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What Dr. Fauci Can Teach Us About Financial Planning

Molly Goetz, CFP®, CDFA®

Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease specialist turned reluctant celebrity, has shared his expertise and insights with the country as we battle COVID-19. You may not realize it, but Fauci has also taught us about financial planning. If that sounds like a stretch, just listen to what he has to say.

The kinds of mitigation issues that are going on right now, the things that we’re seeing in this country, this physical separation at the same time as we’re preventing an influx of cases coming in, I think that’s going to go a long way to preventing us from becoming an Italy,” (Dr. Fauci on “Face the Nation” 3/23/20).

In this interview Dr. Fauci shares signs of encouragement as he assures us that we can take action through mitigation measures that can favorably change the models. If the financial projections we develop for clients don’t result in a probability of success within our confidence zone, we strategize with them about concrete actions that can be taken now to help achieve future financial success.

“We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet,” (Dr. Fauci, interview with the AP 04/14/20).

Dr. Fauci warns us that reopening the economy will require a reliable plan to be successful. Whether we are looking at reopening the world’s largest economy or looking at planning a successful retirement, Dr. Fauci is right- we need a plan.  At Greenspring we will work with you to develop a financial plan tailored to your personal situation to help you achieve your financial goals.

“Models are really only as good as the assumptions that you put into the model,” (Dr. Fauci on NBC’s Today Show 04/09/20).

Dr. Fauci is referring to models of potential deaths from Coronavirus but what he says is universal. For the financial projections we develop for our clients, we use robust modeling that incorporates assumptions for asset class returns, expected inflation, tax rates, expected Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), Social Security, and many other inputs. These financial assumptions are only part of the equation. Equally important is making sure the assumptions we use for retirement dates, spending in retirement, and saving for retirement are as accurate as possible. As life changes, so do our assumptions. This is why it is so important that we meet at least annually with clients to review and tweak these assumptions in order to develop the most accurate models possible.

“My interest in medicine stems from my keen interest in people, in asking questions and solving problems,” Dr. Fauci said in 1989. At Greenspring, our interest in financial planning stems from the fact that at our core we truly care about our clients. We take pride in helping clients achieve the best outcome possible as we work side-by-side with them to embark on a successful financial track and to stay on that track. Dr. Fauci took the words right out of our mouth.