4 Ways To Retire Without Worry If you feel your retirement is vanishing into the fog, use these tips to brighten your future so you can sail into your golden years. BY RICK STASZAK
Smoothly sail into retirement by being proactive with your finances.
Today’s economic environment has left countless couples feeling uneasy about their finances and worried about what will happen next to their hard-earned savings. Many are coming face-to-face with questions they most likely never imagined they would have to confront now or in the future: Will we be able to sustain a comfortable lifestyle? Do we have enough money to pay our bills each month? Can we afford to keep our home? Will we ever be able to retire?
As savings dwindle, financial concerns can put a strain on any relationship and you might find yourself pointing a finger at your spouse. Whose fault is it when your financial plan goes off the tracks? Sure, it may be easy to point the finger at the financial sales person who sold you the mutual funds or stocks and blame the economy, but upon reflection you might become more aware that the plan you or your advisor put together might have failed to include some of the various available defensive strategies to combat a down market.
Below are a few strategies couples can utilize to help create a successful investment strategy and to aid in rebuilding savings that were lost. In today’s economy, it is imperative to employ tactics, which may not have been used in the past, in order to smooth the road to the golden years.
1. Stay in tune with your investments. Scores of people tend to be under the impression that they don’t have to check, review or make changes to their retirement portfolios. Leading to the situation many face today—a retirement portfolio that is now worth only half of what it was a year ago. Many times, by doing nothing and not making a decision to make a change, you are more than likely making a decision to lose.
2. Be a proactive investor. Today, more than ever, people need to be proactive, not retroactive. With retirement concerns at a high level, people need to be more involved in evaluating how well their life savings are sustaining. Gather all your statements, review them and know where your money is currently invested.
3. Understand the affect of income taxes. Develop a financial plan with specific investment tax management strategies to protect part of your portfolio from income taxes. Make sure you have the ability to have a tax-free income stream when you need it.
4. Seek out an experienced financial planner. People tend to listen too much to the wrong people. Instead of going to a professional, they just listen to a neighbor, friend or co-worker who found this "great" investment. Find an experienced financial planner who can offer you an actively managed account, overseeing and making the necessary changes to your investments. It is important to find a fee-based adviser because he/she has more incentive to grow your investments. Make sure they can and will use any investment and is not required to use certain products that their company pushes.
By taking a few simple approaches to their investments, couples can make their financial lives an area of success. Even in volatile times, it is important to understand that opportunity can still be found in the market.
Rick Staszak is a RFC, CEP and ChFEBC with Financial Network Investment Corporation, an ING company, located in Pittsburgh, Pa. Staszak is an expert in asset management, estate planning, investment strategies and overall wealth management. He helps individuals, as well as businesses, acquire and retain wealth in a tax-efficient manner by providing one-on-one financial guidance and utilizing in-depth investment research and investment tax management. To contact Rick Staszak, call 412-928-4999.