Americans worry about affording retirement, but that doesn’t usually translate into hard-core financial planning. Then there’s David Littell, the 61-year-old director of the retirement income planning program at the American College of Financial Services, a nonprofit that educates financial advisers. If anyone ought to have a well-thought-out plan, it’s this guy.
So we asked him what’s in it.
It’s a little intense—this is one well-prepared pre-retiree, and one who knows his insurance products, since the college’s focus has historically been on educating insurance agents. While the challenge of ensuring he won’t outlive his money isn’t unique, his attitude may be. “I find this fun,” he said. A sign of how into this stuff he is? Before a follow-up call, he e-mailed a three-page, 1,500-word, bullet-pointed outline of his thinking.
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You’ve always lived below your means and were a diligent saver, and now you’ve built a pretty sizable nest egg. Or maybe you’ve just been lucky enough to work for a company that has a well-managed 401(k) plan and has always matched your contributions. However you did it, you now have a reasonable retirement income that, with the help of Social Security and possibly a pension, provides you with a comfortable retirement lifestyle.
So, you’re all set, right? Not necessarily.
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We hear a lot these days about the strains on the sandwich generation, those caught between the demands of their children and their aging parents. Yet a recent study suggests these intergenerational demands aren’t always equal: while children can strain middle-aged pocketbooks, aging parents generally don’t.
Indeed, older family members are more often on the giving end than on the receiving end of financial support, according to a recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The goal with familial cash transfers is to make sure they’re based on math, not emotion, so they don’t endanger the giver’s near-term finances or retirement security, experts say.
If your clients want to be generous with their money then you can help, You just need to have a proper plan and calculate what it is that they really want out of their retirement, click here to get help with preparing the retirement your clients want.
A career as a financial adviser requires a high level of proficiency in a wide range of categories. Financial advisers must complete rigorous licensing exams, comprehend simple and complex financial products, and use creative tactics to acquire new clients on a consistent basis.
However, becoming a success in the field is not only dependent on being effective in sales and marketing. The financial advisers who are deemed the best in the business share certain traits that help them create and sustain profitable careers in working with clients.
As Financial advisers, or independent agents there is always more you can do to better yourself and build your pipeline. Click here to see how we can help you become the best you can be so you can build your book of business as well as your knowledge base.
Two years ago, I retired at age 55 after working for my employer for 38 years. I’m wondering whether I can roll my 401(k) money into an individual retirement account without incurring the 10% penalty. If not, I have heard that I can withdraw the money from my 401(k) in 5 equal installments. Is that true?
— Connie Conundrum
Early retirement is something to celebrate. You’ve already made many of our younger readers a bit envious.
Now that you’re ready to do some work on plotting your future, let’s begin. One of the first steps is determining your goal in moving your 401(k) plan funds. Are you trying to take distributions while avoiding the 10% penalty for early withdrawal? Or, do you want the money to increase investment options and control of the account?
Your 401(k) plan may give you the option to withdraw funds without penalty between age 55 and 59 1/2.
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Article By Dr. Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP, CASL
Most young Americans are poorly educated about financial planning, retirement and preparing for a life without work. Even if many 20-somethings don’t explicitly think or say that it’s too early to think about retirement, most act as though retirement is something to worry about later in life. However, if millennials learn to maximize their earnings potential, pay down debts responsibly and build good savings habits, it’s possible to live a healthy financial life – and maybe even retire a little early.
Retirement Planning in Your 20s
Young workers don’t know what kind of retirement they want or need, and even fewer understand their savings options. Most 20-somethings don’t make a ton of money and are busy with social life or trying to start a family. Increasingly, the high expense of higher education is leaving young Americans in a mountain of student loan debt.
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The array of retirement accounts can be bewildering, especially for millennials just starting out. Two of the top choices are the workplace-oriented 401(k) and the Roth IRA. AdviceIQ Network member Mary Beth Storjohann, the founder of Workable Wealth in San Diego, sorts which might work best for you:
Most Gen Yers don’t know what types of retirement accounts to start with. I break down the pros and cons of two most popular ones – 401(k) and the Roth individual retirement account – to help you decide which is right for you.
This and more at The Independent Agent Network
I remember when I was a junior in high school and playing in the big homecoming football game. The stands were packed and as we entered the fourth quarter I went back to receive a punt. Back then, I was a sure-handed player with good speed and aspirations to play at the next level. However, none of that mattered when the punt slipped through my hands, bounced between my legs, and slowly rolled end-over-end, out of my reach as I was sandwiched by two opposing players running full speed.
It was physically painful and emotionally disheartening because the game was on the line and the other team just recovered the ball on our 20 yard line. As I pulled myself up, I had to make the 25 yard jaunt back to the sidelines. As you might expect, it seemed like a journey of a thousand miles that had nothing but bad news and angry sentiments waiting for me.
Have you ever found yourself in a difficult or painful situation like this? I was ashamed, embarrassed and felt like a failure because I had let myself, my parents, my classmates and even the team down. It suddenly didn’t matter that I had an interception earlier in the game or that I scored a touchdown the week before. I was quickly and unexpectedly in a deep dark hole that I never planned for.
Just as no player ever practices running back to the sideline with your head hung low in both guilt and shame, many people can experience the same thing when divorce, loss of loved one, sudden unemployment, or forced retirement shows up on their door step.
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Plans such as 401(k)s and their ilk have been part of the retirement landscape for decades, and discussions of their pros and cons relative to traditional pensions go back even further.
Now researchers have gone from the theoretical to the concrete and examined exactly how employees respond when their traditional pension plan is replaced. It’s not pretty.
The new plan they examined, for employees of the state of Utah, was less generous than the pension plan it replaced, but few employees took steps to supplement their retirement savings. Affected employees also began leaving their jobs at a faster rate.
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