October Client Letter: 6 Steps That Put You on the Path to a Successful Retirement

Achieving your financial goals doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes a plan, implementing the
plan, adhering to the plan, and when necessary, adjusting the plan.
Simply put, failing to plan is planning to fail. Don’t plan to fail!
According to the Department of Labor,
● Only 40% of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.
● In 2018, almost 30% of private industry workers with access to a 401(k) plan or
something similar did not participate.
● The average American spends roughly 20 years in retirement.
Nearly everyone will receive Social Security, but Social Security won’t pay all the bills.
1. Regularly saving is critical. Once you begin an automatic payroll deduction into a
retirement account, you likely won’t miss it. Let me tell you a short story about my own
experience. When I first started saving in my company’s 401(k), my initial goal was to
put 10% of pretax income in my 401(k).
But that seemed like a mighty big chunk of cash, at least in the beginning. So, I started
with 4%, raised it to 7% after three months, and bumped it up to 10% three months
later. Taking baby steps was much easier than attempting to summit the peak in one
I can’t overly emphasize the importance of capturing your entire company’s match. It’s
free money. Don’t leave free cash with your employer.
2. Start as early as you can. It won’t be long before my daughter graduates from college.
In her mind, retirement is another planet, if not another universe. That’s the case for
many young people.
But we all know the magic of compounding. The savings we socked away when we were
younger has paid big dividends.
Here’s another story. A friend of mine in his early 50s is semi‐retired. Yet, he sometimes
laments that he started saving when he was 26 and not 22. For many, he’s ahead of the
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game, even if he didn’t start right out of college. Still, his decision to start early and max
out his contributions put him on the path to financial freedom.
Let’s illustrate by way of example. Tom is 28 years old and plans to save $500/month or
$6,000 per year until he retires at 65. With an annual return of 7% (assuming annual
compounding), Tom will have amassed $962,024 when he turns 65 years old. Total
contributions: $222,000.
Kate decides to put away the same amount. Kate is 22 years old and will save for 43
years. While her time to contribute is only an additional six years, her decision to start
early is rewarded with a portfolio of $1,486,659. Total contributions: $258,000.
Because Kate started sooner, the additional $36,000 amounted to an additional
$524,635! (Source Investor.gov Investment Compound Calculator. Calculations assume a tax‐deferred
3. What plan best fits my need? That question will depend on your personal
circumstances. For many, your company’s 401(k) is tailor‐made to save for retirement.
This is especially true if your firm has a matching contribution.
Whether to fund a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA depends on many factors, including your
marginal tax rate today and expected rate in retirement.
A Roth offers tax advantages if you qualify. Generally speaking, withdrawals from a Roth
IRA are tax‐free in retirement if you are age 591⁄2 or older and have held the account for
five years. But you won’t capture a tax deduction on contributions.
Current tax law does not require minimum distributions, which can be a big advantage
as you travel through retirement.
A Roth may also be advantageous if you do not believe your marginal tax rate will fall
much in retirement or if you have outside assets that limit your need to withdraw on
your retirement savings.
4. How much will I need at retirement? Again, much will depend on your individual
circumstances. Your retirement expenses and lifestyle will dictate your portfolio needs.
An old rule of thumb that you’ll need 70% of pre‐retirement income may not suffice for
many. For example, will you still be paying on a mortgage after you retire? Or, do you
plan to downsize, which may reduce or eliminate monthly mortgage outlays?
One approach some folks consider is the 4% rule. It’s relatively simple. Withdraw 4% of
your total investments in the first year and adjust each year for inflation. Keep in mind,

however, that this is a rigid rule. It assumes a 30‐year time horizon and minimizes the
risk of running out of money.
Depending on Social Security and any pension you may have, a more generous
“allowance” from your savings may be in order.
5. How do I find the right mix of investments? What worked when you were 30 years old
probably isn’t appropriate today.
While our advice will vary from investor to investor, we can offer broad guidelines.
Furthermore, retirement may be broken into different stages, which may require
adjustments to the plan.
Some investors decide its best to take a very conservative approach. You know, “I can’t
lose what I’ve accumulated because I don’t have time to recoup losses.” But that has its
drawbacks. For starters, you don’t want to outlast your money. Equities, which have
historically offered more robust returns, may still be an important part of an investment
Others may be swept up by what might be called “the current of the day.” Stocks have
surged, which may encourage investors to load up on risk. However, a comprehensive
financial plan helps remove the emotional component that can creep into decisions.
6. I’ve saved all my life. How do I begin withdrawing from my savings? It’s a complete
shift in the paradigm. No longer are you socking away a percentage of each paycheck.
Instead, you are living off your savings.
First, if you are required to take a minimum distribution from a tax deferred account,
take it.
Next, consider interest, dividends and capital gains distributions from taxable
investments, which continues to tax shelter assets in retirement accounts.
If additional funds are needed, consider withdrawals from your IRA or other tax‐
deferred accounts. If you are in high tax bracket, you may consider pulling from your
Roth. Those in a lower tax bracket could leave the Roth alone and take funds from their
traditional IRA.
Bottom line

