5 Things Retirees Say They Wish They Were Told Before They Began Retirement, with Lou Melone

Beau Henderson
Mar 6 · 7 min read

Your mind and body begin to deteriorate quicker than you think and one of the primary (most likely the largest) costs in retirement will be heath care. So, keeping both your mind and body in shape throughout pre-retirement will not only make your retirement years more enjoyable, but more affordable.


As a part of my series about the “5 Things Retirees Say They Wish They Were Told Before They Began Retirement” I had the pleasure of interviewing Lou Melone

As a board CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Lou provides comprehensive financial planning strategies for higher net-worth families to help protect and preserve current levels of wealth, and plan for retirement. Lou has championed a personalized, rigorous approach to financial planning and a strong commitment to a fiduciary standard of care. With Lou’s guidance, Budd, Melone & Company is devoted to continuing to provide high-quality planning advice on their leading proprietary technology platform.

Lou helps clients answer two questions:

1) Do you know exactly how much money it is going to take for you to retire comfortably

2) to remain comfortably retired?

He works with CPA’s to make sure clients have a financial plan that will accomplish their goals.

Lou provides advice regarding implementation, and maintenance of company retirement plans. He works with business owners on selection and maintenance of retirement plans that are of benefit to not only the business owner but to the employees.

Lou began his career with Dean Witter which evolved into Morgan Stanley. He then moved his practice to Smith Barney before forming Budd, Melone & Co., LLC, A Registered Investment Advisory Firm.

Lou is an 8-time winner of 5 Star Wealth Planner Award* awarded by Hour Detroit Magazine and Forbes which is given to top 7% of wealth planners in South East Michigan

He graduated with a BA, from Northern Michigan University and has earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP® Certification), The American College and Certificate- Applied Behavioral Finance, IMCA®

*Award based on 10 objective criteria associated with providing quality services to clients such as credentials, experience, and assets under management among other factors. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of 2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018/2019 Five Star Wealth Managers.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

The short answer is; my passion for business, finance and coaching. I’ve been running businesses since I was 18 years old and have always had an interest in the number’s side of how they work. Finally, I’ve been active in the sport of hockey for quite a while and from this have found they (coaching players or families on finance) have many similarities.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting?

Early in my career, I went out to meet with a prospective client and we discussed some investment ideas. Upon leaving his house, we agreed to buy a few individual stocks- yes, the early 90’s when I used this strategy. I opened the account and purchased the companies we discussed, however as I called the person back to confirm where and how much to send in to cover the purchase, he said that he never had the conversation with me about this (as his spouse got on the phone) investment.

What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Make sure both individuals are present when meeting with a new prospective client- in addition verify you know who the decision-maker is in the family.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

Yes. And believe it or not, I’ve never actually met or spoken to him. Nick Murray. Nick is what our industry would call the “advisors, advisor.” He has written numerous books and has a monthly newsletter that counsels advisors on how planning advice should be provided. In addition, building and maintaining an ideal financial planning practice.

Can you share a story about that?

The first book I read from him was called, “The Excellent Investment Advisor.” It was one of those Light-Bulb moments. At that point, I’ve been committed to running my practice and providing behavioral advice to those finite number of families who want to come aboard “The Ark of Financial Freedom,” as Nick Murry would say.

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

Stop trying to be an expert in everything. A client’s financial success is not a result of investment performance…it’s the investor’s behavior. Focus on what’s important to the client’s long-term success, which is planning.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Simply to give a sense of ownership to all those in your firm. People want to be acknowledged and appreciated for their contribution to the growth of your business.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact nearly every aspect of one’s life. Obviously everyone’s experience is different. But in your experience, what are the 5 most common things that people wish someone told them before they retired?

As an overview; Pre-retirees are trying to win the race (of retirement) to the wrong finish line. It’s hard to blame them, since most of those running don’t know- what they don’t know and is different for each family. Yet if you ask them, they’re confident the finish line is in sight.

Let me explain, the Employee Benefit Research Institute just published it’s 29th Annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) in April of 2019. The key finding is the following; 2 in 3 workers are confident in having enough for retirement…however, only 4 in 10 workers have tried to calculate how much money they will need to live comfortably throughout retirement. Let’s pause for a moment and take in that rather important fact. So, you guessed it…they don’t know, but are confidently heading towards the finish line.

Now that we know a critical piece of the issue; below are the five areas necessary to “reroute” them to the correct finish line:

  1. Create and maintain a date specific, dollar specific financial plan
  2. Invest for a 30-year retirement (Not the next 30 seconds)
  3. Timing the market doesn’t work
  4. Selecting last years “best” investments doesn’t work
  5. Stop behaving yourself out of the returns you deserve

Lets zoom in on this a bit. If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important financial issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?

  1. Create and maintain a financial Plan:
  2. If you don’t know where you’re going…any route may look appealing to get there at the moment.
  3. Invest for a 30-year retirement:
  4. As healthcare and technology are allowing us to live longer, you must invest your retirement dollars to continue to grow as the cost of living (healthcare in particular) continues to grow. In short, 100% in fixed income throughout a 30-year retirement is a great recipe for Retirement Failure.
  5. Stop behaving yourself out of your returns:
  6. I agree with the Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman, when he said, “All of us would be better investors if we just made fewer decisions.”

If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important health issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?

Your mind and body begin to deteriorate quicker than you think and one of the primary (most likely the largest) costs in retirement will be heath care. So, keeping both your mind and body in shape throughout pre-retirement will not only make your retirement years more enjoyable, but more affordable.

If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important things to consider before choosing a place to live after they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?

What to consider is the lifestyle you want to maintain over a potential 30-year retirement- for example; weather, cultural activities, community involvement, proximity to family. Visit as many area’s as possible before retirement to determine if a move (and cost of living) to a different environment is a better fit than your primary residential area.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I’m not sure I’m that big of a thinker…just become educated about your personal finances and the industry that serves it. Which is a nice way of saying, believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

So many over the years that relate to multiple areas of my life that it’s difficult to name just one. Off the top on my head:

-Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stocks for the Long Run, Talent Code, Think and Grow Rich, Your Money and Your Brain, Flight of the Buffalo, Lincoln on Leadership, Good to Great, Manias Panics and Crashes, Legacy, Influence, Wooden on Leadership…and the list goes on.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

Talent/Skill can get you to some of the highest levels of your profession, but it’s Character that will keep you there.

Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I believe we’ve all been exposed to these individuals at the highest levels with and without Character.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

LinkedIN

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Beau Henderson

Written by

Author | Radio Host | Syndicated Columnist | Retirement Planning Expert

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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