Outliving Money Can be Mitigated with Disciplined Spending

Survey after survey indicates that running out of money is the biggest fear of today’s retiree.

The longevity risk – thoughtful and strategic attempts by advisors and their clients to financially plan for one’s lifespan – is a very real concern for older Americans who are calculating how much yearly drawdown is prudent.

But this doesn’t have to be as risky or scary as it might first sound, according to Gary Harris, CEO and president of TriFound Financial, LLC, based in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“The question isn’t so much about outliving money, although that is a highly important topic to clients. But instead, it really is about being disciplined – it always comes down to discipline,” said Harris. “We have a frank discussion stating, ‘here is where your numbers are,’ and ‘this is what you are going to generate,’ and ‘this is what you can expect is going to happen if you spend more.’”

Harris says that the issue of outliving their resources is more dependent on the choices clients make, and that it is the role of a wealth manager to teach clients about disciplined spending by thoroughly explaining their options.

For instance, helping clients understand how to best access government benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security is key to their successful retirement planning.

“Long-term care is a huge issue, but it also is relatively easy to protect your assets and money, and receive long-term care from the government with pre-planning,” Harris said.

While growing up, Harris says that his family was poor and financial planning wasn’t a part of their dinner table discussions.

“I had no idea what a financial advisor was,” he said.

Attending college through scholarships and financial aid, Harris was a pre-med student when he fell in love with mathematical algorithms. Later, he was recruited by hedge fund companies and thrived in the fast-paced environment.

Quickly, he came to believe that well-planned financial advice was best achieved via a trio of services: financial advice, of course; but also accounting and legal services to surround a client’s goals with comprehensive, solid guidance that is specifically tailored to their needs.

TriFound Group Photo“The greatest advantage of our firm is that we take a holistic approach with every one of our clients no matter what the size of their account,” Harris said. “Our clients meet with four to five different professionals – CPAs, estate attorneys, tax attorneys and wealth managers – and go through a methodical process to create a customized plan.”

TriFound Financial’s planning approach is what Harris believes the rest of the industry needs to embrace.

“Separating the boundaries between all of these professionals and working together having a holistic approach would help clients immensely and also let clients know who they can trust,” he said.

Doing so is how the firm has maintained its consistent growth record.

Harris said TriFound Financial is slated to purchase at least three additional professional firms in 2018 as it works to increase its total assets under management and help additional clients.
With several branch offices in Michigan and across the country, TriFound Financial currently manages $7 billion in assets. But Harris doesn’t focus on the dollars as much as he looks to “wrap” every client with every financial service needed to ensure their success.

“Our first focus is on the client, we make sure they have more for today and money for tomorrow,” Harris said. “This is what the job of a wealth manager is: to give leadership to the clients.”

For more information on TriFound Financial, LLC, visit:


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