Retirement Planning

The Ideas for Your Article in this section focus on retirement planning. If you would like to use one of these articles in your news and announcements section, simply let us know the article number (in parentheses after the title). Don’t use one of our newsletters? Find out more here.

Planning Your Retirement? I Can Help! (#1019-1589)

There is often a tendency to become overwhelmed with the abundance of material pertaining to a particular subject, such as the vast area of retirement planning. My mission is to help you reach your financial goals in many areas by providing the resources to apply this information to your personal retirement plan. By helping you clarify your long-term goals, I can assist as you investigate the issues and apply them to your own situation.

The retirement planning process is one in which projections are made with the purpose of matching your retirement goals to your personal assets and company pension benefits available, depending on a set of conservative assumptions and various scenarios. The variables include your planned retirement age, monthly retirement income goal, rate of return earned on current and future assets earmarked for retirement, estimated long-term inflation, planned future savings, and Social Security benefits.

The result will provide a glimpse into your future by combining these variables and projecting them into the future to determine just how long your retirement savings will last. This will reveal any need for additional savings, changes in strategy, or modification of retirement goals. Are you willing to increase your savings in order to retire earlier? Could additional contributions to your company pension plan provide a more efficient, tax-advantaged method of saving for retirement? Will your retirement income be sufficient to provide you with a comfortable standard of living? By identifying, discussing, and answering these questions, I can help you develop a plan that can be monitored and updated as your retirement approaches.

Please contact me if you do not have a personal retirement plan and would like to discuss the process, or if it is time to update your current retirement plan.

Planning for an Unplanned Retirement (#1019-1590)

Many of us spend years building our nest egg, with the goal of stepping into retirement financially and psychologically prepared. However, sometimes retirement arrives earlier than we planned.

Reasons for an unplanned, early retirement could be due to something positive, like receiving a large inheritance. On the other hand, negative reasons could be due to health issues, disability, unemployment, or caring for an ill family member. Whatever the reason, you need to carefully consider the following rules.

First, don’t make any immediate financial decisions. One wrong decision can cause financial problems for the rest of your life. For example, if you retire early because you’ve suddenly come into money, don’t immediately make any major investment decisions. Instead, put the money in a bank, and don’t touch it until you have time to consider the possibilities and consult with your financial advisor.

Second, revise your financial plan. This is the single, most important act you can do to give yourself control of your new retirement. This is especially important if you are forced to retire for a negative reason. You will want to review your entire plan, income and outflow, insurance, estate planning, investments, possible government assistance, etc.

In addition to addressing the practical issues, I recognize leaving the work force can be a difficult emotional adjustment. If you, a friend, family member, or colleague need help financially adjusting to an unplanned retirement, please call.

The American Dream of a Comfortable Retirement (#0419-1557)

For many of us, chances are the difference between a financially comfortable or strapped retirement will depend in large part on whether or not we have made good use of our 401(k) plan. If you begin contributing early in your career, you have a better chance of doing well. However, if you postpone making contributions, you may come up short of your financial goals. By contributing to your 401(k) plan, you are further ahead than most in making up the shortfall in your retirement benefits.

Even if you don’t contribute the maximum amount, you can still build a substantial nest egg for your retirement. Small amounts regularly contributed over time to a tax-deferred account such as a 401(k) plan can significantly grow. Finding that little extra to add to your account may well be within your reach. Please call if you would like to discuss your retirement.

Can I Ever Afford to Retire? (#0419-1558)

Retirement may be just around the corner, and you now realize you haven’t saved enough.

Also, with all of the advances in medicine, your life expectancy has considerably increased. Now you could be retired for as long as you worked. Then there are those major expenses: weddings, college educations for children or grandchildren, the cost of health care, etc.

Here are a few pre- and post-retirement planning ideas that can help you achieve your retirement dreams:

1. Prepare a written budget — budgeting for pre- and post-retirement living injects a dose of reality into financial planning.

2. Rethink retirement — Consider retiring in stages: working full-time longer, then transitioning into retirement by working part-time.

3. Avoid lifestyle changes — People boost personal spending with cruises, country club memberships, and expensive new homes in the last few years before retirement when earnings are at their peak. Not only are they diverting money from retirement, they are simultaneously increasing the cost of retirement if they want to maintain that lifestyle.

4. Maximize retirement plan contributions — Consider extra contributions to retirement plans.

5. Review investments — As you approach retirement, your investments should become more conservative.

6. Consider delaying Social Security — For each year beyond your normal retirement age that you can delay benefits, the size of the monthly benefits will increase.

