The Compass Newsletter: Winter 2020

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erik dullenkopf | wealth manager | certified financial plannerâ„¢ professional ca insurance license #0F97513

Note from Erik Happy New Year! Is it too late for that? Oh well. We have entered the last year of the decade (not the first) and I am looking forward to the year ahead. We are going through this retirement process with you, so I thought these articles in the newsletter would be useful. For our Bakersfield audience, we have a workshop planned at the end of March on the topic of a Mindful Retirement, exploring the nonfinancial side of retirement. Joni Youngwirth, a Managing Partner with Commonwealth Financial Network, will be flying out to speak and it should be a very informative & eventful workshop. If you are interested in attending, please contact our office and we will get you all the information you need. I hope you all enjoy our first quarter newsletter and I will see you soon!


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We recently revamped our website in an effort to communicate better with both clients & future clients. On the new platform, our team wanted the website to better match what we stand for as a company, in addition to providing more

information online with relevant & up-to-date articles. The ease of client login will remain unchanged but our website will be updated more frequently with information that will benefit you.

Screaming Eagle Wealth Management has been fortunate to receive referrals from you, our valued clients. We wanted to highlight and show transparency as to who we best serve as a company. All of that can we discovered on our WHO WE BEST SERVE page.

If you are not aware, Erik has written many articles with regards to his gained knowledge of the industries we work with & the correlation those industries face, with retirement needs. When you get the chance, take a look at the INSIGHTS page.

‘The Compass Newsletter’ will now be accessible on our website in a digital version, where you can flip through the pages, just like you would when we mail it to your home.


YOU’VE DECIDED TO RETIRE. WHOM DO YOU TELL AND WHEN? Preparation and timing can be key to making a graceful exit from the workplace. By Matthew Kassel, Wall Street Journal

The decision to retire can be a daunting one. But announcing your retirement may be even harder.

pediatric hospital in Delaware, he found that the process of revealing his plans to his many co-workers was draining. His colleagues began asking difficult questions about his thought process. Why was he retiring now? How would he spend his time? So to shield himself from uncomfortable conversations, he began to watch his mouth at work.

It’s a process that’s filled with uncertainty. How will your friends and family react? When is the right time to tell your boss and your co-workers? And how do you make clear that this isn’t the end of the line but an exciting new chapter?

“Be careful who you tell,” says Dr. Sheslow, “unless you’re prepared to answer the hard questions.”

There are no hard and fast rules, but there are approaches that can help people get through the process as smoothly as possible—in the workplace, on the home front and in their social life.

Hone your message. If you want to answer the hard questions, try to anticipate what questions people will ask most and have convincing and polite answers ready. This isn’t always easy. After all, how do you answer a question (such as, “How will you stay productive?”) if you haven’t figured out the answer yet?

Here are some tips from experts as well as those who’ve made the leap.

Send up a trial balloon. The first thing you’ll want to do is talk with your spouse or partner to gauge their comfort level—and yours. That’s according to Larry Swedroe, research director at Buckingham Strategic Wealth and the co-author of “Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement.” Most people achieve a sense of accomplishment from their work, he says, so you should be prepared to explain how you will replace that feeling without burdening those close to you.

For those to whom answers don’t come easily, a public-relations specialist can help construct a convincing narrative, says Teresa Ghilarducci, an expert on retirement and a professor of economics at the New School for Social Research. Or, just ask close friends and family members to help you practice before the onslaught begins. The reason this is important, says Dr. Ghilarducci, is there is a stigma attached to retirement, particularly among white-collar workers, and you may need to defend yourself against the notion that you are being phased out. Having a well-oiled story at your disposal will help you maintain your dignity and assuage any doubts about your worth.

“There’s that old joke, ‘I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch,’ ” Mr. Swedroe says. “You need to show your spouse that you’ll be spending your time well.”

Be careful who you tell. When David Sheslow decided to retire after more than 30 years as a practicing psychologist at a 4

Protect your time.

American College of Financial Services who recently announced his retirement. Mr. Kurlowicz, who is in his mid-60s and is an expert on retirement planning, says that some people have asked him to continue full time, even though he is scheduled to leave his job at the end of April. Having anticipated such reactions, he laid out his terms, making it clear that his plans were firm but that if he were needed in a pinch, he could still come on board temporarily as a consultant.

A good story can also help fend off those who view your pending retirement as an invitation for them to ask for favors now that you have the time, says Rick Rodgers, a retirement specialist in Lancaster, Pa. Your children, for instance, may now look at you as a full-time babysitter, while your friends may ask you to volunteer for their pet causes. “A lot of people find out that after they’ve retired, they’re busier than when they were working,” says Mr. Rodgers, “because they don’t know how to say no.” With that in mind, he says, you should make clear when you tell people about your retirement that you will have a full schedule, even if you haven’t decided what you’ll be doing.

