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Connecting the Dots on Your Retirement Plan

David Gardner

Sr. Wealth Advisor, Director


Senior Wealth Advisor David Gardner discusses the three-part approach to retirement planning—and baseball.

Older couple looking at paperwork in their dining room.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.”

–Yogi Berra

What do you want for the future? How do you envision your best day? Where will you live once work becomes optional financially?

Retirement planning first involves daydreaming. You may have vague ideas about what your best future may hold, but it’s important to be specific. Do you want to stop working altogether? Do you want to depend on your portfolio and other income sources for financial independence?

Your retirement plan provides a roadmap from where you are now to where you want to be. Markets don’t go up every year, so if you’re focusing on the day-to-day, market volatility can lead to jitters that may cause you to sell during downturns. Having a solid retirement plan can help you connect the dots for all aspects of your financial wellness, and help you remain focused on your goal to reach economic independence.

Since 1985, Mercer Advisors founder Kendrick Mercer has articulated the primary goal of the firm: To help clients reach economic freedom as quickly as possible. This focus has an important distinction from the classic view of retirement. While some clients may want to stop working as soon as possible, many others will want to continue working when it becomes optional financially. Because Mercer Advisors was founded originally as a law firm, we can help clients not only with investments but also with estate planning, tax planning, and tax preparation needs.


The Mercer Advisors experience



A Mercer Advisors wealth advisor will gather information and perform a thorough discovery to determine relevant information about your financial life. Because money without purpose is just paper, your advisor will ask questions central to your deeper motivations to arrive at your financial why. We then define your goals and help you connect your financial dots to create a larger blueprint for success. We’ll examine anticipated life transitions such as marriage or moves that may impact savings, how much you’ve saved to date, your contribution amounts for retirement and other investments, how much you spend each month, and whether you expect your budget to change in the future. If saving and paying for higher education are priorities, we’ll discuss these in depth.


Research and analysis

Once we’ve taken time to understand your transitions, goals, resources, and savings, we then build an investment plan to help deliver you from where you are now to where you want to be. Some clients may be surprised by the news that they’ve already reached financial independence. Informing a client that work has become optional financially is one of the most rewarding moments for a wealth advisor—it never gets old. For many other clients, financial independence is a few years away, perhaps even longer. We have these conversations regularly with clients, as life events occur and their goals change. Plans are not meant to be drawn up, shelved, and forgotten—they’re intended to accommodate the changes that life may bring.

One of the great Mercer Advisors advantages is that we have the resources and scope of a national firm, with the boutique care of a local presence. Our local team works with our national Financial Planning Group to use industry-leading planning software to craft a customized financial plan for your priorities.



Investment strategy is critical to your financial plan. An appropriate strategy will help you achieve your goals over time. We work with you to design a strategy even when near-term markets seem to conspire against us. Led by Chief Investment Officer Don Calcagni, the Mercer Advisors investment team identifies, vets, and monitors scores of investment options to help clients achieve financial independence. Choices can range from exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds to separately managed accounts (SMAs) that use individual stocks and bonds.

To paraphrase Yogi Berra, you may not arrive at your destination if you don’t know where you’re going. Investing for your retirement isn’t just about hitting home runs—it’s also about avoiding strikeouts. And while your financial landscape is far more than a baseball metaphor, we can help you plan and manage the game.

Mercer Advisors Inc. is the parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. and is not involved with investment services. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”) is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC. The firm only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements.

All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change. Some of the research and ratings shown in this presentation come from third parties that are not affiliated with Mercer Advisors. The information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed or warranted by Mercer Advisors. Content, research, tools and stock or option symbols are for educational and illustrative purposes only and do not imply a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security or to engage in any particular investment strategy. For financial planning advice specific to your circumstances, talk to a qualified professional at Mercer Advisors.