.

Will Mr. Rogers prediction come true? I hope not.  It’s difficult to make investment decisions based on predictions, forecasts or opinions because they rarely come true.   Invest according to your financial plan.  A plan built on your hopes, dreams and fears will treat you well in good times and bad.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, for I know not when tomorrow will be. ~ Abigail Adams.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. ~ Matthew 24:42

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.  For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.

June 12, 2017

 

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/jim-rogers-worst-crash-lifetime-coming-2017-6, Jacqui Frank and Kara Chin, June 9, 2017.

[2] http://awealthofcommonsense.com/2017/06/bulls-bears-charlatans/, Ben Carlson, June 11, 2017

[3] Morningstar Office Hypothetical Tool.

[4] Ibid.

Fishing from my Driveway.

A boat resting on a driveway is safe from the wrath of Neptune and Poseidon.  It can sit peacefully on concrete protected from waves, tides and rocks.  However, a boat isn’t made to sit idle on a driveway; it’s made for the high seas.  Similarly, fishing from a driveway doesn’t work either.   The boat and the fisherman need to be on the water.

A boat on the water is exposed to more risk, as is the fisherman.   The risks increase the further the boat travels from shore.   The waves get bigger, the wind howls harder but the payoff is greater.  The reward of catching an enormous fish is worth the effort.

Investing carries many levels of risk and safety.  It’s possible to never leave shore and invest for safety and guarantees.  If you’re concerned about losing money, you can invest your money in a certificate of deposit or U.S. Treasury Bill.  These two investments will guarantee a rate of return if held to maturity.  They’ll also guarantee a low rate of return as both yield about 1%.   These two items may work in the short term but won’t hold water as long-term investments.

To create wealth an investor needs to have exposure to risk assets like stocks.  Stocks fluctuate like a boat on the water but if held for the long term they will treat you well.  In the short term, stocks rise and fall with much fanfare.  When stocks fall, the media will want to know if this is the beginning of the end.  It may feel like the end of times if you’ve lived through the corrections of 1987, 2000 or 2008.  Despite the previous storms, the stock market recovered and sailed to all-time highs.  Historically stocks have averaged a 10% annual return despite the drops.

Set a course for adventure and invest to achieve your goals.  Diversify your assets across stocks, bonds and cash so you can keep your portfolio afloat!

A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.” ~ John A. Shedd.

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. ~ Matthew 8:23.

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.  For information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com

June 10, 2017

 

 

 

Are You Outperforming the Market?

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is soaring; rising over 17%!   Money managers, mutual funds, institutions, pension plans, endowments are all under pressure to beat the stock market.  A money manager who outperforms the index is a hero while one who underperforms is a goat.   Short-term index chasing returns might be good for the professional, not so for the individual.

The S&P 500 index is an unmanaged basket of 500 stocks and doesn’t assess fees.  A money manager charges a fee and it’s deducted from their gross return.  A money manager who’s up 17% and charges a 1% fee will see their return drop to 16%.  Because of the 1% fee, the money manager is underperforming the index.

Let’s look at some history before you sell your diversified portfolio and invest it all in a S&P 500 index fund.  From 2000 to 2010 the S&P 500 lost 9.1%.   A $10,000 invest in January of 2000 was worth $9,090 by the end of the decade.   You lost during the “lost” decade.

Do you need to outperform the stock market?  It’d be great to beat the market every year but it’s not necessary to achieve your financial goals.   The ultimate index to follow is your own.  A financial plan will give you the best metrics to track.  It’s more important to achieve your financial goals than it is to outperform the stock market.

Let’s look at a few examples.

  • Your goal is to retire with $1,000,000 so you can live comfortably for the rest of your life. After completing your financial plan, you realize your assets are worth $2,000,000.  Your current assets are more than enough to allow you to retire in style.  In this scenario, you need to preserve assets not outperform the stock market.   A mix of cash, bonds and a few stocks will help you achieve this goal.
  • Your goal is to retire with $1,000,000. Your current assets are $250,000.  If you save $10,000 per year, for 20 years you’ll achieve your goal with a 5% return.  The stock market has averaged 7.35% for the past twenty years.[1]   If you achieved your million-dollar goal, would you be upset if you didn’t outperform the stock market?  A portfolio of stocks is recommended for this goal.
  • You need $50,000 in annual income to maintain your lifestyle. If your investment portfolio generates $60,000 per year income, your goal should be to maintain the income and not outperform the stock market.  A portfolio of bonds and dividend (growing) paying stocks will be needed here.

Investors have two primary fears according to a study conducted by Dimensional Fund Advisors.  The first is not having enough money for a comfortable retirement and the second is a significant drop in the stock market.[2]   If you avoided these two pitfalls, does it matter if you didn’t outperform the stock market?

Focus on your goals and not the stock market.  A diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and cash will treat you well over your lifetime.  Stay diversified my friends!

Everyone has the brainpower to follow the stock market. If you made it through fifth-grade math, you can do it.  ~ Peter Lynch

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.  For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com

June 6, 2017

[1] Morningstar Office Hypothetical Tool.

[2] 2017-Dimensional Fund Advisor Investor Feedback Survey.

What Will You Do in Retirement?

Today you’re working.  Tomorrow you’re retired.   After eighteen years of schooling and forty years of working it’s now time for retirement.  For the first time in your life you don’t need to set your alarm clock for a Monday morning meeting.

