May 2, 2011

Re-Introducing “Choices”

By Richard J. Schillig, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor

Earlier this year, we re-introduced our “Choices” workshops for our clients and potential clients. See our ad below promoting the June 7 and 9 evenings at Bennigans in Bettendorf.

These workshops are in fact workshops – not seminars. Our intention with these programs is to provide easy to understand information on the “Choices” we have with our retirement plans; savings & investment plans, insurance plans and life plans. Safety from stock and mutual fund volatility as well as other risks remains paramount. Today – safety from the taxation risk is included.

I read somewhere – since World War II, our federal government has spent $1.17 for every $1 received. That’s close to 70 years of the infamous deficit spending. Taxes are going to become increasingly a risk in retirement. Tax results in lower income. Tax is a risk to our retirement dollars. “Choices” offers some taxation protection strategies.

In addition, we are fully aware of the terrific hit that many retirees and near retirees have taken with money following the 2008 stock and mutual fund market downturn. Some recovery has been realized over past couple years but full recovery has not yet occurred. Further – the unrest in today’s world could result in another terrific downturn. “Choices” is designed to help alleviate some of this anxiety and frustration by offering alternatives to traditional methods of accumulating and distributing valued retirement money. AMD “Choices” emphasizes the importance of reviewing the overall retirement plan frequently when retired. Planning during retirement must continue.

The tale of Mt. Everest is an excellent analogy. Allow me to tell the tale again. That peak remains the ultimate challenge of ardent and adventurous climbers from across the world. Do you know that nearly 190 climbers have perished on Mt. Everest? However, not known or recognized with this statistic is more climbers have perished, not in the pursuit of the awesome goal of reaching the top, but perished after reaching the summit. They died coming down the mountain, not on the climb. All their life climbers prepared, trained and worked out continuously to meet the challenge – the climb. Lacking in their preparation was how to descend that magnificent peak.

The tale of Mt. Everest is like our own retirement plan. We have spent years saving, investing and monitoring our retirement nest egg with the complexity of 401ks, 457 Plans, 403b Plans, IRAs (traditional and Roth). We annually reviewed progress and rode the peaks and valleys of the markets all with the intention of reaching the top – retirement time. Then – we stop planning.

Folks – take the Mt. Everest story to heart with your own retirement. Don’t perish on the decent. Don’t stop retirement planning when retirement begins. Retirement planning needs to continue during retirement just as adamant and as serious as during our working years. Retirement planning needs to continue and become longevity planning. Ladies – this is especially true for you. Life expectancy for a 65-year-old female is well over 20 years. At age 75 life expectancy is almost 14 years. At age 85 life expectancy is over 7 years. Living to the ripe old age of 95 and beyond is very common today.

“Choices” reviews and examines the strategies necessary to make sure we outlive our assets and not the other way around. Many of us desire to live to age 95 with good health. I doubt any of us desires to live to 95 and be broke. Join us for “Choices.” See the ad below. Welcome to the beautiful month of May.

Richard J. Schillig, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF is an Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor with RJU and Associates, Inc. He can be reached at (563) 332-2200.