7. Withdraw from the right accounts — You can stretch your retirement savings by withdrawing from the right accounts first. Typically, this is taxable savings, which allows tax-deferred accounts to continue to grow faster, but not always. A Roth IRA conversion might make sense.

I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your individual situation and help you develop a strategy suitable for your goals.

How You Can Help Your Children (#0419-1559)

Many of your children and grandchildren will soon be finishing school for the year and will have jobs for the summer. This is a perfect time to discuss some of your own good saving and investing habits.

When you begin early to save for the future, you are putting one of the most powerful financial agents on your side: time. Markets go up and down in the short term; but over the long term, they have always recovered from their downsides and grown to even higher numbers. When children begin early in their lives, they will be well ahead of those who don’t.

If your child or grandchild is working this summer, why not help them open an account? At age 18, your child will fully control the account, and their financial future will be off and running. Please call if you would like help opening an account for your child or grandchild.

The Retirement Planning Process (#0418-1496)

Whether you are at the early stages of a retirement program, have progressed to the mid-point of the accumulation phase, or are close to making critical decisions with retirement just around the corner, your financial plan can be evaluated in terms of its ability to meet your retirement needs.

I can help you evaluate your financial plan. I will take into consideration your retirement goals, current assets, goals that you may have before retirement (such as children’s educations or a major purchase), as well as retirement income available in the form of a retirement plan and/or Social Security benefits. Using conservative assumptions for long-term inflation, salary appreciation, and earnings on your current assets, we can determine a benchmark for future retirement evaluation, making decisions, and planning.

This process is not a one-time event; lives and goals change and assumptions must be updated. If you have had a financial profile at some point in the past, it may be time to update the information to stay on target as retirement approaches. If you would like to initiate this process or have any questions, please call.

Planning Your Retirement? Can I Help? (#0418-1497)

There is often a tendency to become overwhelmed with the abundance of material pertaining to a particular subject, such as the vast area of retirement planning. My mission is to help you reach your financial goals in many areas by providing the resources to apply this information to your personal retirement plan. By helping you clarify your long-term goals, I can assist as you investigate the issues and apply them to your own situation.

The retirement planning process is one in which projections are made with the purpose of matching your retirement goals to your personal assets and company benefits available, depending on a set of conservative assumptions and various scenarios. The variables include your planned retirement age, monthly retirement income goal, rate of return earned on current and future assets earmarked for retirement, estimated long-term inflation, planned future savings, and Social Security benefits.

The result will provide a glimpse into your future by combining these variables and projecting them into the future to determine just how long your retirement savings will last. This will reveal any need for additional savings, changes in strategy, or modifications of retirement goals. Are you willing to increase your savings to retire earlier? Could additional contributions to your company pension plan provide a more efficient, tax-advantaged method of saving for retirement? Will your retirement income be sufficient to provide you with a comfortable standard of living? By identifying, discussing, and answering these questions,

I can help you develop a plan that can be monitored and updated as your retirement approaches.

Please contact me if you do not have a personal retirement plan and would like to discuss the process, or if it is time to update your current retirement plan.

Retirement Plan Checkup (#0118-1482)

Answer these five questions for a quick checkup to see if you are taking basic steps to save for retirement:

1. Are you signed up for your employer’s pretax retirement savings plan such as a 401(k) plan? Are you aware of all other retirement benefits offered by your employer?

2. Are you systematically investing for retirement?

3. Are you regularly contributing to an individual retirement account (IRA)?

4. Do you periodically review your retirement investments to ensure they are properly allocated for your retirement goals?

5. Have you recently met with a financial advisor to review your retirement savings strategy?

If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, you should consider calling so we can review your retirement plans.

Time for a Review of Your Retirement Plans (#0118-1483)

If you are serious about retirement, you need to begin planning for it now. Do you have a retirement plan? Have you been putting off starting one? Have you reviewed your 401(k) plan with an investment professional? Will Social Security provide you with a financially comfortable retirement? Will your current investments be sufficient for your retirement?

Take the time now, and let me review your current plan or assist you in setting up a plan. Together, we can:

• Assess your current financial situation.
• Define your retirement goals.
• Evaluate your current and future income needs.
• Identify and estimate all potential income sources.
• Understand your pension plan.
• Determine if you’re eligible for various retirement savings plans.
• Identify gaps between income and expenses at different stages of retirement.
• Develop a retirement savings plan.

Please call so we can review your retirement plan or begin the process to develop one for you.

