Retirement Planning

It’s not just money - it’s Life

What’s On Your Bucket List?

Wealth management necessarily requires a focus on investments and cashflows – these are the building blocks necessary to assemble a successful retirement. But a key challenge for the industry and thus an opportunity for any astute advisor, is finding ways to help clients recognize that the underlying reason they’ve been working so hard at saving and investing is in order to create options for a meaningful life.

A focus on the money is a good thing, but when this rises to obsession, that’s to the detriment of the investor. Incessantly sticking one’s nose to the earning and investing grindstone is no doubt profitable. But a mistake being made by many successful individuals, especially as they’re getting closer to their actual retirement, is that they forget to look at life’s big picture.

Think about bucket lists – those lists of everything you as an investor today want to experience or accomplish in retirement and legacy. As an article in US News and World Report points out, though many soon-to-be or now retired people have indeed created a bucket list, “before you know it, years have passed and those items are still just dreams for someday.”

It is for these and related reasons that John Kadletz, AAMS®, CWS®, NSSA® founder of Kadletz Wealth Management LLC in De Pere, Wisconsin says he often steps in to play the role of an “instigator” – an advisor helping his clients better realize the possibilities before them.

kadletzhead“It’s part of my job to be an instigator to help clients lead their best lives,” he said. That does entail finance, helping them manage and use their money wisely. But in that end, money is just a tool. So, I push my clients to ask themselves: What can I do with this money? How can I use this tool to help me and the people around me enjoy our lives?”

Kadletz explains that he has seen many clients over the years that have been working so diligently their entire careers that they almost forget the wealth they have accumulated puts them in a position to accomplish more of their bucket list ideas than they realize possible. The problem here is that the longer they wait, the lower their chances of getting it all done.

Certainly, people at retirement age are much healthier than in previous generations – life expectancies have grown. However, if the bucket list includes sky diving in Utah, skiing in British Columbia or hiking on Kauai, the longer someone waits, the more likely their health or an injury will prevent the dream from coming true. Consequently, Kadletz believes that as an advisor, he needs to understand his clients’ bucket list ambitions and point out any opportunities to accelerate their realization.

bucketlistSpeaking to a client, Kadletz might be saying, “You know you wanted to build a cottage someday or tear down your existing cottage and build a newer one. But before you know it, it’s been 10 years and then 20 years and you didn’t get around to what you were wanting to do. Let me challenge you on that question. Why wait? Why not do it today!”

“I often find I have to push them to think outside that box and into taking that step, he said.”

A key driver of fuller fulfilment in life and in retirement is a close and trusting relationship with your advisor. Put another way, if you do not feel you can trust your advisor with this sort of intimate insight into who you are and what you and yours want to achieve in the years remaining, then likely you’re working with the wrong advisor – at least not the right advisor for you. Finding an advisor where the relationship and trust just clicks can make all the difference.

two kadletz“It's so interesting – and gratifying – how I have clients that when they first come in, it’s with their spreadsheet and they’re talking about this and that, and it’s all about the numbers. But then after about a year or two with us, they no longer bring their spreadsheet,” said Kadletz. “Now they talk about ‘we want to take this trip, or so-and-so is getting married and we were thinking about gifting and legacy planning or estate planning. So they see how they can trust how we are taking care of all this money and their investments that they’ve acquired over so many years of hard work and that simplifies their life. They can focus on the things that matter to their lives.”

One issue that on occasion rises in Kadletz’s practice is that a client will show up and the tables show they’re going to live into their 90’s but they remark “I’m never going to live that long.” Here, Kadletz encourages his clients to realize that medicine is constantly improving and that sometimes with just a bit of effort, health trajectories can skyrocket. The outlook is brighter than many realize, so a longer-term, never outlive your money plan is a better approach.

Ultimately, “trust is essential,” says Kadletz.

“It’s not until you have that trust that you are going to be able to get them to share and you listen to help them live their best lives – to help them find the initiative of doing what they’ve always wanted to do,” he said. And something that gives Kadletz great joy is when clients send him their pictures of traveling the country with their RV or building that lake home they always wanted. “Whatever it is, we want them to share that with us. That's where we get our inspiration and that’s how we know what we’re doing is working.”

For more information on Kadletz Wealth Management, visit:

Kadletz Wealth Management
3311 S Packerland Dr Suite B, De Pere, WI 54115

This article is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. For specific professional assistance, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought. Neither the named broker dealer nor it’s affiliates may offer tax or legal services.

John Kadletz is a Financial Advisor offering securities through First Allied Securities, Inc. a Registered Broker/Dealer Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through First Allied Advisory Services, a Registered Investment Adviser. First Allied entities are under separate ownership from any other named entity.


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