Retirement Planning

Retirement Made Easy

Retirement planning can be easy – especially for those who listen, keep an open mind and take their eyes off those always-apoplectic TV pundits.

“These people can get on TV and they can say whatever they want, and nobody has to test their results,” said Chris Hammond, president of Retirement Planning Made Easy, a Savannah, Tenn.-based firm that assists investors from all across the country. “The firm,” Hammond said, “looks for clients who are willing to trust a professional wealth manager, ready to achieve their retirement goals and know that plans can take time to work.”

Hammond takes retirement planning seriously. His website hosts several investment advice videos, and he is a prolific speaker, especially about the value of the often-misunderstood annuity. Those annuities, contrary to what some say, might not offer phenomenal growth potential, but can provide the lifestyle a retiree wants. That matters in a volatile market like today’s.

“In today’s environment, I think a lot of retirees are scared to have as much exposure today to the market as they did in the past, even if the money manager does have a good track record,” Hammond said. “Anytime you have volatility, people are going to get scared … this is money they can’t replace.”

Protecting that irreplaceable money means finding a good wealth manager, and to Hammond, that means a real one – not a robo-advisor. Hammond, who entered the advising industry after working for a lending company, watched many of his co-workers’ 401ks take a beating from a down market. He knows what it takes to reach retirement goals, protect those assets and keep income coming in. Hammond also knows not to make promises he cannot keep, and that, he said, is why potential clients trust him to take care of their money.

As for those investors who seek a robo-advisor and want to cut corners, Hammond noted that it might not be wise for everyone, likening financial Internet-based tools to medical websites that assist in self-diagnosis.

“At the end of the day, I’m still going to a doctor,” he said. “There’s a lot of information out there but at the end of the day you still need an expert to pull it together for you.”

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