Preserving Wealth – Book Review and Giveaway
Contrary to what the financial industry advertisements tell you, saving for retirement is only one challenge for investors. Unfortunately, preserving wealth and sustaining it gets very little attention. So, I believe, most of the financial industry has mixed priorities: while planning for retirement is of course important, there is a massive knowledge and tactical gap to fill when it comes to preserving wealth and retirement income planning.
Simply put: asset decumulation – which essentially begins when workplace paycheques stop – needs much more attention.
I’m trying to do my part on this site. I’ve discussed asset decumulation articles on my site before and will write many more with time:
If you need to figure out retirement income for life – here are some FREE calculators and resources.
Curious how much cash you should keep for retirement? Consider a cash wedge approach here.
Asset decumulation is a daunting challenge to navigate which needs planning many years in advance for. Questions related to retirement income planning abound that are very personal and unique to your own situation and savings:
- How long will my assets last?
- What accounts should I draw down first?
- Did I save enough money to meet my income needs and wants?
- When should I take government benefits to support my retirement income?
- How can I be tax efficient with my investments?
- And on and on and on….
While I certainly know plenty about asset decumulation ideas for our financial plan, I don’t profess to know everything for others. So, my guest today offers some experience when it comes to financial planning work with clients.
Welcome to the site Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP®, who is a financial advisor at Assante Financial Management Ltd. with over twenty years of experience and author of Preserving Wealth – The Next Generation: The Definitive Guide to Protecting, Investing, and Transferring Wealth.
Before we giveaway a copy or copies of this book to a lucky reader, like we normally do on My Own Advisor, I took some time to get to know Jack recently and read his book this summer.
Jack, welcome to the site!
Thanks for having me, Mark. It’s a pleasure.
Jack, tell readers about yourself.
Sure Mark. I’ve been very fortunate to work as a Financial Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional who’s had client’s interests at heart. In addition to helping clients preserve and transfer their wealth over the years, I’ve also helped clients who are or will be making the transition from their working years to retirement, with the need to develop a lifelong income and cash flow strategy from the financial assets they have accumulated. To your points above, this can be a daunting challenge for many but with the correct support, it is totally achievable.
While I’m passionate about investing and helping others, as a lifelong resident of Burlington, I also dedicate much of my spare time to staying active and coaching high school football. Spending time with family is another core value of mine. I thoroughly enjoy attending sports events with my son Connor and watching country music concerts with my daughter Paige. I also enjoy travelling with my wife, Sandi, and with friends to explore new destinations when we can!
Jack, even though I’m in my 40s, I’ve embraced the asset decumulation puzzle for some time now to ensure I’m designing our needs and wants into any semi-retirement plans. I’ve put a lot of thinking into our plan and it’s not over yet. I suspect you wrote the book to share what others might be missing from their preserving wealth plans. Can you comment on that?
Absolutely and thank you for taking the time to do this. Sites like yours provide an excellent resource of financial education that people really need.
I believe financial education is important, and that is one of the reasons I wrote Preserving Wealth.
A book is an “old school” way to disseminate information to people who really want to know. If you buy a book, you typically have an interest in a subject.
I also wrote the book for my own metacognition.
I read a quote from James Clear (who wrote Atomic Habits) that describes this, “If you think you can learn a lot from reading a book, try writing one.”
I imagine that you have found the same thing in that, when you write about a subject, it requires greater clarity and enables you to better understand yourself.
For sure Jack. There are many benefits in having this blog. One outcome is I can better understand and articulate my hopes and fears when it comes to personal finance and investing – I figure if I can explain things to others, I can understand it myself!
I agree with you!
Preserving Wealth has been around for some time actually. The original version was written over 20 years ago. It was based on my experiences of being an executor at a young age for both my parents. I had just started in the financial planning business, and I thought it would be a great way to pass along information.
A few years ago, based on my expertise and doing the “reps” over the years of helping clients, I decided to update it and make the content current.
I feel the difference that Preserving Wealth can offer from other books is it’s in the form of a narrative. I think that approach can make it interesting for people to read, and perhaps easier to understand.
Good stuff. So, without too much detail here (we’ll leave that to the book), what wealth preservation approaches do you believe deserve the most attention? Why?
Great question. I consider the best approach to wealth preservation is the ongoing process of financial planning. I think you’ve discussed this on your site Mark: while a financial plan is a good starting point and is needed, I believe the ongoing planning process is invaluable.
The greatest value a financial advisor can provide to their clients is to guide them and make adjustments to the plan over time as “life” happens.