Don’t burn any bridges. When Keith Correira, 54, left his job as the chief financial officer of a small energy company in southwest Colorado and moved to Las Vegas with his wife not long ago, he wanted to make sure that his employers were aware that he was happy he had gotten to work for them as long as he had and that his decision to leave for an early retirement was a personal one. It was important to him to prevent any ill will, by making it clear his departure wasn’t about any issues he had with the company.

Don’t jump the gun. The question of when to tell your superiors that you’re ready to retire can be tricky. Essentially, you want to figure out when you’ll be ready to go, and then give them just enough time to manage the transition. Tell them too early, and you risk being pushed to the side before you’re ready. Too late, and you may inconvenience your colleagues. A couple of months’ notice is usually a reasonable buffer, says Jamie Hopkins, the director of retirement research at Carson Group, an investment-advisory firm.

That’s the right move, says Robin Ryan, a retirement specialist in Seattle. It’s important to leave your job on good terms, because you don’t want any lingering animosities to carry over into retired life. “People remember you not from the great work you did all along,” she says. “They remember how you leave.”

Be firm. Decide for yourself how much involvement, if any, you’ll continue to have with your employer, and stick to your plan, says Ted Kurlowicz, a professor at the

Mr. Kassel is a writer in New York. He can be reached at


The Honeymoon Phase Of Retirement Why do so many people struggle when they enter retirement? At the turn of the century, a new mysterious device, code named “Ginger” was expected to change the world. Steve Jobs said it would be “as big of a deal as the PC.” But after the Segway Human Transporter was introduced in 2001, it never quite lived up to the hype of revolutionizing personal transportation.

cognitive, physical, and social. These resources tend to diminish the longer we’re retired. Financial resources tend to be highest in the Honeymoon Phase, since retirees have just started spending their retirement savings. For most, aging hasn’t taken its toll on bodies and minds, therefore, our cognitive, physical, and social resources also tend to be at their highest level. As a result, our lifestyle and well-being is often comparable to our life during full-time work.

Likewise, retirement is touted as paradise, a time filled with fun and leisure. Yet for many, it initially turns out to be as much of a disappointment as the Segway.

Entry into Retirement May Be a Letdown

So, What’s The Problem? Despite our resources potentially being at their highest level, the Honeymoon Phase comes with transition challenges related to our routines, roles, and relationships.

We work to save for retirement for most of our lives. We anticipate having the time and freedom to do what we want when we want. However, when retirement happens, many of us struggle with the transition. About two-thirds of recent retirees (69%) say they had challenges adapting to retirement.1

Breaking a Routine That Began in Kindergarten Get up. Get dressed. Get breakfast. Go to school or work. Come home. Eat. Go to bed. Retirement can break this routine. There’s nothing forcing you to live like this anymore. You’ll have a lot more time on your hands. You may enjoy this freedom, but if you’re not sure what you’re going to do with it, boredom can set in. Thirty two percent of recent retirees struggle with getting used to a new and different routine.1

What’s the Honeymoon Phase of Retirement? According to Dr. Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab (, retirement is made up of four phases ( The Honeymoon Phase is the first one. Advertising portrays this time being filled with beaches, bike riding, and golf. It’s true that if you’ve stopped working, you’ll have more time for leisure activities. You might even think, “This is the life. This is what I want my retirement to be like.” But after a while, these activities can become routine. They might not provide the happiness we expected.

Your Relationships Change If you stopped working, you may miss the socializing, intellectual stimulation, and sense of accomplishment resulting from collaborating with co-workers on projects. Among recent retirees, 37% miss the day-to-day social interaction with coworkers.1

The Highest Levels of Resources In each of the four phases, we’ll have varying levels of resources in the following categories: financial,

In the Honeymoon Phase, you’ll spend less, if any, 6

Timing Is Important

time with co-workers, and way more time with your spouse. This adjustment can put a strain on relationships if couples don’t share similar interests or social circles. New conflicts can pop up about the sharing of chores, how to spend leisure time, and how to manage the household.

If you’re nearing retirement, you may be a bit anxious about entering the Honeymoon Phase. Sixty three percent of people feel stressed about retirement leading up to that decision.1 Retirees usually have a smoother transition if they enter it in a planned way, where they choose a retirement date. They tend to experience more anxiety if they’re forced into this phase by a layoff or health problems.

