When Should I Retire?

Few decisions in your life are as complex and fraught with significant consequences as the decision on when to retire. For most of us, this decision will affect more than just ourselves. Your decision cannot be made in a vacuum if you have a significant other, spouse, or others that depend on your paycheck. Many will consider issues such as the size of their retirement and investment portfolios, age, physical health, and the state of the economy. Still, others look to stagnation and boredom with their careers, the availability of a pension or social security, or even an inheritance.

Many books have been written about retirement and there is a wide spectrum of opinion on when people should retire, especially given that people are generally living longer. It was not so long ago that people rarely lived into their 70’s. Today, it is common for people to live to their 90’s or beyond. The fact that our lifespans are increasing with advances in medicine and technology begs the question: should we retire at all?

A very large segment of the country retires at age 62, which coincidentally is the earliest age you can qualify for social security retirement benefits. However, for the eager beavers who decide to do so, they should know that those benefits could potentially be permanently reduced by about 25 percent. For someone who might be around until age 92, that’s a lot of income to forgo. It is possible you may spend three decades in retirement. What the heck are you going to do with yourself for all those years? Visit the grand-kids, play golf, or work in the garden?

Before you even consider the idea of when to retire, engage the services of a financial and retirement income advisor team. Ideally, you will want to work with individuals who have decades of experience working with people similar to you. You will want to look for someone who is not close to retiring themselves.  Imagine how hard it could be to find someone you can trust 10 years from now when your advisor retires.  That is the last thing you will want to do while enjoying your Golden Years.

With all this said, remember that the decision as to when to retire does not just affect you. Your loved ones deserve to be part of the conversation and the decision-making process. Make sure your planning takes into account the financial aspect of retirement and also the life and living parts. You may have bid your spouse goodbye five days a week at 8:00 am for decades. But when that stops, things will change. That change may be for the better or worse, and you need to plan for that, too.


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Lessons From Multi-Millionaires

I read lots of articles, listen to several interviews, consume many, many books a year and a theme I have noticed from those who are financially successful is that change is necessary.  The way many describe the process is that there are four ways to change anything in your life:

  1. You can start doing something you are not currently doing.
  2. You can stop doing something you are currently doing.
  3. You can do more of something.
  4. You can do less of something.

Many of the topics I hear and read about include goal setting and planning, personal and business development, the power of focus and clarity, as well as the many keys to leading a successful life. I would like you to consider four keys to change as it relates to your own goal of preparing for a financially successful and secure retirement.

You can start doing something you are not currently doing.

Have you made an IRA contribution for the year? Are you a participant in an employer-sponsored retirement program?

If you are a business owner, have you established a retirement program for yourself and your employees?

Have you met with a financial professional to map out a strategy for retirement savings, or are you just winging it?

In other words, are you being proactive in securing your future or waiting for Bernie, Hillary, or Donald to come to your rescue?

You can stop doing something you are currently doing.

Are you ready to stop procrastinating and begin developing a plan for the day your paycheck stops?

Are you ready to stop trading stocks because you realize you are not a Wall Street trading genius?

Will you finally admit that you do not possess the skill set to design a retirement income plan that can see you through a potential three-decade retirement with your expenses rising 2% to 4% each year?

Are you ready to take your head out of the sand and ask for help? We have one shot in life to make it a good one. Will you risk it on your ego and the fact that you know everything and don’t need help?

You can do more of something.

You can save more for your retirement. Studies show that saving 10% to 15% of your income will work wonders over a career length savings program. Are you placing one half of bonuses and tax refunds in your own financial fortress to super charge your savings program? Are you teaching your family the importance of savings? Your children are very keen observers of watching what you do, in addition to listening what you say.

You can do less of something.

You can spend less. You can decide to forgo the $3.85 cup of coffee. You can decide that a used car is a smart economic substitute for a new car. You can stop purchasing things you do not need and instead place the funds in retirement and investment accounts to grow for the future. Remember, there are always a limited amount of resources and you must make intelligent decisions on how you will allocate the resources you have. Make good decisions and your chances of a better outcome will increase. Make poor decisions and you will find yourself hoping that public assistance programs pay more because you can’t live on the small amount they provide.

Put these millionaires keys to practice in your own life and imagine the possibilities for change

As always, if you need any help I am just a phone call or email away.

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Step 4 – Meeting my retirement goals

What tactics/investment vehicles may fit my risk tolerance and time horizon to help me meet my retirement goals?

There are a whole host of investments you can put your money in these days.  Some are products issued by investment firms, insurance companies, banks and federal/state/local governments.

  • CD’s
  • Bonds (Municipal, Treasury, Corporate, International)
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s)
  • Index Funds
  • Actively Managed Mutual Funds
  • Individual Stocks
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Private Equity
  • Hedge Funds
  • Precious Metals

This list does not contain every investment out there, but these are the most common ones used.  Each has varying fees and expenses as well as advantages and disadvantages.  The important thing to know is which investments are going to be suitable for your risk tolerance and time horizon.  Also, this list isn’t meant to say that you pick just one and go with that.  The list is merely to show you what are some of the more common choices out there and you may find that several are a good fit for your portfolio and offer the diversification and return potential you need or desire.

Neither diversification nor asset allocation guarantee against loss, they are methods used to manage risk

“Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy.  Profit from folly rather than participate in it.”  – Warren Buffet


I sincerely hope this series of articles was enjoyable and educational for you and I would love your feedback.  If you have any suggestions for improvement, or words of encouragement, please reach out to me at larry@midwestwealthadvisors.com

My hope is that the time you spent reading this was of value to you.  The goal was to provide you something to get you started on the retirement savings path or provide a check-up to see what you current financial strategy is doing and if you are on track to your retirement goals.  Hopefully you now have a good idea of what tools and strategies are available to possibly benefit your retirement, how much you may need to save, and some information about financial vehicles and investments that may work with your situation while also taking into account tax-sensitivities.

If you feel my firm can be of help on your journey, please call 763-428-0066 x3 or email appointments@midwestwealthadvisors.com to setup a No-Cost, No-Obligation, 25 minute phone call.

An even easier way to book your call is by clicking on the Click to Schedule button under my picture at the top of the page.

To Smarter Investing,

Lawrence B. Tate, ChFC

Financial Advisor

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