Wednesday, 6 August 2014
What's Your Number? Guest Post by Christopher L. White

So I write a couple of blog posts each week for this space and truly enjoy doing it. In the past, I have mentioned my son, Christopher L. White, CFP®, ChFC® is a Financial Planner with Southwestern Investment Group - an Independent Firm with Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Service, Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC). Their offices are in Cool Springs.

Christopher is my go-to for all things financial planning and has been for quite some time now.  Sure, this Dad is proud of his son but putting that aside (which is hard to do but for the sake of honesty in this article), he knows his stuff and has already helped several of my clients make great progress for their future with their hard earned money.

I invited Christopher to write an article for us and have offered him a slot a few times each year to better educate my readers about his world of financial planning.

"What's Your Number?" Guest Post by Christopher L. White (Financial Planner with Southwestern Investment Group )

Do you remember that commercial a couple of years ago where people were walking around a crowded downtown area, with a number on their back? Sometimes the number was something like $2,147,963 and sometimes it was $643,812. The "number" is a symbol of their retirement nest egg, which most folks utilize for income during their retirement years. Have you ever given much thought to what your "number" is?

If your answer is "no", I can confidently tell you that you are not alone. We've been extremely fortunate to sit down with a lot of folks over the years to discuss their comprehensive financial plan, and retirement and investment planning is an integral part of the plan. Many folks have not thought about what their "number" is, and some are "just hoping that it all works out". I don't know about you, but the latter option sounds a bit terrifying.

When it comes to retirement planning (the process of determining your "number" and developing a prudent plan to hopefully get you there), there are several "controllable" variables that we look at: 1) risk 2) time horizon 3) contribution amount.  For risk, we evaluate the amount of risk you want to take on and the amount of risk you need to take on to reach your future goals and needs.  In a perfect world, these two would be the same…unfortunately, that is not always the case.  For time horizon, how long do you have until you would like to retire (or as I like to say, "make work optional") or start drawing on these hard earned monies?  Finally, we evaluate the necessary and/or available contribution amount, which is often times directly tied to your current expenses.  Why do we focus on these things??  Because we can control them!!!  But, we can't control politics, wars, inflation, economic growth, and how the market will respond to all these factors (we can take measures to mitigate some of the risk, but we can't control them).

On a side note, my pastor always says, "Don't let the world teach you theology!"  I tell clients, "Don't let the media teach you how to invest!"  As Dave Ramsey says, "Don't take fashion or financial advice from late night TV or you'll be sitting around in your Snuggie holding your gold bars. Patient investors that follow a prudent and well developed retirement game plan historically have a higher success rate of accomplishing their goals, compared to folks that don't.

When was the last time you sat down and reviewed your "number"?  This year?  Last year?  Never?  Whatever your answer is, it's ok.  There is no better time than now, whether you are 25 or 65.

I heard an adage years ago that made a lot of sense and it certainly rings true in this context, "People don't plan to fail…they fail to plan." My father always told me, "Make your plan and work your plan."  So again, what is your "number"?  If you haven't reviewed it in a while or if you have never developed the plan, there's no better time than now!!

If you would like more information from Christopher and how he might assist you in your financial planning future, visit him here at his website: and to get a better perspective of who he is and why he does what he does - Watch This Video If you have questions for him - Send An Email

He does the financial side - I do the insurance side!  We've got you covered and as always, I'm ready to help you with your insurance.  Contact us at or contact me or my staff at 615.377.1212.

Posted on 08/06/2014 10:19 AM by Christopher L. White
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