By having ongoing dialogue, guidance, and adjustments, you will be current in the key areas that will help you to Preserve Wealth:
- Retirement and cash flow planning
- Investment management
- Tax planning
- Estate planning
- Risk management.
Fully agree – the process of continuous planning is critical.
Jack, wealth erosion can affect any plan. Those erosion sources could be taxes, inflation, poor (future) investment decisions, future generations lacking financial literacy and more. Can you share any case studies or stories about these from clients?
Two of the most common issues I have seen when people come in are:
- they haven’t put a lot of thought into the decumulation strategy,
- and they do not have up to date or proper estate documents.
When we first meet retirees, a common issue is they haven’t selected a proper sequencing of income or an investment location for their cash flow requirements. The result is they end up paying more in taxes than they need to and are able to spend less.
Appropriate estate documents are another key issue.
We had a situation where a couple had named their old neighbour, who had moved away, as subsequent power of attorney for property.
For years we encouraged them to update and change it, but they never would.
Both became quite ill, but fortunately they were able to change power of attorney to a local family member just in time. Eventually one spouse passed away, and the other is in a long-term care facility. Without the change, it would have been very difficult to take care of the surviving spouse.
Depending on the source you read, some experts have estimated that some $1 trillion of inheritance will pass from one generation to the next within the next decade. So, the ability to effectively manage one’s wealth (and prepare a proper estate plan) seems essential. What are the elements of estate planning – what do Canadians need to consider?
Estate planning is essentially a way to protect your family today and in the future. It allows you to make sure your spouse, family, and anyone you care about is taken care of.
For example, a client who had terminal cancer said to me, “We all have an expiration date, mine is just sooner than yours. I am not really worried about myself; I just want to make sure that my family will be okay.”
Specific areas to consider include:
- investment strategies to provide for growth and protection of capital,
- developing an effective estate transfer plan to reduce estate costs and taxes,
- strategies to preserve wealth and safeguard an inheritance or gift for the next generation,
- the critical discussions to have with your family,
- and how to assemble a financial team.
Is anything missing Jack and if so, what?
It is a very good summary, Mark.
The one thing on the list I would add is a plan for digital assets. Digital assets can include items such as:
- Personal items: social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, photos, blogs, personal websites, email, pictures on your phone.
- Items that have monetary value: blogs, company websites, credit card points, and digital currencies.
Digital assets are only going to continue to grow, and without a digital plan there may be no way to get those assets to whom you want.
Again, your readers might be interested in this resource Mark, related to digital asset planning.
As a financial professional, that works with clients every day, what do you believe are the 2-3 things all Canadians need to consider when it comes to preserving wealth or handling their estate?
If I had to pick just three, the top three things would be:
- Make sure your estate documents are current and review your beneficiary designations.
- Engage in the ongoing financial planning process.
- Create an “Elder Care” Plan.
More reading from Jack: you better have a plan for a retirement home…
Lastly Jack, how you managing your estate plan? Any details or insights to share?
Sandi (my wife) and I both have current estate documents and beneficiary designations. Our kids also have Wills and Powers of Attorney.
We review our insurance requirements every 2-3 years.
All of our key documents are in a secure cloud-service, and we are in the process of putting the originals in a safe in our basement.
We have provided copies of our Wills, POAs, and asset locations to the executors and attorneys. (These needs to be updated.)
We have trusts set up in our Wills, in the event we both pass away at the same time, for our kids to the ages of 25 and 30. I would like to change that to 30 and 35, but Sandi wants to keep it the same…
We need to update our digital estate plan. Always work to do!
Yes, there is Jack. Thanks very much for your time and now, the book giveaway!
Readers, Jack Lumsden is pleased to offer:
- one (1) free hardcopy of Preserving Wealth, and
- five (5) e-copies of Preserving Wealth to some lucky My Own Advisor winners!
Use the entries below to enter the giveaway and I’ll draw winners at random in a few weeks. Both the hardcopy and ebooks will be sent to you from Jack personally; ebooks can be downloaded to read on your favourite device.
Further My Own Advisor Reading:
These are six big retirement mistakes – and what I’m doing to avoid them.
Disclosure: My Own Advisor has no affiliation with Jack or his firm. This post was simply done for educational and informational purposes only.
“This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see me for individual financial advice based on your personal circumstances. The information provided is for illustrative purposes only. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses, may all be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated. Please read the Fund Facts and consult your Assante Advisor before investing.
Insurance products are services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc.”