Freeman's Blog

Archive

April 21st, 2016 by

professional retirement helpA survey conducted after the 2008–09 recession found that nine out of 10 people aged 50 to 70 had experienced at least one “derailer” that knocked them off the track to retirement. Although the broader economy played a part, many challenges were more personal. Some described starting late, balancing college and retirement savings, and experiencing a traumatic event.1

Study Reveals Most Don’t Ask For Help

A recent industry study found that 17% of retirement plan participants did not seek any retirement advice at all. The most common source of advice — cited by 29% of plan participants — was the official information provided by their retirement plan providers.2 This may be a good place to start, but such information is typically broad and impersonal, aimed at the group rather than tailored to individual circumstances.

There is also a seemingly endless stream of information available online. Some of it can be useful, yes. But you have to be careful when listening to self-appointed “experts”. They may or may not have the appropriate experience for the opinions they express. And online information is also aimed at the crowd.

Where Do People Turn For Personal Advice?

So where do people turn for more personal advice? The study revealed a clear generational divide. Younger Americans tend to ask family, friends, and colleagues However, older Americans who are closer to retirement or already retired are more likely to work with a retirement professional.

On one level, it makes sense that younger people might turn to those they already trust rather than establish a new relationship with a retirement professional. But considering the long road ahead, it might be just as important to take advantage of professional insight earlier in one’s career. In a survey of baby boomers, 86% who worked with a financial advisor said they were better prepared for retirement because of the help they received.3 Even if retirement is still in the distance, why not take a tip from the boomers and establish a solid, well-considered foundation now? That way, you can progress more confidently toward your long-term goals. If you’re closer to retirement or already there, you may have an even more immediate need for guidance.

What Do YOU Get From A Retirement Professional?

There is no assurance that working with a retirement professional will improve you nest egg results. But by focusing on your overall objectives, a professional can help you greatly. They provide education, identify strategies for taking control of many financial situations, and help you consider options that could have a substantial effect on your long-term financial situation.

1) BusinessInsider.com, May 16, 2013 (most current data available)
2) ThinkAdvisor.com, July 23, 2015
3) Insured Retirement Institute, April 13, 2015

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

There is expert guidance available to you, regardless of your age. Success is getting started!

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at 833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC. 

 

April 12th, 2016 by

managing your 401KMore than 73 million Americans actively participate in employer-sponsored defined-contribution plans such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans.1 If you are among this group, you’ve taken a big step on the road to retirement, but it’s important to understand your plan and what it can do for you. Here are a few ways to make the most of this workplace benefit.

 1. Take the free money.

Many companies match a percentage of employee contributions. When managing your 401(k) plan, you should aim to receive a full company match and any available profit sharing. Some workplace plans have a vesting policy requiring that workers be employed by the company for a certain period of time before they can keep the matching funds. Always find way to take the free money.

2. Bump up your contributions.

Saving at least 10% to 15% of your salary for retirement (including any matching funds) is a typical guideline, but your personal target could be more or less depending on your goals. Managing your 401K plan enables you to defer income taxes on the money you save for retirement, which could enable you to save more. In 2016, the maximum employee contribution to a 401K plan is $18,000 ($24,000 for those 50 and older).

3. Rebalance periodically.

The percentage of your portfolio dedicated to certain types of products or vehicles should generally be based on your risk tolerance and planned retirement timeline. But results from those products can drift over time. Rebalancing your plans so that it remains in line with your overall retirement goals. Consider reviewing your portfolio at least annually and learn retirement strategies for people 55 and older.

4. Managing your 401K by knowing your vehicles.

Examine your  options and choose according to your personal situation; some employer-sponsored plans may automatically enroll new employees in default plans. Many plans have a limited number of options that may not suit all of your needs and objectives, so you might want to add additional funds outside of your workplace plan. Just remember to make choices that best suit your long term goals.

5. Keep your money working.

When managing your 401K, some plans allow you to borrow from your account. It is generally wise not to use this option. But if you must do so, try to pay back your loan as soon as possible to give your nest egg the potential to grow again. Remember that all products and vehicles are subject to market changes, and they come with risks!  Withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

Source: 1) American Benefits Council, 2014

 

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

There is expert guidance available to you for your retirement planning goals. Start by managing your 401K. Let me help you get it done right!

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at 833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC. 

 

April 7th, 2016 by

working in retirement

Many retirees are taking to supplementing their incomes by working in retirement for driving companies like Uber and Lyft. Most older Americans opt to do this as a part time income, usually 20-30 hours per week.  As the population ages and more baby boomers challenge traditional retirement norms, the number of older Americans who are working in retirement should continue to rise. One reason is that many people are leaving the full-time work force with less money than they need to support themselves at a comfortable standard of living.

According to Uber, they surveyed their drivers in 2014 and 2015 and found that nearly one-fourth of its drivers were 50 or older. Older drivers are prized! That’s probably because they usually own their own cars, have keep adequate auto insurance and, according to insurance statistics, have fewer crashes. In fact, Uber is offering incentives to older American’s to entice them to work for Uber.

Going Back Into Part Time Work Keep You Feeling Young

Older Americans say that going back into part time works keeps them feeling young and gives them something interesting to do everyday. Uber gives you the flexibility to drive as much or as little as you want to. Also, unlike taxi services, Uber customers are screened before becoming part of the Uber network and there is no money exchanged during the Uber ride. In addition, you meet a wide variety of people. Teenagers, business professionals, and airport travelers are common Uber riders.

What does working in retirement mean for your tax bracket?

Uber and like “self employment” opportunities still require you to be actively available to do work. And, that means income. The income can be used to supplement medical costs and insurances. But it can also be a way to earn money for vacations and extra discretionary spending. Remember to consult a tax professional to determine what your nett income will be when adding income earned from your driving to your income earning tax bracket.


Source: New York Times Jan 23, 2016

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

There is expert guidance available to you for your retirement planning goals.

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at 833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC.