A man who left work 10 years ago says a single meeting with a financial planner made retirement ‘so much better’

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It’s been 10 years since Dennis Friedman retired. Like many retirees, he became obsessive about his money when he stopped working — namely, how his investments were performing and whether he was spending too much.

“After I retired, I found it was more difficult to manage my money because you need to come up with a draw-down strategy that’ll provide you with lifetime income, while minimizing taxes,” Friedman, who retired at 58 after a three-decade career in manufacturing, told Business Insider.

Friedman is far from the only retiree to harbor these concerns. Financial optimism tends to decline as people age, according to a 2017 report from United Income from Capital One. Often, they become less confident in the stock market and their own investment portfolio. As a precaution, many downshift their spending when they really don’t need to.

According to Richard Thaler, the 2017 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, devising a smart decumulation strategy is a roadblock most retirees encounter, Business Insider’s Akin Oyedele reported.

“That’s a problem that gives the best mathematicians headaches because you don’t know how long you’re going to live, you don’t know how long your spouse is going to live, you don’t know what the markets are going to do,” Thaler said in an interview with Pimco CEO Emmanuel Roman.

For Friedman, now 68, the solution was ultimately quite simple: Hire a professional. Though he’d never consulted with anyone about his money before, Friedman decided to hire a financial adviser named Carl about a year ago.

“It seems many retirees are thinking and worrying too much about their money, even when they don’t have to,” he wrote in an article published by Humble Dollar. “My advice: Hire a fee-only financial adviser, so you feel more confident about your spending. It helped me — and I’m now enjoying retirement far more.”

Friedman said he used to check up on his investment portfolio up to five times a week. After his first meeting with Carl, he shifted his perspective — and behaviors — completely.

“Ever since he started showing me charts about my money, it’s dawned on me what great shape I’m in financially,” Friedman wrote. “There’s no need to think about my money because, according to Carl, I’m not going to run out. I have enough to live a comfortable life based on my spending goals. You know what? I believe Carl. For the first time in my life, I realize I’m financially secure.”

Friedman now meets with his adviser four times a year and spends far less time poring over markets and financial news. “With this new mindset, everything in life seems so much better,” he wrote. “The food at restaurants tastes better, the hotel beds are more comfortable and my vacations are more enjoyable.”

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