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Piecing together the retirement puzzle

by Owen Mulhern CFP®

It seemed like a great idea to start the 1000 piece puzzle on that rainy weekend.  The family coming together to share in the excitement and challenge of putting together the various shapes and colors was almost too much to handle.  Oh, what fun we were going to have!  

Then, we poured the pieces onto the table.  The 1000 random pieces that needed to be organized and coordinated in a precise fashion were revealed to our awaiting crew.  Wow.  We all agreed that 1000 puzzle pieces was a lot of pieces.  The task seemed too difficult, too time-consuming, and for some of us just flat-out overwhelming.  A few of our participants chose to amuse themselves with other activities, while the not so faint of heart charged forward to begin our monumental endeavor.   

The primary tasks were evident to all; organize the pieces that have a flat edge to create the border, and then group the remaining pieces based on color and the picture on the front of the box.  These steps, and these steps alone, were the key to making any progress on our journey.  There were so many puzzle pieces to consider, and in that chaos, we had to find some order, process, and make small but meaningful progress.  That is when it actually got fun! 

Have you considered all of the “puzzle pieces” of your retirement financial plan? 

Have you emptied the financial “box” on the table to reveal just how many tasks await you?  When that box is emptied, many families are faced with unknowns, challenges, differing priorities – not knowing where to start, many choose not to start at all.  They choose instead to put the pieces back in the box because they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of financial items to organize and many don’t feel armed with the know-how or confidence to get started. We at Financial Coach are not surprised by this.  Here are a few items that today’s modern retiree must contend with:  

Social Security and Pension claiming strategies, Medicare/Medigap eligibility, How to invest and allocate retirement savings, How to get income from savings and investments, Legal documents and estate planning strategies, Gifting to kids and grandkids, Aging parents, Buy a second home or spend the money on travel, College and higher education savings, Long Term Care insurance, Continuing Care Community. 

I could go on, but I think you get the point.  These are big decisions, some of which are in fact irrevocable.  The information is out there, but much of it is either confusing or conflicting.  We know that the consequences of making the wrong decision can be severe, so we avoid that pain by making no decision at all.  Well, ignoring the issues will not make them go away.  It’s time to get organized, take a deep breath, consult a second set of eyes, reorient yourself with the big picture on the box, start with your edges to create a border and begin to put the pieces together.   

Our Retirement Gameplan Process creates 2 substantial outcomes for families who are either retired or approaching retirement: 

  1. Competence – We take the time throughout Your Retirement Gameplan process to educate you on the advantages and disadvantages of your options.  Your decision-making becomes well informed and your plan ends up being appropriately aligned with who you are and the life you want to live. 
  1. Confidence – With the financial pieces now organized, and the priorities and tactics set, your viewpoint on life and “what’s next” will change.  The view through this new lens will reveal that you are not only prepared for life’s challenges but capable of taking advantage of life’s opportunities.  To us, that is an exciting worldview. 

Getting to this point is not an easy task, but it is unbelievably rewarding.  Like the 1000 piece puzzle, you must first face the challenge head-on and take the first step.  Raise your hand, ask for help, and be willing to make some short-term sacrifices for long-term success. 

At Financial Coach we become your partner in organizing all of the pieces, taking inventory of what you have and what may be missing, and then lay out a roadmap for your future financial life.  Once the puzzle border is built, the picture is clear, and the financial foundation is set, you will be amazed by what you are capable of.   


Investment Advice offered through FC Advisory LLC, a registered investment adviser doing business as “Financial Coach” and as “New Wealth Project”.  This content is provided for informational purposes only.  Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FC Advisory, LLC.  Information provided is not and should not be interpreted as investment, tax, legal, or other professional advice or recommendation by FC Advisory, LLC or the members of our firm.  Always consult the appropriate professional regarding your specific situation before implementing any options presented or inferred.  FC Advisory LLC, All rights reserved.

This content may contain hyperlinks to external websites which are owned and operated by non-affiliated third parties. If you use these hyperlinks you will leave our website; we bear no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of these external sites or for that of subsequent links. No warranties or representations are being made about linked websites, the third parties they are owned and operated by, the information contained on them, the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of their content, or the suitability or quality of any of their products or services. 

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Positive Vibes

by Kevin Janiec®

“Luck is believing you’re lucky.”

