RETIREMENT & SENIOR ISSUES
There are two distinct financial phases of a happy retirement:
1) The accumulation phase (we are discussing it under 'Retirement Planning' below) and,
2) The distribution phase (discussed under 'Senior Issues')
Retirement Planning is an ongoing process that begins during the productive years of your life when you start putting money into your IRA, 401k and other retirement accounts. We deal with those issues under Companies and under Circle of Financial Health > Protect. There are two points, however, that need to be made here:
a) There are three factors that have major influence on an investment: Amount, Rate of return, and Time. The Amount you invest and the rate of Return are usually controlled by outside factors such as your salary or market conditions. Time however, comes free – if you have it.
In financial circles there is something called the 'Rule of 72'. It is a mathematical formula that refers to the length of time it takes for an investment to double at a certain rate of return. Theoretically speaking and excluding other factors such as expenses, if you invest $10,000 at the age of 30, you should have:
at age 36 = $ 20,000
at age 42 = $ 40,000
at age 48 = $ 80,000
at age 54 = $160,000
at age 60 = $ 320,00
and at age 66 = $ 640,00 (the age at which most people retire.)
This is without touching or adding anything to the original $10,000 investment. You can play with the numbers. What if you started six years later? - you would lose the last doubling period and $ 320,000 with it. The answer is glaring: The earlier you start the better off you are.
(Note: All figures and results are hypothetical in nature, do not represent actual investments results, and are not guarantees of future results).
b) There is much talk about Social Security lately. Some people heavily count on it as their 'retirement plan' - but will it be there when you need it?
Social Security was never designed to give you a pleasant retirement, but only as a safety-net to supplement your other income - and perhaps to save you from moving in with your children. But if you ask some old folks, you will find out how critical it is for them and they would be in big trouble without it.
Our advice is: don't rely on it but plan for your own retirement
We use various investment strategies that we tailor for your individual means and needs. We have calculators to estimate the money you will need in retirement and have a process in place to help you get there. Most of it is described under 'Circle of Financial Health'.
Our IRA distribution strategy is based on ED SLOTT'S advanced retirement planning techniques. (See under Current Issues)
In this stage you are withdrawing from your assets that we helped you accumulate in the Retirement Planning phase. Some issues are discussed under the e 'Circle of Financial Health' tab above. Before you retire, we take a look at your entire financial picture and if possible, map out a realistic course to give you the monthly income you need to maintain the lifestyle you always envisioned for your retirement, and have as much left to give to your children as your assets allow.
In our calculations we take into account among others the following:
* Travel plans, hobbies, pleasure-activities.
* Outstanding loans, mortgages, obligations
* Your health, life expectancy, Medicare / Medicaid issues
* Streamline your insurance needs: Life, Fire, Earthquake, Auto, and Long Term Care.
* Income from Social Security, Pensions.
* Income from retirement plans (IRA, Keogh, 401k, etc)
* Income from personal investments (CDs, Mutual Funds, Stocks, Bonds,
Real Estate etc.)
* Income from Annuities, Life Insurance proceeds of a deceased spouse. etc.
In order to make sure that your funds will last, the distribution phase has to be planned with care and foresight. Some assets will have to be re-positioned or moved, others to be used to pay off debts or set up college funds for your grandchildren, for example.
We also review your entire Estate, and create plans for tax efficient transfer of your wealth to your heirs.