A question I’m often asked is, “What will I do in retirement?”  Few people have a strategy for retirement.  In fact, only 22% of individuals feel confident about their retirement according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.[1]

Retirement has two sides: financial and emotional.  The financial equation is easier to deal with when compared to the emotional side.  A financial planner will give you a good estimate of how much income you’ll receive based on your current level of assets.  The emotional side of retirement, however, is more challenging and difficult to quantify.  Individuals aren’t likely to retire until their emotional house is in order regardless of their financial situation.

What will you do in retirement?  Here are a few suggestions to help you with the emotional side of retirement.

Give.  A suggestion to give your money away in retirement hardly makes economic sense.  Retirees want to know how much money they’ll receive; not how much they’ll give away.  Individuals who can afford to retire and live off their savings should be able to give some of their money away to help others.  A giving or charitable strategy will help define the who, what, when and where for your donations.  Giving money away can also make you happier and healthier according to a 2015 research report.[2]  As a child you probably were told it’s much better to give than receive but you didn’t believe it until you were older.  Giving is advantageous to all parties.

Volunteer.  Giving and volunteering are close cousins if not siblings.  Most individuals will tell you they’re busier in retirement than they were during their working years.   Non-profits are constantly looking for help.  A quick Google search for non-profits in Austin, TX produced over 825,000 results.   Volunteering your time will help fill your day with meaningful activity while doing good for others.   Your local church, school district or Chamber of Commerce can point you in the right direction and lead you to several serving opportunities.  Joining Rotary or Kiwanis will also give you instant access to serving opportunities.

Mentor.  You’ll retire with a wealth of knowledge stored in your mind and it would be a terrible thing to waste.   Helping a student with homework or learning to read will bear much fruit and can change their life trajectory.  Mentoring a new business, startup or incubator can be beneficial to the young owner and help them avoid several mistakes.   Your knowledge is invaluable and the lessons you pass on to the younger generation won’t soon be forgotten.

Work.  Work?  Who wants to work in retirement?  I want to work in a fly fishing shop or outdoor adventure store.   If I’m able to work in a fly fishing shop in Colorado during retirement, I wouldn’t consider it work.   What hobbies do you have?  Can you convert your hobby into employment?  If you like gardening, work in a nursery.  If you’re an artist, work in an art store.   Seasonal work may be another opportunity for you during your golden years.  Working at a ski resort in the winter and a beach resort in the summer may be your ticket.  Working part or full-time in retirement will also help with your finances.  The longer you defer your withdrawals from your investment accounts, the more money you’ll have as you mosey through retirement.

School.  First work and now school?  What the heck?  Most universities will allow retirees to audit a class or two.  Did you miss taking quantum physics as an undergrad?  You now can go back to school and devote yourself to a subject of your choosing.   Your local university or junior college offer hundreds of courses giving you the opportunity to study almost anything.

Hobbies.  Do you have a hobby you can convert to cash?  Do you have paintings or pottery to sell?  Your hobby may give you an opportunity to generate income.  Since you’re not working 9 to 5 you can allocate more time to hone your hobby or craft.  What if you don’t have hobbies?  Retirement is a great time to study the guitar or learn to scuba dive.

Travel.  Distant lands are calling.  Travelling by land, sea or air is good for the soul.  In addition to seeing our big blue planet, you’ll experience different cultures and meet amazing people.   A trip to New Zealand, China, Greece or Peru will expand your horizons.  Local travel is also captivating.  Visiting our National Parks is breathtaking.  A hike through Yellowstone or Yosemite will leave you speechless.   Sailing the seven seas will allow you to discover two-thirds of our earth.  It’s also possible to turn your travel into extended stays.   How would you like to live in Sardinia for a few months?

Fitness.  If you take care of your body, it will take care of you.  Yoga, walking, swimming, cycling or lifting weights are low impact activities that provide numerous benefits.  Regular exercise can improve sleep and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.[3]  Twenty to thirty minutes a day is all you need to maintain or improve your health.

Fish.  Fishing for trout with a Purple Haze Parachute fly while floating the Bitterroot may be in your future. Fishing, of course, is a popular retirement hobby.   Most people live near a pond, stream, river or ocean so finding fishable water should be easy.  Fishing can also be a lifelong sport enjoyable for the entire family.

Golf.  Golf may be the ultimate retirement prize.  Workers will endure forty years of employment so they can spend the rest of their life golfing.  Florida, Arizona and other sunbelt states benefit greatly from retirees.  If you’re going to spend the rest of your life on the golf course, make sure you dip yourself in sunscreen regularly.

Nothing.  Of course, doing nothing is an option.  You may want to sit on the couch all day and watch TV but I doubt it.  Retirement is an exciting time so I’d encourage you to get off the couch and enjoy your retirement.

The golden years will be the best years of your life.  The ability to do what you want, when you want is peaceful.   Your retirement will give you a chance to live life on your terms.   Retirement can be a life of leisure but I’d encourage you to use your resources (physical, spiritual and financial) to help others and yourself!

Happy Retirement!

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.  For more information on retirement planning, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.

June 2, 2017

[1]http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/ct-marksjarvis-0422-biz-20150421-column.html, Gail Marksjarvis, April 22, 2015.

[2] http://nypost.com/2015/09/03/people-who-donate-to-charity-are-much-happier-and-healthier/, Reuters, September 3, 2015.

[3] https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29265/does-exercise-help-reverse-the-effects-of-aging.html, By Leigh Weingus, May 20, 2017.