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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:
The Retirement Survival Guide is a free, helpful tool for anyone looking for more information on how to plan their retirement.
The Retirement Survival Guide was conceived of and written by STA Wealth Management, an investment management and financial planning firm.
Founded in 2003 by experienced financial executives, STA Wealth Management is a team of more than 20 seasoned executives, skilled advisors and supporting staff based in Houston, Texas. At STA Wealth Management, we share a steadfast dedication to serving our diverse client base. We seek to manage risk and optimize financial futures through proactive independent and proprietary research, strategic planning and personal connection and collaboration. Relationships with trusted names like Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab demonstrate our commitment to sound solutions centered on you, your family, and your business. At STA Wealth Management, we define ourselves by our conservative, disciplined, and different approach to meeting your financial needs.
The Retirement Survival Guide is an important resource to help you build a foundation of knowledge about retirement, enabling you to start your retirement plan. It is a free, downloadable and printer-friendly PDF that breaks down all aspects of retirement preparation in an easy-to-understand manner. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call at 281-822-8800 or visit our website at www.stawealth.com for more information.
There are two major factors to consider when thinking about retirement: 1. Are you financially ready, and 2. Am I emotionally ready? See page 3 of the Retirement Survival Guide, which breaks down both questions in more detail.
Of course, it’s different for everyone depending on income, assets, net worth and much more. However, it is important to find out when you should start planning based on your personal situation. The Retirement Survival Guide fully explains the step-by-step process of planning for retirement so that you can know at what age you should start preparing.
It depends on your goals in retirement, the amount of income you can count on, and your personal savings. It also depends on how long of a retirement you want to plan for and what your assumptions are regarding future inflation and earnings. See page 4 of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information.
Many married couples find the first few years of one or both spouse’s retirement a period of rough transition. If you haven’t discussed your plans with your spouse, you should do so; think through what the repercussions will be, positive and negative, on your roles and your relationship.
he average 65-year-old American can expect to live for another 19.3 years with life expectancy increasing at a steady pace. The age at which you retire can have an enormous impact on your overall retirement income situation, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve considered your decision from every angle. Refer to page five of the Retirement Survival Guide to learn more about deciding when to retire.
our retirement income plan starts with your target annual income, and there are a significant number of factors to consider, so it’s important to take the time to create a thorough retirement budget. See page eight of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information and factors to consider.
Inflation is the risk that the purchasing power of a dollar will decline over time due to the rising cost of goods and services. Inflation has run at a historical average of about three percent, so it is important to keep in mind when preparing for retirement. See page 9 of the Retirement Survival Guide to learn more about how to account for inflation.
An increasing number of employees nearing retirement plan to continue to work for at least some period of time while retired. There are more than just economic reasons to continue working while retiring, including personal fulfillment, the social aspects and more. See page ten of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information on why it might be a good idea to set up another line of work when you move on to your next chapter in life.
The often-used analogy to answer this question is describing a three-legged stool: The combination of Social Security benefits, traditional employer pension income and individual savings and investments. However, the analogy doesn’t hold up as well today. See page eleven of the Retirement Survival Guide on why this analogy is not as reliable as it once was.
If there’s no possibility that you’re going to be able to afford the retirement you desire, your options may be limited. You can simply postpone retirement or reevaluate your expectations for retirement. See page fourteen of the Retirement Survival Guide on potential options including selling your home, working in retirement and more.
Creating the R.I.T.E Plan to help you meet your goals and objectives is a great way to plan for retirement. This planning process helps you better plan for “Retirement Income Taxed Efficiently”. With proper financial and tax planning, you will be better positioned to achieve any Retirement Income Gap goals you may have. See page fifteen of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information on retiring the R.I.T.E. way.
It’s important to avoid extra taxes like the 3.8% Obamacare Tax. See page fifteen of the Retirement Survival Guide to learn more.
The retirement lifestyle you can afford will depend not only on your assets and investment choices, but also on how quickly you draw down your retirement portfolio. The annual percentage that you take out of your portfolio, whether from portfolio earnings or from both earnings and principal, is known as your withdrawal rate. Figuring out an appropriate initial withdrawal rate is a key issue in retirement planning and presents many challenges. See page seventeen of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information.
You may have assets in accounts that are taxable, tax deferred, or tax-free. You may also have some complicated employer related plans such as Restricted Stock, Stock Options or Deferred Compensation Plans. See page eighteen of the Retirement Survival Guide to find out how to keep more of your retirement dollars working for you.
Your tax bracket could change in retirement. You will need to identify appropriate strategies to become tax smart. See page nineteen of the Retirement Survival Guide to learn how to utilize various retirement rollover and Roth IRA conversion strategies that may be very beneficial for avoiding typical rollover mistakes.
You can’t keep your money in tax-deferred retirement accounts forever. The law requires you to start taking distributions from traditional IRAs by April 1 of the year following the year you turn age 70 ½ or, if later, the year you retire. See page nineteen of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information.
If you’ve used a tax-deferred annuity, typically in the form a fixed, variable or equity-indexed annuity for part of your retirement savings, at some point you’ll need to consider your options for converting the annuity to income. See page twenty of the Retirement Survival Guide on how to handle your annuity in retirement.
Life insurance can be a very powerful, flexible and tax-efficient retirement and estate-planning tool. See page twenty-one of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information on making life insurance decisions.
In retirement, when you are not working, not only can you not replace that lost capital with future income, your predicament is compounded by three additional factors. See page twenty-three of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information on how to develop a financial and investment plan that fits your retirement strategy.
Your asset allocation is typically defined as the percentage allocation of your portfolio assets between investment asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, private deals and more. Your asset allocation strategy in retirement will probably be different than the one you used when saving for retirement. See page twenty-five of the Retirement Survival Guide to learn more.
There’s a chance that through retirement, costs for prescription drugs or medical treatments will increase. That’s why having health insurance can be extremely important. See page twenty-seven of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information.
If you are age 65 or older when you retire, you’re most likely eligible for certain heath benefits from Medicare. However, if you retire before age 65, you’ll need some way to pay for your healthcare until Medicare kicks in. Refer to page twenty-seven of the Retirement Survival Guide for more information.
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