Retirement Planning Blog

Survey: Gen Xers Sandwiched Between Multiple Financial Priorities

Survey: Gen Xers Sandwiched Between Multiple Financial Priorities

“The Breakfast Club” was a classic coming-of-age film. The stars of the movie? Gen X misfits dreaming of their futures during a fateful day-long detention in their high school library.

What they couldn’t have foreseen is that many Gen Xers would grow up to be responsible not only for their own well-being, but for the care and livelihood of their parents and their grown children as well.

So, if a sequel about Gen Xers was made today, it might be called “The Breakfast Sandwich Club.” And why? Many members of Gen X struggle to plan for their own futures while facing the financial impact of caring for the generations before and after them. Read More

Americans, You Need a Retirement Distribution Strategy

Americans, You Need a Retirement Distribution Strategy

Life in the work lane means keeping your nose to the career grindstone. You work hard over many years, balancing work and family while accruing a comfortable nest egg for your retirement.  

Along the way, you probably benefited from the discipline and focus that comes from working with a financial advisor. Their guidance was helpful in growing your portfolio and other assets to where they are now.

This life stage is called the “accumulation phase,” and its long-term priority is with the growth of your financial assets. Yet it’s just as important to plan for the backend, or when you start drawing on your nest egg for retirement income.

After all, life changes quite a bit when you retire. Your sources of income will change once you hit the golden years, whether you were a full-time executive, you ran your own business, you worked in a government capacity, or you steadily climbed the ranks as a salaried employee. And not only that.

There is also the matter of “distributions” from your portfolio. Withdrawals have tax implications, especially if money is taken from accounts or vehicles that had special tax treatment as you accumulated funds within them.

And don’t forget the question of longevity, which poses the potentially costly risk of outliving your retirement money. With the numbers of people living to their 90s, and even to 100-and-beyond, increasing by the year, there runs the possibility of a nest egg being mismanaged for long-term income needs. Read More

Planning for Your Financial Survivorship Needs as a Couple

Planning for Your Financial Survivorship Needs as a Couple

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes,” as the old saying goes. And while the question of spousal survivorship is an uncomfortable topic, it’s far too important to put off.

No one lives forever. What will happen when you or your partner pass away before the other? In that event, what is your plan?

To help you prepare ahead of time, here are some general guidelines for developing and managing a long-term retirement and financial survivorship strategy. They stress the importance of “income continuity,” or having uninterrupted income streams in place after the first death in a couple. Read More

How to Find the Right Retirement Planning Services

How to Find the Right Retirement Planning Services

You have had your dream retirement in the back of your mind your entire life.

Whether that movie in your head shows you traveling to exotic lands, spending quality time with your grandchildren, or turning a lifelong hobby into a business, retirement isn’t the end of your story. It’s the beginning of an exciting new sequel.

But how do you make the retirement of your imagination a reality? For many, bringing their ideal retirement to life includes consulting with a financial professional who specializes in retirement planning services.

If you have a nest egg, you have experience in personal finance. Earning an income and saving for a “rainy day.” Building wealth in equity markets, and putting away money into a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement account.

But those are all actions on the front side of retirement—called the accumulation phase. The backend? It’s known as the distribution phase, or how you draw retirement income from those assets accumulated over many years.

How you prepare for reliable income streams in retirement will determine if you live out the retirement of your dreams — or possibly deal with some scaled-down version.

Finding the right retirement planning services can help strengthen your chances of a confident lifestyle. Read More

What Might Spending Look Like in Retirement?

What Might Spending Look Like in Retirement?

Thanks to progress in healthcare and technology, you may expect to have a long retirement. But living to 100? While a lofty milestone, it’s not as out of reach as it may seem.

In 2014, U.S. government statisticians found that the number of people reaching age 100 had increased 40% from four years prior. And by 2050, the “100 and up” crowd is expected to grow to 3.68 million people worldwide.

Given the reality of lengthening lifespans, it’s no wonder why outliving retirement money remains a top concern. In an Allianz Life survey, almost two-thirds of surveyed Americans (63%) said they worried about running out of money in retirement more than death!

Financial planners and advisors call this chance of outliving your money a “longevity risk.” Building a well-defined retirement strategy will help you guard against this hazard, not to mention enjoy more financial peace of mind in your golden years. Read More

Retirement: Average vs. Compounding Portfolio Effects Explained

Understanding Average vs. Compounding Portfolio Effects in Retirement

Most people consider investment returns as a benchmark for judging the performance of their portfolio. This may be especially true for retirees and pre-retirees who likely have been invested in the market for some time. That experience might have been through brokerage mutual fund investments, brokerage accounts, or even retirement savings plans such as 401(k)s or IRAs.

