On April 6, Bud Green, a retirement plan consultant from SageView Advisory Group, presented an overview of fundamentals for retirement planning, including tips for Social Security and Medicare, the mechanics of 401(k) and IRA withdrawals, and balancing risks when investing.
Spending and expenses
When planning for retirement, there are three types of spending and expenses to take into account: predictable, unpredictable, and semi-predictable.
- Utilities, mortgage, etc.
- Cost of living
- Health care such as Medicare supplements
- “Fun” spending such as vacations
Some of the factors to consider when saving for retirement
- Life expectancy is longer than it was in the past, with couples living longer overall and women living longer than men.
- Long-term health care insurance premiums can go up, costing an arm and a leg when you’re in your 50s and 60s. Many homeowners use their homes as an investment to pay for long-term health care if it’s needed.
- While you may be spending less in today’s dollars, overall this will look like more due to inflation.
- Waiting to collect your Social Security each year past the age of 65 can get you an additional 8% per each full year up to age 70.
- It’s worth considering taking your Social Security later if you think your lifespan will surpass 80.
Types of investments
Most people will dip into their principle over time instead of just living off profits.
With cash you don’t earn interest. Following are estimates of earnings for different types of investments:
- Bonds +1%
- Real estate +2%
- Stocks +4%
In general, real estate and stocks yield higher outcomes that bonds over time.
Stocks generally have long-term growth no matter what, even if they dip every few years.
Information to keep in mind when trying to minimize your taxes
- Traditional IRAs, 401(k), and MPI plans are 100% taxable
- Roth IRAs are tax-free
- Bank/Brokerage plans are taxable at 0%-100% depending on the plan
Advice on annuities
- Fixed index annuities: never
- Deferred/variable annuities: probably not
- Immediate annuities: sometimes
An annuity is a long-term investment issued by an insurance company. It gives you a fixed amount of money each year for the rest of your life. The idea is to help protect you from the risk of outliving your income. But while it’s good to ensure the same amount of income for the rest of your life, one downside is that a consistent income doesn’t take inflation into account.
When taking out an annuity, it’s only worth it if you think you’re going to live past your break-even point. For example, if you have $1 million dollars and you think you need $1.5 million to survive until you die, it’s worth considering an annuity. But if you suddenly die after being paid out only $300,000, the remaining money will be lost.
Reasons people move money from a 401(k) to an IRA
- More flexibility on withdrawals and withholding
- Pay dividends to cash
- Want an independent financial manager/planner
Reasons to hire a financial advisor
- Can understand how you feel about money
- Can stop you from acting emotionally
- Can provide planning and investment management
Fee-based advisors are recommended, charging a flat fee or a percentage of assets (0.25% to 1% annually). When working with an advisor, make sure to pay attention to your overall expenses.
It’s suggested to seek retirement advice within 5 to 7 years of your planned retirement date.
Members seeking a customized retirement income plan can contact Bud Green, CIMA, AIF at firstname.lastname@example.org.