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Retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy yourself. As many Americans are finding out, though, that is not always the case. Sudden changes – such as volatility in the markets — can upset your plans and leave you wondering about your finances including your investments and 401k. The way to avoid this is to secure your retirement income by combining Social Security, a pension (if you have one) and other guaranteed sources so you have monthly income you can count on — no matter what the market does. Then you can relax and make the most of your retired life.
Many investments — such as mutual funds, ETFs, bonds and a 401k— are often used with the goal of generating retirement income over a lifetime. However, their value can fluctuate based on market performance, and they cannot completely protect you against loss of income. And while there is a bounty of investment products out there designed to minimize the risks, we recommend only one that can help eliminate the risk of running out of money. It can offer protected lifetime income that can guarantee you’ll never run out of money, no matter how long you live.
Do you think in the future that taxes will be higher, lower, or stay the same?Do you think taxes have to increase if we as a country are going to pay off over $22 trillion in national debt? Is deferring taxes really a good idea? Yet what you hear from your CPA is that you should not take any money out of your IRA or 401k because you will have to pay taxes. So think about this: You are going to have to pay taxes at some point...the IRA only DEFERS taxes. When you turn 72 years old the government is going to FORamily CE you to take out your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
Putting together a retirement income plan to last throughout your golden years is the most important challenge retirees face. Now with the fact that we are, on average, living longer due to advancements in medical knowledge and technology, it is extremely probable that many people who are retiring today could spend 30 years or more living in theretirement stages of their life without income and only fromsocial security and risky investments to support them..
At Your Family Bank, our purpose is to make sure that your income planning is our top priority. We help our clients to establish a solid, tax-free plan that's guaranteed to last as long as they do. In other words, the income plans we prepare for our clients are guaranteed to "go the distance." And that means even if they live to be 120 years or older, they will always be guaranteed to receive their monthly check, and peace of mind that their future is secure.
Let us help you to create an income strategy that you cannot outlive so you may enjoy one of the most important times in your later years of life.
We will show you how to systematically take back control of this never ending ticking tax bomb and create a tax-favored environment not only for you, but also for your family.
1) Have recent drops in the market affected my retirement plan?Many make the mistake of asking generic questions about the market and not explicitly asking about the impact on their financial plan. Financial professionals are often mere students of the market who have experienced market gyrations before. They use fancy sounding financial jargon filled with numbers, percentages, and terms that most people simply do not understand. So unless you want to listen to a lecture on the history of market ups and downs, make clear to your advisor that you are interested in whether the market drop changes your plan. If you do not want to discuss the broader market, interject with, “How do the current changes affect my plan?”And for those of you who do not have a formal retirement plan or a 401k – one that takes into account your retirement goals, things you want to do, and most importantly, the money you must have every month to pay the bills – there has never been a better time to create one.
2) Will I still be able to generate enough income to maintain the lifestyle I want in retirement without outliving my money?The crucial piece of information people want from a financial planner during times of economic upheaval is, “What changes do I need to make to my lifestyle?” Whether retired or not, our natural instinct is to think about a wide spectrum of possibilities ranging from the mild (maybe eat out a little less) to the extreme (sell that second car). If your advisor spends the entire conversation talking about portfolio gains and losses, it obscures the practical lifestyle discussion you want to have. So, bring up specifics: “Can I still afford that trip?” “Has this changed the budget we discussed for my daughter’s wedding?” And most importantly, “Will I still be able to cover my essential monthly expenses?” These may be hard discussions to have, but if you don’t have them with your financial planner, you won’t have the answers to some crucial questions.
3) Does my current plan provide enough protected income to meet my essential expenses?Have you estimated your essential monthly expenses? The acronym M.U.G. is a simple framework to start this conversation that represents the various essential expenses people often need to cover in retirement, including things like a mortgage, utilities, groceries and transportation. Calculate your monthly expenses and make sure that your financial plan can cover them with sources of protected lifetime income. There are only three sources of protected lifetime income available today: Social Security, pensions, and annuities. Having a plan with enough protected income each month to help cover your M.U.G. will undoubtedly make you feel more secure, regardless of market downturns. Ideally, you should make this calculation with your financial planner before a market downturn, but if you have not, now is a great time to do that.
4) Should I be looking at adjusting my goals for the future?Questions about possible changes or additions to a retirement portfolio should focus on keeping you on track to reach your goals. If you haven not discussed your financial goals with your advisor, now is the time. If a truly diversified portfolio was solid before a market downturn, it should still be solid, in theory. Any adjustments you might make should be an effort to enhance your portfolio and actually improve your future financial position. Make sure these discussions focus on the most secure path to reach your goals, and not necessarily on the quickest path or the path with the most potential short-term gain. All investments carry risk, and with the help of your financial professional you can better weigh the potential risks and rewards of any investment opportunities.
5) Should I be thinking about re-evaluating or adjusting my planned retirement date (or, for retirees, my post-career job status)?This is obviously a hard discussion, but it’s one you need to have. If you are still working, in light of the new market reality, explore your financial position if you proceed with your planned retirement date versus if you push it back. Ask your financial planner about the implications for Social Security, which is estimated to cover about 40% of your pre-retirement income at best. For example, many people do not realize that those who wait until they turn 70 to file for Social Security receive close to double what those who file at 62 receive. Are there other options to bridge the years between 62 and 70 so that you maximize your Social Security payments? Consider your goals and the most secure path to reach them.
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