But the reality is that many financial concepts rely on average returns to forecast future portfolio activity. Yet compounding growth and compounding losses are the real-life factors that will potentially affect a portfolio’s value. 

In this discussion of “Retirement: Average vs. Compounding Portfolio Effects Explained,” we delve into the impact of these factors, particularly in managing sequence of returns risk—a significant concern for both retired households and those approaching retirement within the critical decade surrounding retirement

Read More

FEGLI Insurance for Federal Employees

FEGLI Insurance for Federal Employees

If you are an employee of the U.S. government, then you and millions of your colleagues have access to the largest life insurance program in the world: the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI). It’s one of a number of employee benefits available to the federal civil service.

Created in 1954, FEGLI provides group term life insurance that may serve several purposes.

Federal employees depend on FEGLI for many reasons in the event of untimely death: income replacement, death benefit protection, coverage for debts or expenses that may overwhelm survivors, financial safeguards for young families, and other benefits.  

FEGLI often features a lower requirement for participation compared to other life insurance policies. For private-sector group life insurance – or just personal life insurance coverage in general – people are often required to undergo a medical examination or to meet other eligibility criteria. Read More

Survey: Advisors Anxious About What Might Lie Ahead for Clients

Survey: Advisors Anxious About What Might Lie Ahead for Clients

As 2019 begins, two new surveys suggest that both advisors and economists aren’t so optimistic about where the economy is headed.

This kind of insight from industry experts is useful, but especially to those who are approaching retirement. Knowing what pundits and advisors believe could lie ahead, and exploring what action can be taken in case of any untimely disruptions to their portfolios, is critical to those within five to 10 years of retirement.

So, what do advisors and economists see when they look ahead? They see the shakiness of 2018 leading to a potentially rocky 2019. Read More

Ring-In Retirement Readiness with These Resolutions

Ring-In Retirement Readiness with These Resolutions

A new year has dawned, and you can feel the anticipation in the air. People everywhere have scribbled down their New Year’s resolutions, as 2019 has swept in the allure of new beginnings.

A world of opportunity awaits!

Perhaps with a nod to another passing year, many of us will put eating healthier at the top of our list of resolutions. Hitting the gym more often (or even at all), being more productive with our time, and perfecting our work-life balance are perennial New Year’s Resolution favorites.

And for those in their 50s who have visions of their ideal retirement, the New Year is an ideal opportunity to take stock of what they want to achieve. It’s a time to evaluate where they are in terms of reaching that goal, and to reflect on whether they need to create or refine a retirement plan that will help them get there.

Especially for those who are planning on retiring within the next five years, here are three New Year’s Retirement Readiness Resolutions. Read More

Good News! Retirement Concerns Appear to Decline with Age, But Planning Still Required

Good News! Retirement Concerns Appear to Decline with Age, But Planning Still Required

With age comes wisdom – and apparently the ability to better handle unexpected expenses, according to the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

In their recent study, the SOA analyzed financial risk management across generations. Chief among their findings? That “the ability to handle unforeseen expenses increases with age, peaking with Early Boomers and then declining for the Silent Generation.” 

It’s one of many findings according to the study, “Financial Risk Concerns and Management Across Generations.” The Silent Generation refers to those born between 1925 and 1945.

The SOA based its finding on the fact that 6 in 10 Early Boomers say they could afford a $10,000 expense using their savings or emergency funds. Yet “only 46% of Millennials would use their savings, which is not surprising since they have lower assets and more competing financial priorities.”

Those in the Silent Generation remain vulnerable. The SOA reports that half of them aren’t able to use their savings for an unexpected $10,000 expense. Read More

Next Steps to Consider

  • Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

    retirement planning services next steps

    Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

    Already working with someone or thinking about getting help? Ask us about what is on your mind. Learn More

  • What Independent Guidance
    Does for You

    independent vs captive advice

    What Independent Guidance
    Does for You

    See how the crucial differences between independent and captive financial professionals add up. Learn More

  • Stories from Others
    Just Like You

    safe money working with us

    Stories from Others
    Just Like You

    Hear from others who had financial challenges, were looking for answers, and how we helped them find solutions. Learn More

Proud Member