By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor
While it’s true our experiences in life impact our financial decisions, having a plan for retirement isn’t something anyone should go without.
That’s the message Stuart Raider and Peter Mendler recently shared with MAP members. The Raider Dennis Agency President and Vice President encourage all members to come in for a free financial analysis and thorough retirement plan, so they are ready when it’s time to retire.
“This is something that is available to all MAP, MAPE and MAFF members that are dues paying,” Mendler said.
Raider’s father, Jordan, was only 7-years-old when his own dad passed away unexpectedly. “He learned about financial and emotional hardship,” Raider said.
Those hardships inspired Jordan to build a successful financial planning business, thus inspiring Stuart to follow in his footsteps with the business and get a college education at Michigan State University. “It taught me a lesson about responsibility for my clients,” Raider said.
Mendler experienced a similar upbringing to Raiders’ father. A former IRS Agent, current attorney and financial planner, Mendler was only 5-years-old when his parents divorced. His dad passed away when he was 12. “I went to live with my grandparents,” Mendler said. “I felt like a charity case. I learned what it was like to feel needy, vulnerable. I’ve worked my whole life to never feel like I’m in that position again.”
His grandfather inspired his financial career. “My grandfather instilled in me the value of saving,” Mendler said. “As we face retirement, we don’t want to run out of money.”
Both partners in the Raider Dennis Agency are fiduciaries. They are held to a higher standard of education, knowledge and responsibility to provide individuals with financial plans that will see them through retirement. “A fiduciary is legally bound to act in your best interests,” Mendler said. “Stuart and I are fiduciaries. We take it very seriously to uphold that trust we’re held up to. Not every financial advisor is a fiduciary.”
With only 10 percent of financial advisors licensed as fiduciaries, Mendler compared using a broker versus a fiduciary to seeking health advice from a butchercompared to a dietician. “Go with someone held to that highest possible standard,” Mendler said.
Mendler also learned it’s important to focus on your health, eating properly, exercising and receiving annual medical checkups because without good health, individuals can quickly become dependent on others. A financial plan doesn’t just focus on when and the person wants to retire, it also takes into account funeral expenses and medical issues that could cause individuals to go through their income more quickly.
Raider and Mendler will look at risk levels when planning, performing testing and analysis to see how a client’s portfolio fared in the last economic downturn. Mendler likened their work to that of a guide on a white-water rafting trip. The guide directs paddlers what to do to avoid flipping over their raft as they maneuver through rapids. “You can’t afford to make mistakes in retirement,” Mendler said. “Isn’t it better to learn from other people’s mistakes?”
They develop a plan focused on getting people income at the right time, making sure funds go to the right places and are taken from the best places for tax planning purposes. They help individuals decide when it’s best for them to draw Social Security. “We run the projections that tells how long the money will last,” Mendler said.
Their system builds in raises so no matter how poorly the economy is doing, the retiree will have enough money for their standard of living. The Agency encourages quarterly review of the portfolio. “We measure risk you can take, then measure the risk your portfolio is at,” Mendler said.
They advise clients about handling finances with their children as well. “Each one of us is an island unto itself,” Mendler said. “The number one reason we’re seeing people run out of money is too much helping of the adult children.”