Rethink Retirement

It’s not about net worth, it’s about income.

I wanted to take some time to address the thought process and the idea behind our website tagline, Rethink Retirement – especially for those outside the AT&T ecosystem. AT&T had a marketing tagline that ran between 2010 and 2014. That tagline was “Rethink Possible.”

It’s a great line – and I thought that phrase might come to mind for retirees as they move into this new and what should be an exciting and fun stage of their life where they don’t have to get up and go to work anymore. For whatever reason, “Rethink Possible” just resonated with me; it made me think about the idea of all the possibilities as someone moves closer to retirement. I believe many retirees have these thoughts or conversations with themselves as they get ready to retire. They want to know, and I believe they want input from their financial planner as well – at determining what’s possible. With the money that I’ve saved and the age that I am, the time that I’ve got, and maybe the risk that I can take, what’s possible for me? What income can I take from what I’ve saved?

The idea was to give some respect to that piece of AT&T marketing history, and we glued it together with our concept that many retirees, whether they work for AT&T or not, really need to rethink their retirement, going back to focusing on a safety-first approach, concentrating on what type of dependable, sustainable income those retirement assets can generate rather than just asset accumulation. Getting right to the heart of it, in my experience, most retirees are taking on too much risk and at really no fault of their own. They don’t know any better and neither do most financial advisors in my opinion. They transition from their working years into their retirement years with the same investment strategy, with the same investment plan, in many cases, no changes at all. Except now, the paycheck has stopped and they are going to begin taking money out of those investments over the rest of their lifetimes.

They might be maintaining a 60/40 stock-to-bond allocation, maybe a little more aggressive, maybe a little less. Maybe it’s a lot less as they move into retirement, but essentially the same concept. They’re not tying the types of investments they own to the types of risks they’ll run into.

In our opinion, retirees need to rethink retirement. They need to step back and learn to look at this a different way. Those assets and retirement aren’t about net worth. It’s about the income that those dollars can generate. More importantly, the dependable, sustainable income that those dollars could be turned into.

The “Rethink Retirement” concept was designed to do two things: ring a bell in an employee, a long-term AT&T employee’s mind, tying back to something that was familiar to them through their company, but represented something that was also right in front of them or quickly approaching; their own retirement. Hopefully bringing to their attention that they need to rethink retirement, they need to look at this a different way by examining the risks to their retirement. It is my opinion that you don’t invest and manage assets in retirement or the distribution phase of your life the same way you did in the working years or accumulation phase. It’s very important to understand, that doing the same thing that they’ve done in the past is probably not going to work – let alone get them through retirement. Unless they’re wealthy, and most people aren’t, they need to have a strategy to address the time, the risk and the income elements of retirement.

You’ll notice right away on our corporate website (, that it’s specifically geared towards AT&T employees. However, this site is for anyone age 50 or older and thinking about retirement. It was important to me to give some recognition to these employees on our main site because working with AT&T employees is in our DNA. It’s what got us started. It’s what built the foundation of our practice, and we’ve been very fortunate and very lucky to work with such a great group of people for 17 years and counting. We want to give them credit because our expertise and focus for years has been assisting AT&T employees with their transition from working into retirement; and as a result of that work, we’ve come across retirees from all walks of life, whether referrals, friends, neighbors, family, or spouses who’ve worked for other companies. With that experience, we wanted to build out a site that was designed for pre-retirees regardless of where they work.

Many of the concepts we discuss will carry over because whether you work for AT&T or Amazon, Dell or the federal government or any big company in America right now, there might be some differences on the process of leaving the company, what kind of paperwork needs to be filled out, who needs to be called – maybe to access money in your 401(k) or to start your pension, but conceptually, it’s the same. What you’re trying to do at retirement is the same. On the other hand, if you’ve worked for the phone company, I think you’ll find it reassuring that we’ve worked with many people just like you for the last 17 years. We understand the process and the pension and the feelings you have when you think about leaving the phone company after such a long career. I think that’s comforting for many of our clients.

Once you’ve retired and that money is available or that money is rolled to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or you’ve started a pension or you’ve started social security or you’re working towards that and trying to plan or optimize a strategy for taking social security, it’s all the same. It doesn’t matter at that point. Your goals and objectives are the same as anyone else’s for the most part. It’s taking the money that you’ve worked hard, saved, and built up, and converting that to an income stream.

Our focus, our expertise lies there. This site that you’ve landed on, though it still carries some of that familiarity of our corporate site, is for anyone approaching retirement. I would say that anyone over the age of 50 could benefit from visiting this site and reading our blog. The information, some will be specific, geared towards AT&T employees, but the majority of it and the lessons, the philosophy, the concepts, the structure, the ideas, the underlying core of information … will apply to everyone. We hope whether you work for AT&T or any other company out there that you find some value in what we’re doing here and in the information that we’re providing.

We’re available to answer questions by phone or email and would certainly look forward to assisting you in any way we can. If you happen to be looking for a financial planner, we would love the opportunity to step in to see if we can help. I think you’ll find our process and approach very different than most other financial firms out there with a laser like focus on helping our clients’ transition into retirement and building portfolios for income.

If we can be of any help at all, please feel free to reach out. Again, this post was to highlight and bring some focus to where the “Rethink Retirement” concept came from and to underline that we’ll continue to build on this concept. As the blog develops, along with my voice and writing style, we’ll dig more specifically into the strategies that we deploy and our philosophy around putting a retirement income strategy together. I hope you’ll join me…