— Tennessee Williams


Positive Team Update

Owen took a quick trip out to Big Sky, Montana this month to visit his sister.  The slopes, the views, and the quality time with family appeared to be amazing.  What trip are you most looking forward to?


Retirement Mentor Program

While many Americans look forward to retirement, they often find themselves unprepared for the dramatic changes it brings to their lives. Fewer Americans are “very satisfied” in retirement and in an effort to change that, at least on a small scale, Financial Coach has created the Financial Coach Retirement Mentorship program.  By leveraging our network of clients and friends, we hope to create connections between those approaching retirement and those already retired to provide coaching and firsthand perspective on the retirement transition. 

We look forward to launching this program and sharing our progress with you.  Please reach out to Jeff or Meghan directly with any questions.


Fun Reflective Exercise

Strategic Coach – How to find your unique abilityAuthor, speaker, and business coach Dan Sullivan shares six tips on how to identify that quality or specific talent that consistently differentiates you from others.  Read this article to help you find yours.


Heartwarming Video

Little girl dances with mailman every day during quarantineThis viral video recently resurfaced from last year.  A fantastic mailman and an adorable little girl found joy during quarantine by dancing every day on his route.  Check out these moves. 


Bonus Vibes Book Recommendation

Total Leadership by Stew Friedman

Through a career of research, teaching, and personal coaching, Stew Friedman, an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has met many people who feel unfulfilled because they are forsaking performance in one or more aspects of their lives. They aren’t bringing their full self to all of their life domains—work, home, community, and self.  Friedman’s book, Total Leadership, helps readers explore how they can integrate these domains to lead a fuller (or more total) life.


This content contains hyperlinks to external websites which are owned and operated by non-affiliated third parties.  If you use these hyperlinks you will leave our website; we bear no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of these external sites or for that of subsequent links.  No warranties or representations are being made about linked websites, the third parties they are owned and operated by, the information contained on them, the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of their content, or the suitability or quality of any of their products or services. 

This content is provided for informational purposes only. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FC Advisory, LLC.  Information provided is not and should not be interpreted as investment, tax, legal, or other professional advice or recommendation by FC Advisory, LLC or the members of our firm. Always consult the appropriate professional regarding your specific situation before implementing any options presented or inferred.

Investment Advice offered through FC Advisory LLC, a registered investment adviser doing business as “Financial Coach” and as “New Wealth Project”.  |  FC Advisory LLC, All rights reserved.

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Positive Vibes

by Kevin Janiec®

“The snow draws the world down to a whitened hush, forcing us to pause long enough to take stock of everything that we miss in our crazed pursuit to gain everything that we can.”

– CRAIG D. LOUNSBROUGH 

Positive Team Update: Kevin’s first day was a snow day

Kevin’s first day at Financial Coach was delayed because of an unexpected snow day.  He made the most of it by playing in the snow and drinking hot cocoa with his kids, Charlotte and Jack.


Storyworth.com is a game-changing gift for your family

Storyworth.com is a service that prompts, shares, and collects stories from your loved ones that you may or may not have heard before.  It’s connecting families and serving as an easy way that many families are keeping their history, values, and memories alive.

» Check out a review of Storyworth here.


Kids clean snow off cars at hospital 

In the thick of last Monday’s storm, two kids went to Westerly Hospital and helped essential workers get home to their families faster.

» Proof that kids are still out there shoveling snow!


Bonus Vibes Book RecommendationEight Dates by Dr. John Gottman 

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this is a great book for any couple.  Drawing on forty years of research from their world-famous Love Lab, Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman invite couples on eight fun, easy, and profoundly rewarding dates, each one focused on a critical aspect of the relationship.

» Would you and your significant other benefit from the Love Lab?


This content contains hyperlinks to external websites which are owned and operated by non-affiliated third parties. If you use these hyperlinks you will leave our website; we bear no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of these external sites or for that of subsequent links. No warranties or representations are being made about linked websites, the third parties they are owned and operated by, the information contained on them, the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of their content, or the suitability or quality of any of their products or services. 

This content is provided for informational purposes only. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FC Advisory, LLC. Information provided is not and should not be interpreted as investment, tax, legal, or other professional advice or recommendation by FC Advisory, LLC or the members of our firm. Always consult the appropriate professional regarding your specific situation before implementing any options presented or inferred.

Investment Advice offered through FC Advisory LLC, a registered investment adviser doing business as “Financial Coach” and as “New Wealth Project”. | FC Advisory LLC, All rights reserved.