Your Retirement Is Your Responsibility (#0717-1449)

Do you know how you will pay for your retirement? Company-sponsored defined-benefit plans are on the decrease; and at a minimum, Social Security is likely to become less generous. In order to make sure you will enjoy a comfortable retirement, you must take responsibility for saving for that retirement. Your chances of saving enough improve dramatically if you:

1. Start saving now. It is far better to begin saving small amounts now than to wait a few years to begin saving. Saving a little when you are young can contribute more to your long-term nest egg than saving a lot when you are older.

2. Carefully consider where to invest your savings. It is important to review your investment options, using appropriate alternatives considering the long-term nature of your savings. Even small differences in rates of return can have a significant impact on the ultimate size of your nest egg.

3. Use tax-deferred savings vehicles. Contributions to 401(k) plans, simplified employee pension (SEP) plans, Keogh plans, and some individual retirement accounts are tax-deferred from current income taxes; and earnings accumulate tax deferred until withdrawn. These tax benefits can provide a significant boost to your retirement savings.

4. Don’t use retirement funds for any other purpose. Raiding your nest egg now will only make it more difficult to meet your future retirement needs.

Call today. Together we can design retirement strategies to pursue your retirement goals.

How Are You Doing? (#0417-1424)

Answer these five questions for a quick review to see if you are taking basic steps to save for retirement:

•    Are you signed up for your employer’s pretax retirement savings plan such as a 401(k) plan?  Are you aware of all other retirement benefits offered by your employer?
•    Are you systematically investing for retirement?
•    Are you contributing regularly to an individual retirement account (IRA)?
•    Do you periodically review your retirement investments to ensure they are properly allocated for your retirement goals?
•    Have you recently met with a financial advisor to review your retirement savings strategy?

If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, you should consider calling to set up an appointment to review your retirement plans.

Managing Retirement (#0417-1425)

Talking about retiring and actually doing it are two different things.  During the talking stage (that usually begins two to five years before it actually happens), many ideas, options, and resources should be thoroughly considered and analyzed.  All of your decisions about retirement are very important.  Many of them are irrevocable.  They all certainly deserve your attention.

Gathering information and exploring alternatives about retirement issues specific to you can eliminate unpleasant surprises later.  Researching and planning for income sources, health coverage, tax issues, and estate planning will not only give you peace of mind now, but in many cases, it will be the only way to improve your odds of living 25, 30, or 35 years in a financially secure, worry-free retirement.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have additional resources to pass on to your heirs?

I look forward to reviewing your retirement goals with you.  If someone you care about needs help, I would be happy to meet with them, too.

Retiring Too Early? (#0417-1426)

There are so many considerations to retiring, and sometimes unexpected events occur before we really have time to think retirement over:  an early offer, plant closing, workplace relocating out of state, spouse being transferred, or new employer.  Such changes can accelerate your retirement decision.  Before making a hasty decision, ask yourself if just because you are older than 55 or even in your 60s, do you really want to retire now?

Over the past 10 years, we have seen too many people face a sudden change in job status that causes them to prematurely consider retiring from the work force.  After working for many years, retirement sounds attractive.  If you retire, you can enjoy unlimited time off to do whatever you want, such as staying up late, sleeping in, enjoying hobbies, or traveling.  Consider how you will feel when someone asks what you do.  Are you comfortable replying that you are retired?

Retirement is defined as ceasing to work for money.  That means one has to live the rest of his/her life (or two lives) on the assets accumulated so far.  And people who are age 65 need to plan on 20 years of retirement, at least.  Making sure you have enough income is one concern, but another question to consider is what do you want to do with your life during the next 20-plus years?

Please call if you have any questions or concerns as you contemplate retirement.

The Retirement Planning Process (#0417-1427)

Whether you are at the early stages of a retirement program, have progressed to the midpoint of the accumulation phase, or are close to making critical decisions with retirement just around the corner, your financial plan can be evaluated in terms of its ability to meet your retirement needs.

I can help you evaluate your financial plan.  I will take into consideration your retirement goals, current assets, goals you may want to pursue before retirement (such as children’s educations or a major purchase), as well as retirement income available in the form of a retirement plan and/or Social Security benefits.  Using conservative assumptions for long-term inflation, salary appreciation, and earnings on your current assets, we can determine a benchmark for future retirement evaluation, decision making, and planning.

This process is not a one-time event; lives and goals change, and assumptions must be updated.  If you have had a financial profile in the past, it may be time to update the information in order to stay on target as retirement approaches.  If you would like to initiate this process or have any questions, please call.