What about this “massive makeover”? It simply means I’m no longer just a purveyor of all things investment/insurance, e.g. mutual funds, annuities, stocks, insurance etc They have all become low cost commodities, available everywhere and anywhere, for far less cost if only one knows where and how to find them.

No, I feel I’ve become much more. I now think of myself as a coach, an advisor, a guide, helping my clients find ways to make every dollar they spend go farther than ever before. Which in turn can lead to reaching and maintaining their goals and objectives in the most effective ways possible.

After all, having expenses under control and income guaranteed for life can go a long way toward removing many of our anxieties and insecurities. Which then allows us to pursue the joys of life, secure in the knowledge we are able to meet whatever financial challenges life may send our way. And how do we acquire that secure, guaranteed lifetime income and security? Let me count the ways.

First step, analyze where the expenses are currently going, especially the big ones. Insurance premiums, (you know the old adage “insurance poor”), investment expenses, taxes, oh those pesky taxes, and more. Find a way to reduce those expenses and you’ll free up more dollars to spend on the joys of your life.

Expense Reduction

Insurance Premiums. Whether life, property, or health, oftentimes we can reduce premium expenses in a myriad of ways. Change deductibles, modify coverages, even change companies. Much of the insurance world has become a commodity with literally thousands of companies vying for our business. So let’s start shopping and make the best choices.

Investments are a good place to look. Investment management has also become a low priced commodity in recent years. You can now retain quality financial services firms and reduce your current investment expenses by 50% or more!

Some investment managers charge 1%, 2% or more of the amount you invest. On a $100,000 account that’s $1,000 to $2,000 in fees every year. What if you could retain one, or more than one premier manager for $500 per year, or as low as $300 a year on the same type of account? Well, you can! Some of the best, most experienced and successful are yours for half, or even less than half of what you may be paying now! And all this with no commissions or transaction fees! Isn’t it about time you terminated those other guys charging thousands of dollars each and every year, whether your account does well or not? Yes, I thought so.

Taxes: A great place to search for savings! Many people are paying far higher taxes than need be. As the great judge Learned Hand said “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury”. 

At this point you may be asking, what fees do I charge? First, I perform an analytical service concerning your specific situation, then compile a written report. This report itemizes the amount of potential savings reaped by implementing the recommendations.  

My fee for this service is typically a one time charge equal to 50% of your first year savings. Example: I uncover $4,000 of annual savings for you, maybe because you’re paying high investment fees, high taxes, or maybe your insurance coverage is making you “insurance poor.” Or maybe all the above.

You implement the recommendations and realize $4,000 of savings the first year, and potentially every year thereafter. My one time fee to you is 50% of the first years savings, or $2,000 in this example. (one half of the first year $4,000 savings) And………. these savings may continue for many years into the future. My fee does not.

Makeover #2: I’ve also shifted my concentration from attempting to help and guide just about anyone to focusing my efforts on a much more specific client, namely, MSW’s. And what are MSW’s you may be wondering? It’s the Mature Single Woman, primarily but not exclusively Divorcees’ and Widows. A group of people I believe are under-served and oftentimes taken advantage of by less than scrupulous people, including financial advisors.

See: A Man is Not a Financial Plan

Why MSW’s? It has been my experience over my long career that many women have relied heavily on the man in their lives so when divorce or widowhood arrives, (unfortunately the majority of married women do become widows), they are woefully unprepared to deal with the many issues that come their way, including money issues, ………………….especially money issues.

So if you, or someone you know, is facing ever escalating expenses, or insufficient fixed income, and are unsure of what choices to make, tell them there may be solutions.

In closing, if you are a member of a business or social group and desire a speaker to discuss these issues, we can make arrangements for me to speak before your group. Feel free to let me know.

Steve Hood is a financial advisor/coach with more than 35 years experience, concentrating in financial and retirement planning.

Disclaimer: Nothing herein is intended as a specific recommendation(s) or advice.