Tag: Retirement Planning

Within 10 Years of Retirement? Here’s How to Protect Your Financial Plan

Are you an investor who was planning to retire in the next ten years? Do the current market conditions make you fearful for your future? The recent decline in domestic and global markets has been undeniably rough for investors, especially those nearing retirement. Our 11-year bull market run came to an end in March when all major domestic indices dropped dramatically in one of the swiftest declines into a bear market we have seen.  Although the markets have since recovered from those bottoms very significantly, uncertainty abounds due to the ongoing global pandemic.  It is only natural to be concerned about how to approach retirement against a background of such uncertainty and volatility.

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What Could Tank My Success in Retirement Even Though Everything Looks Good on Paper?

When you visualize your retirement, what do you see? If you’re still far away from that milestone, your vision might remain a bit nebulous. For many individuals, the picture only grows clearer with time and detailed planning.
But even the best laid plans are not immune to derailment. Sometimes, the best way to prepare for the future is not only to imagine what could go right, but to be aware of what could go wrong.

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Asking the Right Questions

People say the only bad questions are the ones you don’t ask. That can be true, and asking bad questions likely won’t hurt you, but it is more important to ask the “Right” questions. In the last year, I met with a potential client who asked me a question I want to share with you. After some “get to know you chat” he asked me, “So, how are your results?” to which I responded, “Very high.” I could see the confusion on his face, so I just waited. As I will explain later, this had nothing to do with guaranteeing results.

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Creating a Tax Efficient Retirement Withdrawal Strategy

In working with my retired or soon-to-be retired clients, perhaps the most frequent question I am asked is “What is the best way to withdraw from my investment and retirement accounts in retirement in order to provide me my desired retirement income?” I believe they ask me this question because many of them have investments in a mix of different accounts with varying tax characteristics such as taxable investment accounts, IRAs, 401k or retirement plan accounts, Roth IRAs, and possibly real estate investments such as rental property. In addition to that, they may also have retirement income coming in from multiple sources and at different times such as Social Security income, pension income, and deferred compensation. If you are interested in increasing what you can spend in retirement and reducing the impact taxes have on your retirement nest egg, it is important to have a multi-year retirement income plan that takes into account the impact taxes will have on both your retirement income sources, and the withdrawals you take from your different investment and retirement accounts.

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What Is My Number?

As a financial advisor, this is a frequently asked question.  How much money do I need to save to retire comfortably?  In other words, what is my number?

Much has been written about this topic.  Schwab recently released a survey of 1,000 401(k) participants across the country indicating that on average, Americans believe they need $1.7 million to retire.  That may seem like a reasonable number, but is it?  A recent CNBC poll showed that two-thirds of U.S. workers are either very or somewhat confident that they will be able to live comfortably throughout retirement.  However, a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute showed that only 42% of Americans have done any retirement calculations.  And on top of that, according to Fidelity, the average 401(k) balance in the U.S. is $297,700 which is a far cry from $1.7 million.

So, where is the disconnect and how can you actually determine what your own “number” is?

Although every person’s situation is completely different, there are really five things to consider when determining how much you need to save for retirement.  The impact of underestimating any of these factors could be catastrophic, so this is not the time for optimism.  This is the time to be very clear-eyed about setting your goals and expectations.  Let’s get started.

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And the Best Place to Retire is….!

Recently, I ran across an article about the best (and worst) states for retirement.  It caught my attention because the “best” state turned out to be ….  Nebraska!  Many would be surprised at this.  After all, who would retire in such a cold place in the middle of the country?  Actually, I was not at all surprised.  I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and spent the first twelve years of my life there.  I still visit relatives in the Cornhusker state and enjoy the wonderful people, slower pace and beautiful scenery the state has to offer.

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