Let me reiterate that many of these principles are simply guidelines. One size does not fit all.
Plans we suggest are tailored to one’s specific needs and goals. If you have any questions, we
would be happy share our recommendations. We’re simply a phone call or email away!
A September pothole
The S&P 500 Index surged an impressive 60% from the March 23 bottom to the most recent
high in early September (St. Louis Fed S&P 500 data). But stocks hit a roadblock in September.
Table 1: Key Index Returns

Dow Jones Industrial Average ‐2.3 ‐2.7
Nasdaq Composite ‐5.2 24.5
S&P 500 Index ‐3.9 4.1
Russell 2000 Index ‐3.5 ‐9.6
MSCI World ex‐USA* ‐3.1 ‐9.0
MSCI Emerging Markets* ‐1.8 ‐2.9
Bloomberg Barclays US
Aggregate Bond TR

‐0.1 6.8
Source: Wall Street Journal, MSCI.com, Morningstar, MarketWatch
MTD return: Aug 31, 2020‐Sep 30, 2020
YTD return: Dec 31, 2019‐Sep 30, 2020
Given the incredible run, a pullback was inevitable. But as I’ve counseled before, the timing,
magnitude and duration of a pullback is impossible to predict. Your success is based, at least in
part, on time in the market, not timing the market.
There were several factors that played a role in last month’s pullback.
● Any uncertainty creates a good excuse to take profits after a big run‐up in price.
● Daily Covid cases in the U.S. ticked higher last month, per Johns Hopkins data.
● While it won’t be cheap, Congress has yet to find common ground on a new fiscal
stimulus bill. The economic bounce in Q3 has been much stronger than most initially
thought possible. But investors and many analysts believe more support is needed.
● Finally, the election is front and center. We may not have a winner on election night.
Worse, a disputed election would add to investor angst.
2020 election
President Trump and the first lady tested positive for Covid, injecting a new round of
uncertainty into an already tumultuous election. How this may play out is unknown, as we’re in
uncharted waters.

Much will depend on the path of the virus, but heightened uncertainty does put a damper on
investor sentiment.
Amid acrimony on both sides, let me first say that my role is to be your financial advisor. I have
worked hard to earn your trust. I am not a political analyst. I am here to guide you as you
journey toward your financial goals.
Therefore, I will carefully and cautiously review the current contest through a very narrow
prism–through the eyes of a dispassionate investor focused on the economic fundamentals and
how that might impact equities.
Let’s consider these facts.
1. Stocks historically have performed well under both parties.
2. The conventional wisdom isn’t always right. Recall that stocks weren’t supposed to do
well with a Trump win, as investors wanted the continuity a Hillary Clinton presidency
would offer.
3. Compromise and gridlock may engulf a dominant party, as a one‐sided win tends to
expose party divisions. Remember how Republicans would quickly repeal Obamacare?
Some investors fret that a Biden win would lead to higher corporate taxes and heap more
regulations on businesses. But might we see more fiscal stimulus and an easing in trade
tensions, which could support shares?
Longer term, stocks march to the beat of the economy, Fed policy and corporate profits.
A growing economy fueled by innovation and entrepreneurship has been the biggest driver of
stocks over the many decades. In my opinion, that’s not about to change.
I trust you’ve found this review to be helpful and educational.
We have addressed various issues with you, but I have an open‐door policy. If you have
questions or concerns, let’s have a conversation. That’s what I’m here for.
In closing, given all the upheaval in the industry the last few years, I see some things that
concern me. I see clients who are not being contacted by their advisors to discuss their
concerns and situation. I see clients who had much more exposure to downside risk than they
realized, potentially putting their retirement at risk. And I see many advisors who merely talk
about markets, not about the individual client’s situation.
For these reasons, if there is anyone you care about who you think could benefit from a fresh
perspective, I would be glad to help them.


WilliamY. Rice III, CPM® | Eagle Capital Advisors
Founding Partner, Managing Director & CEO, ECA
Wealth Advisor, RJFS
140 E Tyler Street, Suite 240; Longview, TX 75601
T: 903.236.5300 | F: 903.236.5357

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The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in
this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is
accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of William Y. Rice III and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of
this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove
to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Keep in mind that individuals cannot
invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment
performance. Individual investor’s results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot
be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available
data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Matching contributions from your employer may
be subject to a vesting schedule. Please consult with your financial advisor for more information. The hypothetical examples included are for
illustration purposes only. Actual investor results will vary. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally
considered representative of the U.S. stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow”, is an index
representing 30 stocks of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an
unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest
companies in the Russell 3000 Index, which represent approximately 8% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 3000 Index. The
Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is a broad‐based flagship benchmark that measures the investment grade, US dollar‐
denominated, fixed‐rate taxable bond market. The MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australasia, and Far East) is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization
index that is designed to measure developed market equity performance, excluding the United States & Canada. The EAFE consists of the
country indices of 22 developed nations. The MSCI Emerging Markets is designed to measure equity market performance in 25 emerging market
indices. The index’s three largest industries are materials, energy, and banks.