Frequently Asked Questions
What makes you different from all the other firms or advisors out there?
We specialize in retirement! We take a comprehensive approach to retirement planning and income planning. Our clients are all retired or nearing retirement. Most firms are generalists. We are specialists in our industry. We feel it is not enough to just have a trading relationship with a firm—that firm should also focus on your tax picture and have a tax reduction strategy. This strategy should help you eventually reduce taxes on your IRA and 401k distributions when you finally distribute. Your firm should show you strategies of how you can eliminate taxes on your IRAs when you pass them onto your heirs. They should also have a strategy to help you develop a personal pension plan to secure lifetime income, without worry from up and down stock markets. Additionally, they should have a strategy to pay for Long Term Care and medical expenses not covered by insurance or Medicare. And finally, they should have a relationship with an institutional wealth management partner, which allows you access to a multi-billion dollar institutional trading and management team…so that they can trade your portfolio in the markets just like the large institutions.
What is your Smart Retirement Roadmap?
The Smart Retirement Roadmap provides you a plan of action for your monies. It’s not just us telling you to put a little of your money in this investment and that investment; it is a true comprehensive income and distribution plan starting at the budget level and taking you through yearly distributions to meet your income shortfalls. It specifically tells you what accounts to pull from and how much. It takes inflation and taxation into account and shows you how long your money can last. It also takes other income streams like Social Security, work income or pensions and any outside investment income (real estate) into account. Finally, it shows how much the heirs can expect to receive when you are no longer here. It is customized for each client based on their individual needs.
How do you get paid?
It depends on the client need. For a comprehensive plan, we charge a flat fee depending on the complexity of the work involved. For access to our institutional wealth management trading team, we charge a flat percentage of the value of the assets being managed, no matter what portfolio you are in (we have many). If there are annuities, life insurance or long-term care solutions, the companies who underwrite the products pay us.
What is a Fiduciary and are you a Fiduciary?
Kennedy Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisor. As such, we are a “Fiduciary.” A fiduciary is different from a broker–dealer (like a wirehouse or bank). We do not fall under “suitability” rules that those firms fall under. We have a higher level of responsibility to the clients we serve. Not only does the investment need to be suitable, but it also needs to be the right fit for the client and appropriate. This is a much higher level of responsibility to the client than a broker–dealer. We are bound to do what is right for the client, not just what is “suitable.”
What do you offer during the complimentary second opinion review?
We offer an in–depth conversation about where you are at currently and where you would like to go. We have a unique, 3–Step Process each client is exposed to’ each client is exposed to. We find that most firms do not have a formalized process. We feel that having a process is important to keep us and the client on track as we progress through the planning process. During the complimentary second opinion review, we offer a no–charge risk and cost analysis of how you are currently invested. We then have that analysis prepared at our second meeting where we also provide a “risk and cost remodel” of changes we would suggest in order to achieve your desired expectations.
How do I know if the advisor or broker I’m currently with is right for me or aligned with my goals?
Is your advisor or broker a “retirement specialist” focusing on risk management and income solutions for people who are specifically retired or nearing retirement? Do you have a specific income plan with a budget that tells you what your income shortfall is each year, as well as what account and what investment to pull from to have inflation and tax–adjusted income needs met? What we find is that many people who are nearing retirement or who are retired are still stuck in the “accumulation” phase of their investment life. The accumulation phase refers to a time that you didn’t care if you lost half of your net worth to a down stock market (like 2000-2002 or 2008) because you had many more years of working to “make it up.” We want to help align your investments for the “preservation and distribution” phase that you are now in. You will need to live off this money now or very soon. You may need to take required minimum distributions on your IRA or 401k at some point. You cannot afford to lose half of your life savings again to another stock market decline. You need to get realigned. How much did you lose during the 2000-2002 Tech Bust or the 2008-2009 Great Recession? Yes, the market came back, but it may not do so quite as quick the next time around. How would you feel if you lost half your life savings in the next 12-15 months? You need to make sure your investments are aligned with this time of your life. You don’t have decades to “make it up” anymore. After our first consultation together, we will find out through our unique, 3–Step Process and our Risk and Cost Analysis what phase your investments are in. We will then give you specific recommendations you can implement in order to realign your money for the preservation and distribution phase your investments should be aligned for today.
How can I set up a free second opinion review with your firm?
It’s easy. Click the button below to enter your information, and one of our team members will contact you back within the next 24 hours to setup a time via phone or in person that works for both of us to discuss your situation.