Emeritus Financial Strategies
Doug Dahmer, Founder and CEO of Emeritus Retirement Income Specialists is passionate about solving the unique challenge facing the baby boomer generation, as they redefine the concept of retirement. After extensive research and real life trials, Doug has discovered that in the same way a detailed architectural blueprint is critical to building your dream home, a properly constructed life plan is critical to the success of your retirement income strategy.
But there is an obstacle – most people have difficulty organizing, and communicating the critical information a Retirement Income Specialist requires to properly do their job. So Emeritus has created a suite of powerful retirement income planning tools, Designing My OK™.
“Am I going to be OK? – It’s the question we always hear. To answer you must always start with a clear definition of what your OK looks like, including costs and timelines.” – Doug Dahmer
Traditional Defined Benefit Pension Plans are now a rarity. Instead, most people are on their own when it comes to providing a safe and secure income stream for their retirement, an income stream they won’t outlive.
Given unprecedented volatility, record low interest rates, and the cost of funding an extra decade or two of longevity, the transfer of this huge responsibility has come at a very inopportune time.
“More money is always better than less money. More money increases our certainty of achieving the outcomes most important to us, It also provides us with the flexibility to respond to the inevitable detours we will encounter.” – Doug Dahmer
“While baby boomers are getting closer and closer to retirement, the financial planning industry continues to remain fixated on the wealth accumulation side of planning and asking ‘How do we get people to give us more money? versus ‘How do we give people their money back in the most advantageous way?”
According to Dahmer, with some 80,000 financial advisors currently operating in Canada, maybe 200 have the training and the tools to qualify as Retirement Income Specialists.
Dahmer launched Emeritus Financial Strategies as a specialty, turn-key financial service company to provide the necessary tools and training to advisors who choose to specialize as a qualified Retirement Income Planner.
Unfortunately the industry as a whole has a bad habit of treating clients’ spending years as an extension of their savings years. By treating both saving and spending as a simple linear process people fail to recognize that many of the strategies learned in pre-retirement (accumulation) years, work to their disadvantage during retirement (draw down) years.
Leslie Fenicky, Emeritus’s Lead Retirement Income Specialist says, “When you have a properly defined life plan and you know what you are looking for, it is easy to find opportunities to create hundreds of thousands of incremental dollars of net worth. What’s really exciting is that the realization of these opportunities has nothing to do with what’s happening in the investment markets. These opportunities are realized by knowing how to take advantage of variables that are completely under your control.”
Gregory Dobson, previously an auditor with Revenue Canada, has transferred his vast knowledge of income tax into becoming a qualified Retirement Income Specialist at Emeritus. Dobson explains, “Most retirees forget that income tax will still represent the largest percentage of their annual demand for cash flow. Retirement Income planning is about making better decisions about how and where to source your cash flow requirements; how to protect the money you need in the short term from market volatility; how to optimize the recurring income streams you are entitled to; how to avoid common tax traps, and other big mistakes.”
“People will always make better decisions when they have forward knowledge of how much will they need, and when will they need it.” – Doug Dahmer
“If your money managers don’t know, or worse yet, don’t care about what you plan to do, when you plan to do it, and how you plan to fund it, then you can be sure that you are not taking advantage of the tax saving opportunities or pension like discipline in the management of your cash flow. Proper planning ensures your retirement lifestyle is not being dictated to by the current direction of the markets,” says Dahmer.
“Most people spend more time planning a 2 week vacation, than they spend planning the next 30 years of their life.” – Doug Dahmer
From Daunting to Doable
The key to leveraging these enormous opportunities is in the development of a properly constructed lifestyle plan… what you plan to do, when you plan to do it, and how much it will cost. Until recently most people were overwhelmed by the task. They didn’t have the guidance or tools to do so.
Designing My OK™ is the tool that makes this task fun, quick and easy. Designing My OK™ allows people to explore what is possible, while gaining clarity and confidence about achieving the outcomes that are most important to them. Designing My OKTM organizes this information in a format that allows a properly trained Retirement Income Planner to identify and take advantage of the numerous and significant opportunities that are available to all Canadians.
Designing My OKTM shows peoples savings and spending plans well into the future, along with the realities of income tax, varying rates of return, government retirement benefits, and inflation. It identifies how best to optimize sources of cash flow against demand for cash flow. From this powerful vantage point, some 15 to 20 years into the future, those using Designing My OKTM will be able to look back at the financial implications of their current plans, and if necessary take corrective action to avoid the big mistakes before making them.
The whole idea behind Designing My OK™ is to give clients ownership of their future, and empower their decision-making. The Retirement Income Specialist’s role is to help facilitate better decisions. The plan becomes their clients’ plan for achieving their desired life outcomes, as opposed to the industry’s reputation of attempting to impose predetermined plans that support the purchase of a specific financial product.
The current challenge faced by Emeritus is that baby boomers don’t fully appreciate the new challenges they face relative to previous generations, that they need to think differently during their draw down years, and, there are specialists who can help them achieve the enormous financial benefits available to them through proper planning.
To help expedite this awareness, Dahmer is working very closely with one of the leading providers of education to large corporations. A hands-on highly experiential workshop is being developed to enable corporations to provide the level of personalized retirement education being sought by their employees…to help them redefine specifically what they need to be looking for as they prepare for their draw down years.
By carefully selecting and properly training advisors who deeply care about the future outcomes of their clients, Dahmer expects Emeritus to grow from the current 12 employees to upwards of 50 employees over the next two years. This will obviously include new locations across Canada, in the years to come.