The first objective in starting a conversation about your retirement is understanding and accepting the fact that transitioning into retirement is going to require changes. The 5 Must Haves listed below are all no-cost services provided by our firm so we can accurately visualize where you want to be in your retirement.
1. Professional Retirement Advisor – Most people ignore the importance of reaching out to an Advisor who is certified in all retirement issues. This single decision alone can help you overcome the inevitable element of procrastination. Many people do not realize that in most cases the Broker they have worked with during their employment years is not knowledgeable or even certified in the changing needs necessary for a successful retirement.
2. Maximization Reports – The benefit of having a Retirement Advisor prepare Maximization Reports on your Social Security Benefit Options can be invaluable to you. This could add thousands of dollars to you during your retirement years. Unfortunately, the Social Security Offices are not allowed to provide this service.
3. “Safe Money” Options – Having a conversation to identify your future income needs and wants, debt issues and your family legacy wishes is the foundation to your retirement goals. Understanding these concerns determines if you should look at “Safe Money” options for a portion of your vested 401k or 403b accounts. Why? Because the goal here is pure safety, protection and zero risk. With the volatile market swings of today, you do not have time to make up severe losses.
4. Income Pension Options – Many people retiring with a pension do not realize the value of shopping their Income Pension Options before accepting their employer’s group offer. With this option, you are in a captive environment with the pension company which is contracted with your employer. In so many cases, if you simply allow a qualified Retirement Advisor to shop identical pension income options, you’ll be amazed at how much more guaranteed income you could receive.
Knowledge is power. No matter where you retire from, all pension accounts are converted to an income account. An income account, by law, is an “Insured, Guaranteed Income Annuity.”
5. Certified Senior Advisor – You need to understand the importance of addressing your IRAs, 401K or 403b accounts. This conversation isn’t about which stocks or mutual funds you should buy with your broker. This is about what you need or want these funds to do for you down the road. There are several things to remember when discussing these account. First, no taxes have ever been withheld. Second, these funds can be in vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, annuities or bank accounts. If you are transferring from one vehicle to another, if done correctly, it is not a taxable event. Third, even if you have a Living Trust these Qualified Accounts normally will never pass on through your Trust. Making sure your IRAs are “Stretch Inheritable” and “Probate Free” is paramount. Last, if there is a chance you will need or want to utilize these funds for future income, then keeping it safe and out of the market might be the most important strategy of all.