With the notion there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to retirement strategies, independent financial planning advisors Steve Killiany and Dave Murray employ a customized approach to evaluating their clients’ needs. As managing partners since 2010 of Capitol Retirement Strategies at 220 Main St., their focus is retirement planning for people in their 50s and 60s who are either retired or nearing retirement.
“They’re looking to make that transition from all of their life earning income to being retired and living off their savings. We have to figure out how do you make that transition and balance these competing objectives of ‘I need income now, but I also need my money to grow because I might live for 30 or 40 more years,’” explained Killiany.
The firm’s mantra, “Position today’s investments for tomorrow’s expenses,” is the foundation of their goal to “do everything in our power to help make sure our clients don’t outlive their money,” Murray said.
With a long history in radio, where in the ‘80s and ‘90s he was “Dave the Predictor” on a morning show predicting sports outcomes, Murray decided in 2001 to shift his focus to the topic of long-term care insurance and he hosted the radio show “Care for Life” Sunday mornings on WMAL. When listeners began to ask questions about retirement, he segued to financial planning “because I was worried about money and could relate to other people who were worrying about it.”
In 2007, Killiany, who lives in Kentlands, joined Murray on radio and in seminars. In 2016, their radio show morphed into conversational-style podcasts that they co-host on their website. “The Cycle of Investor Emotions” is one of their latest episodes.
“Emotion in this business is unbelievable, which I get because it’s people’s money,” Murray said. “But the only way to deal with emotions the right way is to put together a plan that is prepared for bad times so you can explain to clients tangibly why they don’t have to panic.”
Killiany and Murray begin with an initial meeting with clients to evaluate their needs, desires and risk tolerance and to review documents such as investment statements, pensions, social security statements and summaries of insurance. “We usually end up taking people’s investments that are all over the place, it’s called ‘junk drawer’ in the financial planning business, and coordinate them with a particular strategy or game plan,” Murray said.
“For most people it’s going to be retirement projections,” Killiany said. “Finding out all about them, how old they are, how and where they want to retire, what they’ve saved, and a lot of time we look at survivor analysis if it’s a husband and wife.” During the second meeting, a comprehensive financial plan is presented.
Killiany and Murray typically meet with clients several times to review retirement projections and recommendations and to determine if there’s a “good fit of philosophies. If someone wants us to pick the best stocks and get them in and out of the market at the right time, that’s not what we do. We’re not day trading. We put together long-term plans and operate as fee-based financial advisors,” Killiany explained.
“My nugget is, who needs to do retirement more? In a nutshell, this country is coming down to who has pensions and who doesn’t,” Murray said. He added that some people who made a good income and have a “nice amount of money in their 401K or their other retirement assets have no pension, and you have to now create an income that’s reasonable out of just the money that’s there in social security, and that is the real challenge of retirement planning.”
Killiany thinks there needs to be more emphasis on what is called decumulation planning. “People spend a lot of their working life worried about saving money. That’s good and necessary, but most people haven’t spent any time thinking about how to take money out. That’s the whole reason you’re saving the money is to ultimately use it as an income.”
“Prepare and think about longevity,” emphasized Murray. “Your money has to last a long time as we are living longer and longer. We are very long-term planners. Our goal is not necessarily to make you rich, but to make sure you have enough money for the rest of your life.”
Their next seminar, “Retirement Planning Strategies for People Over 55,” will be held Jan. 18 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Normandie Farm restaurant in Potomac. For more information, visit www.capitolretirement.com or call 240.252.7832.