Retirement: It’s Like Being 18 Only With Money

September 5, 2007

Would that headline catch your eye on a piece of mail?  It’s a pleasant thought to be 18, footloose and fancy free again.  No big projects at work, no mortgage to worry about, and no sense of responsibility keeping you awake at night.  Plus to top it off you’re not even broke!

Back to Reality
As I opened the letter my thoughts of being young with money were rudely interrupted by a reminder that my next chance to shed these heavy burdens would likely come when I was old and grey.  Ameriprise Financial was inviting “me and my guests for an exclusive dining experience”, which also featured  “a private presentation of Retirement: Planning Beyond the Numbers”.

Exploring Retirement
The Ameriprise brochure notes the presentation will explore issues such as:

  • Defining your dreams for retirement.
  • Envisioning the life you hope to live in retirement.
  • Retiring TO something rather than retiring FROM something.

I think it is a good idea to define your financial goals early on in life and retirement is definitely one of them. The brochure says everyone who attends the event will get a copy of the Dream Book guide to help with their retirement planning.  A free meal, free book, and a presentation about money do pique my interest but I haven’t called to sign up yet.

Our Ameriprise Financial Experience
When we decided to create our first official financial plan about 5 years ago we had an initial consultation with someone from Ameriprise Financial.  He was a nice guy but we decided to go a different route.  Our main complaint was that he had no financial experience!  He was fresh out of college with just a general Business Administration degree and he wanted to be our financial advisor.

There was a more experienced person sitting in on the consultation but the rookie would be the one creating our plan.  I know everyone has to learn somehow but I didn’t want him learning with our money.  We ended up hiring a fee only financial planner who was both a CFP and a CPA, and for a cheaper price than Ameriprise!

Retirement Seminar Conundrum
Despite our initial experience with Ameriprise I’m still debating whether or not to sign up for the retirement seminar. As I mentioned, it’s hard for a cheap guy like me to pass up a free seafood dinner at a nice restaurant.  I do enjoy hearing and learning about ways to invest money so it might be an interesting presentation despite the emphasis I imagine will be placed on Ameriprise products.  What do you think, worthwhile educational dinner or a waste of time?


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Responses to Retirement: It’s Like Being 18 Only With Money

  • Ben

    I guess it really boils down to one thing, time. Sounds from Jeremy’s experience that I’d be better off just getting the free book and going through it at my own pace. On the other hand, Financial Blogger and Mom have a good point, why pass up a free fancy meal. They do have a lunch meeting as well, if I can make it over lunch maybe I’ll go, my evenings are just already too full.

  • bill

    Thanks for the heads-up. I’ve received something similar to Ameriprise and wondered if it was worth bothering with. A fee-based financial advisor seems like a good idea provided they don’t have any arrangements for a kick-back on some of the funds they recommend.

  • The Financial Blogger

    I agree with Mom, go have dinner and enjoy your evening. The only thing you have to make sure of, is to convinced yourself to not sign anything on that night. Take all documentation with you first. Leave it on the counter for a couple of days and then read it. You will have a much better opinion on the subject than if you look at it after being pumped by catchy phrases and fulled by wine and desert!

  • MoneyNing

    My friend is a real estate agent and she told me that because of how she looks (gorgeous and young), people don’t take her seriously even though she’s been in the field for years, while some of her colleagues just got into the field and clients instantly think they are experienced because they look aged and wise. 🙂

    On another note, good decision to go with a fee based advisor since they don’t have an incentive to ask you to do something that might work well for you.

  • Mom

    What do you have to loose-I say go to the dinner and hear what they have to say. Make sure you have dessert…..that will be the best part of the meal…..

  • Jeremy

    Don’t bother going. I used to give those seminars for that terrible company. The seminar wouldn’t be too bad, but for the most part all you’ll be doing is walking through their “Dream Book.” It is more or less a nice piece of marketing material that outlines a lot of important questions you need to ask yourself as you prepare and plan for retirement. It is a fill in the blanks type of book that asks you questions and allows you to write in answers. There isn’t much real information in it.

    It will allow you to brainstorm a bit, and really put your dreams out there and get you excited about retirement. Then, when they make it clear that you are nowhere near reaching those goals, you’ll be pressured into meeting with someone and/or get pestered with phone calls.

    If I were you, I’d just request a copy of the book on the web site if you’re interested, and leave a phone number you don’t mind being called on, or a fake number so they don’t call you. And you can easily work through the book on your own (which is a relatively nice tool).


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