Perhaps there is more truth to this saying than we want to admit. This year has been tumultuous, with markets declining and interest rates increasing. Were we all soothsayers we would be rich beyond our dreams. But we aren’t and it is disingenuous to think about the money we ‘could have made’ when interest rates increase, and to forget what we ‘could have lost’ had we chosen to keep our money in products where the principal can and does decline. If we are being honest with ourselves, the idea of risk vs. reward necessitates an examination of both sides of that equation. We must balance the sure things we can count on against other options that could – but only when the risk is not realized – reap more money. As a Senior you must decide if you are a risk taker, or if you want something you can count on. That is a personal decision. If you become envious of those who are making more money than you are, but forget that usually means they can loose more money than you can also, then perhaps you are willing to take more risk. If you are confident in staying the course, and planning ahead with something you can count on then you are less of a risk taker. But you can’t have it both ways. We’re here to help you think out the impact on you of being more or less of a risk taker. Call us. We’re always here to help.
Getting it Right
Sometimes it is best to start with the basics. If you are planning for retirement are you contributing enough to your 401(k) to get your company’s full employee match? Think of it as free money. Have you paid off high-interest rate debt you may be carrying. Eliminating a monthly credit card or auto loan with a high interest payment may enable you to save more money then you think. Do you have an emergency fund of money set aside? This is important as with an emergency reserve, you won’t have to dip into your retirement savings if you need cash in a hurry. Once you’ve handled debts and created an emergency reserve you can then make it an achievable goal to save for retirement and to put your money where it can hopefully create an income for you when you are in fact no longer working. Call us, that’s where we come in. We have ideas for products that can protect your principal from market losses while providing you in retirement an income you can’t outlive. We’re always here to help.
From time to time it is a good idea to review the basics. This week’s article does just that. Take a look and see if you agree that it does a good job of discussing the many types of annuities, the nature of the underlying investment, the primary purpose of an annuity, the nature of the payout commitment, the tax status and the premium payment. Call us if you have any questions. We’re always here to help.
While inflation has certainly been in the news lately, one topic that doesn’t seem to be discussed all that often is private pensions, unlike Social Security payments, typically don’t offer a cost-of-living adjustment that keeps pace with inflation rates. While State and local government pensions do typically offer increases, that sometimes causes those who are in the private sector to assume their pension does the same. This difference means that those receiving private sector pensions may need to focus more on their future income stream in order not to get too much behind the inflation eight ball. Call us, we can help you crunch the numbers and try to determine what kind of deficit you should look to make up. We’re always here to help.
Some things never change
“On the surface, retirement planning hasn’t changed all that much over the years. You work, you save and then you retire. But while the mechanics may be the same, today’s savers are facing some challenges that previous generations didn’t have to worry about.” Those challenges are things we have often spoken about, a longer life expectancy probably being the most important. If you are living longer during a time when you are most likely not working, the obvious question is how do you have that guaranteed amount of money you used to be able to count on in a paycheck from your employer? Call us. We have some ideas you may not know of. We’re always here to help.
Where you end up focusing
Tax-advantaged accounts, or qualified accounts, allow your portfolio to grow without the impact of taxes, a major benefit when it comes to savings for your goals. For retirement, there are multiple account options to choose from, and tax rules will most likely vary for each of them. It is very important to remember, however, that where you end up focusing your contributions may likely change over time depending on your life stage and tax situation. Call us, we’re happy to discuss with you what some of your options are and how they relate to where you are in your planning today, and what your goals are for the future.
Know your proverb
Slow and steady wins the race is an idiom we have all heard, but rarely do we think to apply it to how we approach retirement planning. Taking a slower, more consistent approach often leads to a better outcome. It is easy to forget that and to take risks in order to ‘catch up’. With retirement planning there is no need to do that. There are products where your principle can be protected from market downturns so you never ‘go backwards’ and where you can still earn a reasonable rate of return during all those long years of retirement that you worked so hard to save for. Call us, we’re always here to help and can tell you more.
What Every Saver Needs to Know
This week’s article focuses on the fact that while “everyone’s retirement is different, 2022 is going to have some big differences from 2021 that will affect almost every retiree and retirement saver to some degree”. We’ve provided you with a link to the article so that you can see the specifics on what those differences are, including higher social security payouts, standard deductions for your federal income taxes, Medicare premiums, social security payroll taxes and estate tax exclusions; along with changes to retirement plan distributions and contributions. Call us if these changes require you to rethink your retirement planning. We’re always here to help.
Biggest Risks to Your Retirement
You’ve saved for years and have finally retired, and yet, there are so many world events going on, both domestically and abroad that the only constant now is change. The news is full of commentaries about market declines and inflation. What can be done to reduce those risks? Sometimes it is as simple as sticking with quality financial products with proven track records and assurances that you can count on. Call us, we’re happy to discuss this further with you. We’re always here to help.
What does it mean to me?
We’ve received questions from some of our readers asking what a hike in the Fed rate means to them, and so we reached out to an investment strategist to see what was being said. “This year’s expected series of rate hikes, the first since 2015, marks the beginning of Fed Policy normalization. But it also has increased market volatility and changed sector leadership so far this year.” This opinion is consistent with other’s view that this will likely mean more volatility and pressure in market valuations. If this is of concern to you, call us and we can tell you about other financial products available where savings can be put without risk of loss to the principle if the market declines. We’re always here to help.