By Rick Fuentes
MNA Communications Specialist
Ok, check-ups aren’t fun. Not because of what they might find but because what they might ask. Who wants to admit they thought mac and cheese was a food group? Still, they keep us healthy, even financially.
MNA members receive free counsel with Dorval and Chorne Financial Advisors. This is not a small benefit or something to take for granted. Most financial planners charge about $200 an hour for their advice, or, if they invest on your behalf, they take 1 percent of your proceeds as compensation. MNA pays a monthly fee to Dorval and Chorne so members won’t have to.
First, here’s what a financial planner isn’t. It’s not somebody to ask whether Apple will be up or down next year. A financial planner is someone to ask if your life will be up or down in the next 20 years. They’re actually more like life planners.
I sat down with not just one expert, but three of them. They took lots of notes and made copies of many of my financial documents, including paystubs. They asked, “when do you want to retire?” and “what if we could make that sooner?”
It’s also not without the wake-up calls to reality either. Dan Dorval said, “the stock market is down three years out of every 10, and it’s already been up the last nine-and-a-half. So, guess what’s coming?” Dan also looked at my retirement accounts and told me not to believe the big fancy numbers–the ones that say, “at retirement age, you will have $XXX,XXX.” He said that’s based on current returns, and, he repeated, those returns will be down three of every 10 years.
They looked at the investments that my retirement funds are holding onto, and they recommended finding similar funds that charge less to keep them or at least funds where the fees are more transparent. That, they said, is determined by the letter after each mutual fund’s name.
I also need to look into retirement accounts tied to a target date that will then tailor the investments to hit that date, rather than be spread out all over the financial world. I could pick a target date when I expect to retire then, say 2035, and then let the financial algorithms do the work.
First things first, though, was the advice that I set up a Roth IRA now and max it out for 2018, which is $6,800 for this year. I could even automate it, so money coming from my paycheck automatically goes into an account that fuels the Roth IRA each year to the maximum allowed amount.
This is all rocket surgery to someone who graduated with a degree in journalism and a minor in Art History. I avoided math and science as long as I could as a kid, but I found out I can find someone to think about that stuff for me as a grown-up. Ok, sort of a grown-up, anyway.
MNA members can set up appointments to see Dorval and Chorne by calling 612-436-3714 or their website. If enough co-workers want to set up appointments, the team will come to your workplace for a group session.