ESOPs explained by Bill Keen, Founder & CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors
Engineers understand that something big and long-lasting doesn’t grow overnight. It takes years of planning, preparation, and attention to detail. It requires the incorporation of mathematic, geographic and budgetary limits that must be measured and re-measured. And, it requires the ability to be flexible and open to change as the project evolves.
At Keen Wealth Advisors we understand that like any engineering project, building a secure retirement is a big and long-lasting task. A mistake made at any stage of the process has the potential to endanger the structural integrity of the retirement plan. That is why, inspired by the approach taken by our engineering clients, we apply a similar discipline as we help engineers on the path toward achieving their retirement dreams.
We consider the unique challenges faced by engineers, such as a heavy concentration in an employer’s ESOP and the looming potential of temporary layoffs, as we develop a personalized plan that incorporates personal spending, saving, and investing. We measure and remeasure. We make adjustments as the situation evolves. We incorporate a wide range of details and monitor them to ensure they are all working together to achieve the final goal. At all times, we remain focused on the ultimate objective – helping our clients achieve their ideal retirement.
Our approach to planning for engineers is process-oriented with specific steps and measurable outcomes.
It begins with our three-step assessment:
1. Assets and liabilities assessment – We begin by looking at your assets, including assets related to real estate, ESOP, 401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, bank and savings accounts, trust accounts, Social Security, pension plans, etc. Then, we take stock of liabilities: mortgage, consumer debt, college loans, business loans and more.
2. Spending assessment – Approximately two years from the anticipated retirement date, we conduct a thorough spending assessment to gain an understanding of your spending requirements in retirement. We typically consider two years of spending and adjust for any anticipated changes after retirement.
3. Retirement timing assessment – To help determine an optimal retirement date, we incorporate the insights gained through the assets and liabilities assessment. From a strictly financial standpoint, it’s always better to work longer, save more and delay spending down retirement assets. However, there comes a point when another year of working isn’t worth another year of earnings. At that point, it’s likely time to retire. We work with you to identify that turning point and help ensure you are well-positioned to make the transition to retirement.