Johnson Investment Counsel

Your Journey | Our Expert Guidance

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

M. Jay Wertz, CAP®, CFP®

Senior Managing Director of Wealth Management Services, Principal

Wealth Management, Cincinnati - West

Your Journey | Our Expert Guidance

The journey of life is full of challenges, blessings, and opportunities. Each of us walks a unique path, and we only get one chance to live an impactful life. For over five decades, clients have entrusted Johnson Investment Counsel to guide them on the journey. We share in many of the joyful moments, and we counsel through the inevitable challenges. We are proud of our investment and wealth management expertise, but effective guidance goes beyond technical knowledge. Our professionals are passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of life. This objective advice significantly increases the odds of financial success, allowing you to focus on relationships with the people you love and the causes you treasure. 

On your journey there are several distinct phases. Each comes with numerous forks in the road, providing plenty of opportunities for us to help clients along the way. 

The Early Years – Building a Solid Foundation

It makes our day to see our clients’ joy upon the arrival of a new child or grandchild. In the early years, we discuss with parents and grandparents the benefits of saving for education and give young people advice about how to begin saving for the future. We also provide access to outside experts who help teens determine their relative strengths, and which colleges may be the best match for them. As clients enter the workforce, we encourage them to start saving for retirement early and often. Being purposeful at this stage of life can lead to lifelong financial independence and security.

Family and Career – The Accumulation Phase

The first years of independent adulthood are full of big decisions about jobs, where to live, and for many, the possibility of marriage and children. This can be an overwhelming period for anyone, and good and bad habits are being formed in this crucial time. We help clients set goals and implement savings strategies that chart a course to financial independence. We also collaborate with clients and other professionals to build a solid foundation of insurance protection and estate planning in case the unexpected occurs. And when it does occur we deal with life’s challenges: early death, divorce, planning for children with special needs, and caring for aging parents, to name a few. As assets accumulate and the years quickly pass by, we begin to plan for the day when the paychecks will end. In all these conversations, purposeful collaboration through the working years dramatically increases the odds of a successful transition to the post-work years. 

Retirement – The Second Act

After decades of the hustle and bustle of working and living, the possibility of not working often sneaks up on you. This is the most common transition in which we participate because for most soon-to-be retirees it is one of the most intimidating and unfamiliar experiences. The concept of never receiving another paycheck can be daunting. And the logistics of consolidating accounts to simplify and implement retirement cash flow can be too complex to navigate alone. But the challenges go beyond money, which is why we also help clients create their own unique vision for post-work life. People are often unprepared for the major questions they must answer: What will you do with your time? Where will you live? Who will you connect with? With our experience of helping thousands take the leap, we are able to demystify the financial aspects of retirement and encourage our clients to focus on physical and mental wellness. Done well, this can be an extremely rewarding phase of life. Those who are purposefully engaged with their family, friends, and community tell us “I’m so busy that I don’t know how I ever found time to work!” 

Finishing Well: Leaving a Legacy 

After settling into retirement and growing comfortable with the plans for their own needs, the focus often shifts to the endgame. In many cases, we have accompanied our clients on their journey for decades. Through the years we have many conversations about the mark they wish to leave on their loved ones and community after they’re gone. Our professionals are trained to spot issues and help clients decide how they will transition wealth to family and charity. Our team of Johnson Investment Counsel advisors and Johnson Trust Company estate planners have helped thousands of individuals create estate plans that maximize their legacy, both in terms of human impact as well as tax efficiency. When appropriate, we leverage the Johnson Charitable Gift Fund to flexibly deliver on clients’ philanthropic goals while reducing tax burdens. Our grasp on the ever-changing estate and income tax landscape allows for greater assurance that our clients’ wealth will be managed and distributed effectively to the next generation and beyond.

A Life Well Lived

Many of our clients have expressed their gratitude to us in their later years, having enjoyed life’s successes and weathered its storms. In each case, we feel a similar sense of gratitude that we were privileged to come alongside them on their journey. We are grateful for the opportunity to take on such an awesome responsibility and look forward to more such opportunities in the years to come.