A Graduation Story
By Ric Edelman
It’s not every day that I tell a client to stop being my client. But that’s what I said to one couple recently.
They’ve been my clients for nearly 20 years. When we first met, they were in their 50s and their primary goal was saving for retirement.
Well, after years of diligent saving, they achieved their goal! In recognition, they recently sold their home, paid off the remaining mortgage and used most of the money they’ve accumulated over the years to purchase a new home in an over-55 retirement community. Their purchase price included not only the house itself, but all utilities (including telephone and cable TV), lawn maintenance and two meals per day at the clubhouse. Their remaining monthly expenses will be more than adequately covered by their monthly pension and Social Security income.
After buying the home, paying the entrance fee and incurring various move-related expenses (including some new furniture), the couple will have about $60,000 left. And that’s when I told them that I should no longer be managing that money.
After all, they’ve reached their goal. They now need to protect the cash and ensure that it remains available to them whenever they need it. Therefore, we advised them to put the money into FDIC-insured bank accounts, CDs or U.S. Treasuries. They’ve “graduated” and no longer need our investment management services. We’ll continue to help them with estate planning, insurance and other financial planning matters, of course, and we’ll do so for free for the rest of their lives.
Like parents wistful upon seeing their kids graduate from college, there’s also a sense of pride at witnessing this achievement. We’re proud of our clients and honored to have been a small part of their success.