Retirement Planning

Boomers: Retirement Reality Check

“Nowadays, with a million dollars, you have to take a lot of risk to equal what you could have received with that portfolio even a few years ago,” said Denis R. de St. Aubin, CEO and President of Old North State Trust, LLC. The North Carolina firm offers estate settlement, along with income, trust and estate tax consulting, and asset management services.

Old North State Trust is a family-founded and operated firm. St. Aubin has been in business since 1992, when he started Heritage Investments, a registered investment company. In 1994, the company was renamed North State Financial. Later, as he saw the need for an independent trust company in regions served by the firm, Old North State Trust, LLC, received a state charter in 2004.

St. Aubin recently sat down with The Suit Magazine to discuss retirement, the market and his firm’s plans for 2016.

“When it comes to retirement,” he said, “many boomers need a ‘reality check.’ It is extremely likely for them to still be working past 65.”

“Many [baby boomers] based their expectations on their grandparents, who lived into their 70s. Now, our parents live into their 80s and they’re still doing fine,” he said, noting that his firm has four employees over 65, one of whom will be 74 this year.

“You’re going to see more and more of that generation working into their 70s, just because they don’t have a big enough nest egg yet or because they want to continue working,” St. Aubin said. “I think that’s going to be the trend … especially given that most people in their 70s are perfectly healthy.”

That is why Old North State Trust sets realistic expectations with clients, even if that means telling them that their lifestyle might need to be cut back. “Keeping plans on track is what the client pays for,” St. Aubin insisted, “so it is crucial to inform clients when conditions change.” He also noted that setting realistic expectations means some risk-taking, adding that many want the impossible – returns without risk.

“Typically, we attract clients who want to deal with the same kind of philosophy that we have,” St. Aubin said.

The market is about the “get interesting,” he noted. The firm sticks to blue chip and mid-tier U.S. stocks. Although we do use emerging markets some, we want to use caution given recent instability. St. Aubin said, “When the market gets interesting, we get worried.”

Interesting market aside, the firm has big plans for 2016 – hiring more advisors and spinning off its trust business into a separate company. According to St. Aubin, that won’t change the quality of service or the commitment to clients, however.

“Our family business has been around in one way or another for multiple generations,” he said. “It’s always worked.”

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