Retirement 101

From time to time our Community Homeowner Association has a speaker come in to give a seminar or workshop on various subjects. Today I attended a two hour workshop by a Financial Planner called “Retirement 101“.

Honestly I was afraid it was going to be one of those annuity sales jobs like you get when you take up those offers to get a free meal at the local steakhouse, for sitting through a sales pitch.

This speaker was really good at not making it feel like it was, but he was laying out the case for using a “fee only” financial planner, like himself. You couldn’t blame him for that. As with any presentation, you always get some good ideas and reminded on some things that maybe you forgot. If you need a financial planner, the speaker did seem to be a good choice to consult with.

Have A Financial Plan

The speaker started off with the point that most people don’t have a financial plan and you really need one. Here we are sitting in a Del Webb community where the average age is over 70 and I am thinking if you don’t have one by now, you probably never will!

He makes a good point that having a financial plan gives you “piece of mind”. Even if part of your portfolio is not doing well, it may serve it’s purpose in your overall plan.

I read somewhere and it makes sense to me, that the reason most people fall short is that they don’t stay with their plan.  They jump around.  Having a financial plan and sticking with it, would payoff.

Fear Of Running Out of Money

The financial industry really plays on our fear that we are going to run out of money. We want to maintain our lifestyle to the end of our lives. It’s a real fear most people have. Securing our financial well being is important. We know this by now, that no matter if you use a financial advisor or not, you need to educate yourself about financial matters. If you are married, keeping your spouse informed is a must.

As we get older, most of us become more conservative with our investments, maybe allocating more to fixed income and bonds which we can have mature when we need the money. Fixed income is less volatile also.  A bond ladder works for me and others as well.

Create a Reliable Stream of Income

The goal is to create a reliable stream of income that would fulfill our needs when we need the money, with as little risk as possible.  Whether it’s from stocks, bonds, REITs, annuities, social security, pensions, real estate, or a combination of these, it’s up to each person to decide what is best for them and their risk tolerance.

AARP says Social Security benefits provides 39% of people’s retirement income on average.

The speaker points out as we start taking on more risk than we are comfortable with, that is a source of stress, something we don’t need in our retirement years.

Who Can You Trust With Your Retirement Investments

It was pointed out that a fee-only financial advising firm work as independent fiduciaries. This type of arrangement seems to be structured so that the advisor works in the best interest of the client and fully disclose conflicts of interest that could bias their recommendations.

He laid out a pretty impressive list of services advisors provide like portfolio construction, tax planning with the new tax reform changes, estate planning including what legal document you should have, when to take social security, understanding fees, and providing for long term care.

Executing a financial plan can be overwhelming  and having someone on your side may help. This did appeal to many in the audience including those needing help because they have lost a spouse who took care of the finances. There were also  people who were very knowledgeable about self managing their financial matters in the audience.

Whether you go with a Financial Advisor or go it alone, monitoring and staying on top of your investments in retirement is a time consuming job. But it’s one job you can’t retire from, if you want your retirement savings to last.

No one can guarantee that you’ll make money from
investments you make. But if you get the facts about saving and investing and follow through with an intelligent plan, you should be able to gain financial security over the years and enjoy the benefits of managing your money. – U.S. Security and Exchange Commission
As with any seminar I always learn something or at least get reinforced on principals that I don’t need to forget. Having outside speakers come to talk with us on relevant subjects is another benefit of living in an 55+ Retirement Community.
Thanks to Brad Malia, Malia Financial Group for today’s workshop.
Robert Fowler

By Robert Fowler

Robert Fowler is President of Retirement Media Inc. and publisher of Robert and his wife Mary Ann live at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert has visited many 55+ Active Adult Communities and blogs about Active Adult Community Living.

One reply on “Retirement 101”

Well Robert, very informative article, having a retirement plan is must now, fixed stream of income after one’s retirement is important, and one must plan retirement quite before.
Worth reading and sharing.
Cheers 🙂

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