As Susan stepped into retirement, her financial life suddenly became even more complicated. She came into a windfall, and she relocated from Los Angeles to San Diego, temporarily juggling two mortgages. Her longtime stockbroker’s strategy seemed to change monthly and didn’t give Susan confidence during a major life transition. It was time for a more structured and rational approach.
Tell us about your financial history.
“Over the course of my adult life, I’d been using various stockbrokers. At one time or another, I became dissatisfied, either with their knowledge or the attention I was receiving. At one point, I was going to have a big windfall because of my 401k and my company stock. That windfall came in September 2019. At the time, my stockbroker was juggling too many clients, each with their own program — rather than having a systemized approach to the market.”
Tell us about becoming a client.
“I was referred to Personal Capital by friends. I liked the Smart Weighting investment philosophy. I just felt, at that juncture, that was better for me and somewhat safer. The process could have been pretty stressful, but I wasn’t feeling like I was going down to the casino and betting on red. I felt that my assets would be well taken care of.”
How would you describe your relationship with your advisor?
“My advisor is a very calm and informed person. I think if I had been with my stockbroker, with the market tanking and everything else going on at the time, I just wouldn’t have been confident in his fluctuating and inconsistent advice. My advisor has continued to build my confidence in selecting Personal Capital and their long-term outlook.”
As an investor, you sometimes need to tune out all the noise of what the market is going to do next.
Working with a financial advisor will give you an objective person to call.
When Susan retired from work, life didn’t slow down.
She had been with her company for 25 years, logging 70 hours a week and traveling frequently. Shortly after Susan retired, the world came to a halt with the COVID-19 pandemic. In her own life, Susan needed to figure out how to manage her retirement income and also get through a relocation.
Her stockbroker no longer met her financial needs; she wanted a long-term approach to investing with more personalized insights. So Susan reached out to her friends for a second opinion. “They’re very smart people. We see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.”
Personal Capital provided their wealth management services, so Susan started researching. She liked the Smart Weighting indexing approach, which helps investors get better diversification in their portfolios by more equally weighting style, size, and sector.
Susan managed a post-retirement relocation during a volatile financial time.
After retiring, Susan put her house in Los Angeles on the market and made a non-contingent offer on a house in San Diego. And then, the same week that COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, escrow closed on her San Diego home.
“It was an emotional roller coaster. It was very, very stressful. It was the blackest days of the pandemic, and we thought, ‘What are we going to do? We’re never going to sell the LA house. I have two humongous mortgages,’ and I wasn’t working anymore. It was just crazy.”
Her worries were assuaged by her Personal Capital advisor. Together, they looked at her Retirement Planner and saw that even with the market volatility, Susan was in a comfortable financial position.
“Over the years, I have spent quite a bit of time on the phone with my advisor,” she said. “In all instances, I valued the smart, insightful advice and calm demeanor of my advisor.”
Financial confidence has helped her relax into retirement.
Her advisor has helped her navigate her Dashboard tools, such as the Retirement Planner and Smart Withdrawal. The latter, only available to advisory clients, uses advanced tax forecasting to predict an individual’s optimal account withdrawal order in retirement.
In addition to using the financial Dashboard, Susan spoke with an estate planning specialist to set up a living trust and a tax specialist to optimize her portfolio for taxes. “The specialists we’ve talked to are very, very smart people. With Personal Capital, I feel that we’re getting people who are top in their industry in their particular sector.”
“All those things definitely are over and above what any stock brokerage house offers,” she added, “and it’s gratis.”
The client received compensation related to reimbursement of campaign travel expenses that falls within the de minimis threshold as defined under Rule 204(4)-1 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This testimonial is representative of the client’s views at the time it was collected. Advisory services are offered for a fee by Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”), a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Investing involves risk. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. You may lose money. PCAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Personal Capital Corporation (“PCC”), an Empower company. PCC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Empower Holdings, LLC. ®2021 Personal Capital Corporation. All rights reserved.