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Leave Fear At The Doorstep: Watermark Wealth Strategies’ Approach To Retirement Planning 

Retirement planning can be daunting for many. A reality Financial Advisor Kyle Richardson and his team deeply empathize with. Yet, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”—and in this case, Watermark Wealth Strategies stands tall as the lighthouse for Arizona’s senior community. 

“We don’t work with clients, we work with families,” says Kyle Richardson, a founding partner and financial planning Fiduciary of Watermark Wealth Strategies LLC, and a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner). Building a strong foundation with every client is an essential part of the Watermark way, especially concerning retirement planning, a topic that leaves many individuals uneasy. In fact, according to the 20th Annual Retirement Survey of Workers conducted by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, “45% of baby boomers say outliving their savings and investments is one of their greatest retirement fears.”

“We’re programmed to put away money,” Richardson says, as a way to avoid outliving our savings. But his method of growing and protecting his client’s assets encourages them to spend their savings—responsibly. Watermark removes the fear of retirement planning and replaces it with enjoyment, a word not often associated with financial advisory, and in the 25-plus years of service to individuals in their golden years, the firm has never had a client go back to work—a feat not many can claim. 

“One of our clients, a pilot, has been with us for a long time. He always tells people he’s been retired for 17 or 18 years and has more money today than he retired with,” says Richardson—all thanks to Watermark’s effective, long-term investment strategy custom-tailored to each client. 

With proper guidance from a certified financial advisor, one that offers services that match your needs, navigating life after retirement can be manageable, yet, only 45% of Baby Boomers use professional help. If you fall outside of this statistic, Watermark is ready to step in as your advisor and friend.  

With strong roots in Chandler, Arizona, the firm has been a long-standing member of its community since 2009, dedicated to exceeding its client expectations at every touchpoint—a value that has led Richardson’s firm to receive a prestigious award from LPL Financial this June (the largest independent broker-dealer in the US). The award is the LPL Financial Summit Level – Elite top 1% Firm recognizing their excellent client/customer service and growth. 

“I know we have the best team we’ve ever had in place. They take great care of the clients, and we all have a mission of exceeding client expectations at every touch. So it just goes a long way,” he emphasizes. The firm works with a wide range of industries including aerospace, microchip/tech, automotive, healthcare, and more, and has been in partnership with Southwest Airlines for 20 years, “helping employees grow and protect their hard-earned assets.”

“We give platinum-level client service, and it shocks me how many firms in this industry do not do retirement planning. That’s all clients want to see. And we start with that,” Richardson continues. The moment he presents Watermark’s retirement plan, his clients have what he refers to as that “aha moment.” 

“We’ll be in our first meeting and I’m learning all the information about them and then I’m talking about this non-tangible retirement plan—something they’ve never seen, something their current advisor never did,” Richardson explains. “What ends up happening is we share the plan and as soon as we put the plan up on the television, the clients go ‘Oh, why doesn’t everyone do this? I mean, this is what every client wants to see. Can I actually spend this much and never run out of money?’”

“It truly is a family. I don’t know a better way to say that,” he says. When you choose Watermark, they want to be the last financial planning firm you ever use—a statement that rings true for many, including Richardson’s first-ever client. 

“Clients feel welcome and they know what they’re going to get. It’s a financial advisor-client relationship, don’t get me wrong. But at the end of the day, it’s so much bigger than that. We get invited to retirement parties and birthday parties and all kinds of stuff,” shares Richardson. 

“I still have my first client ever, which is pretty cool after 816 families we work with now, I still have my first client from 25 years ago. We’ve just focused on doing the right thing every time.”

That’s exactly what you’ll receive with Richardson and his team, but above all, you’ll become part of the family. 

Taking it one step further, he even goes out of his way to give clients his personal cell phone number.

“Everyone thinks I’m ridiculous,” he laughs. “But I only get five calls a year, and the client feels connected because they know if they need to reach me they can, and not go through the chain of command. I know it’s important.”

It gets even better. Starting in September, Watermark is bringing back monthly happy hour events featuring mouth-watering food from local businesses, a highlight for families and a great way to strengthen connections—especially “after a glass of wine” Richardson laughs. 

To learn more about Kyle Richardson’s firm Watermark Wealth Strategies, visit their website here. It’s time to embrace your hard-earned savings and enjoy life after retirement! 

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