Many retirees in this phase find themselves caring for parents, children, or grandchildren. Two thirds of parents over the age of 50 financially support their grown kids. They provide an average of $6,800 annually.2 Twenty five percent of boomers care for aging parents.3 Trying to care for either grown kids, parents, or both, under the constraints of a retirement budget, can cause stress on relationships as people wonder if they’re overextending their resources.

Making Your Transition Smoother CREATE A NEW ROUTINE Even though we know retirement is coming, most of us don’t spend much time planning what we’ll do when we get there. Ask yourself: “How do you plan to spend your time? What are your hobbies? What activities will fill your days?” Set some long-term and shortterm goals. Moving towards these goals can provide a sense of purpose and control in your new routine.

Your Role Will Change Work gives us an identity, a sense of purpose, and respect. In the Honeymoon Phase, if you stop working, you may miss that identity and sense of accomplishment. You might feel under-appreciated and like you’re in a state of limbo after leaving the structured world of work. Your family members may expect more from you, more of your time and attention, maybe more than you’d like. Your previous identity, built over your career, was clear. Your new identity is foggy.

FIND YOUR NEW IDENTITY Find ways to be productive. Consider volunteering, working part-time, taking a class, or learning a new skill. For more ideas, checkout Find a retirement mentor, someone who’s thriving in retirement. Ask if


they’d be willing to meet with you regularly to discuss transition challenges and options for your new role. DISCOVER NEW RELATIONSHIPS Build new relationships to replace work relationships. Consider taking a class, working part-time, or joining a group where you can meet people. Go to, enter your zip code to find lots of groups in your area. GIVE YOURSELF TIME Don’t expect to hit your retirement groove right away. It may take six months or a year or two to find your new roles, routines, and relationships. WORK WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR In the Honeymoon Phase, you may not be bringing in a paycheck. You might start withdrawing money from your savings for income. You may wonder if you’ll run out of money in retirement. A financial advisor can help you evaluate your situation and create a financial game plan.

Wait a Second. The Honeymoon Phase Sounds Like A Lot of Work Yes, finding your new role, routine, and relationships will take planning, time, and effort. And it will push you out of your comfort zone. But it’s worth it. Consider the possible alternative—a boring and lonely retirement.

To Summarize, We’ve Covered: • What’s the Honeymoon Phase of retirement • The Honeymoon Phase sounds pretty good. What’s the problem? • How can you smooth your transition into the Honeymoon Phase

Retirement Doesn’t Have to Bomb Like the Segway Sure, the Segway never lived up to the hype, but if you’ve bought into the propaganda that rest and relaxation are the keys to a great retirement, you may also be disappointed. Now you know more about the transition to the Honeymoon Phase of retirement. Start planning now for your new roles, relationships, and routines when you get there.

Next Steps 1. Research groups in your area. Go to, enter your ZIP code, and search for groups that match up with your interests. 2. Find a retirement mentor. Find someone thriving in retirement and invite them to lunch. Ask if they’d be willing to meet with you to learn their secrets to retirement success. Your financial advisor may be able to identify potential retirement mentors. 3. Search for volunteer opportunities in your area. This article has some great ideas to get started: 9 Tips to Find an Ideal Volunteering Gig (https:// Sources Source: Retired Baby Boomers Face Emotional Adjustments, USA Today, 2/3/15. Most recent data available used. 1 Retired Baby Boomers face emotional adjustments, USA Today, 2/3/15. Survey included 1,000 people, ages 60 to 73, who retired in the last five years from their primary profession and who have at least $100,000 in investable assets. Most recent data available used. 2 How to stop your grown kids from ruining your retirement, Forbes, 11/29/17 3 How to take care of aging parents and yourself, Fidelity, 9/27/17 Links from this paper to a non-Hartford Funds site are provided for users’ convenience only. Hartford Funds does not control or review these sites nor does the provision of any link imply an endorsement or association of such non-Hartford Fund sites. Hartford Funds is not responsible for and makes no representation or warranty regarding the contents, completeness or accuracy or security of any materials on such sites. If you decide to access such non-Hartford Funds sites, you do so at your own risk. The information in this presentation is provided for informational purposes only. Hartford Mutual Funds may or may not be invested in the companies referenced herein; however, no endorsement of any product or service is being made. The MIT AgeLab is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds. Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC, Member FINRA. MAI138 0618 207248

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Erik P. Dullenkopf, CFP® (CA Insurance license #0F97513) is a Registered Representative and Investment Adviser Representative with/and offers securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered through CES Insurance Agency or Screaming Eagle Wealth Management.