Creating a Retirement Strategy

Across the country, people are saving for that “someday” called retirement. Someday, their careers will end. Someday, they may live off their investments, plus Social Security. They know this, but many of them do not know when, or how, it will happen. What is missing is a strategy – and a good strategy might make a great difference.

A retirement strategy directly addresses the “when, why, and how” of retiring. It breaks the whole process of getting ready for retirement into actionable steps.

This is so important. Too many people retire with doubts, unsure if they have enough retirement money and uncertain of what their tomorrows will look like. Year after year, many workers also retire sooner than they had planned. According to a 2019 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, about 43% of workers enter retirement earlier than they planned.[1]

In contrast, you can save, invest, and act on your vision of retirement now to chart a path toward your goals and the future you want to create for yourself.[1]

Some people dismiss having a long-range retirement strategy since no one can predict the future. Indeed, there are things about the future you cannot control: how the financial markets will perform, how the economy might do. That said, you have partial or full control over other things: the way you save and invest, your spending and your borrowing, the length and arc of your career, and your health. You also have the chance to be proactive and to prepare for the future.

A good retirement strategy has many elements. It sets financial objectives. It addresses your retirement income: how much you may need, the sequence of account withdrawals, and the age at which you claim Social Security. It establishes (or refines) an investment approach. It examines tax implications and potential tax advantages. It takes possible health care costs into consideration and even the transfer of assets to heirs.

A prudent retirement strategy also entertains different consequences. Financial advisors often use multiple-probability simulations to try and assess the degree of financial risk to a retirement strategy, in case of an unexpected outcome. These simulations can help to inform the advisor and the retiree or pre-retiree about the “what ifs” that may affect a strategy. They also consider sequence of returns risk, which refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor may receive over an extended period of time.[2]

Let a retirement strategy guide you. Ask a financial professional to collaborate with you to create one, personalized for your goals and dreams. When you have such a strategy, you know what steps to take in pursuit of the future you want.

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

– Dolly Parton

Recipe of the Week

Oven-Cooked Corn on the Cob

Serves: 4
  • 8 unhusked ears of corn
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 pressed cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place unhusked corn directly on oven rack.
  3. Roast until tender, 40-45 minutes.
  4. Combine butter, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in bowl. Mix until spreadable.
  5. Remove and husk corn
  6. Spread 1 Tbsp. of butter mixture on each ear and serve.
  7. Suggestions: sprinkle with favorite spices, parsley, or Parmesan cheese.

Recipe adapted from[3]

Tax Tips

Owe the IRS Money? Here’s How to Pay.

If you owe federal taxes, you should pay by the April deadline even if you get an extension. Here are some options for making your payment easy:

  • Use Direct Pay. IRS Direct Pay is a free and secure way to pay directly from your checking or savings account.
  • Pay by Debit or Credit Card. If you don’t want to link a bank account, you can use your credit or debit card. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay a processing fee and may incur interest charges.
  • Pay When You E-File. If you file your federal tax return electronically, you can pay directly from your bank account using Electronic Funds Withdrawal.
If you can’t pay the full amount that you owe now, you can set up a payment agreement to pay your taxes over time using direct debit.
For more information about filing your taxes, consult a qualified tax expert.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from[4]

Golf Tip

Handling a Sidehill Lie

Sidehill lies can pose a real challenge. Your stance, grip, and even your club selection may need to change in response.
When your feet are higher than the ball, grip toward the end of the club, put more of your weight on your heels, and flex your knees at address a little more than you ordinarily would. The ball tends to leak to the right from such lies, so if the shot allows, think about using a club with a bit less loft. The inverse applies when the ball is above your feet. You want more of your weight on your toes, you want to choke up on the grip slightly, you want to stand tall, and you may want a club with slightly more loft as the ball will be inclined to hook.
Tip adapted from Eagle Mountain Golf Club[5]

Healthy Lifestyle

Stay Fit When You Stay Home

Most of us know we should exercise more. But between busy schedules, cold weather, and for half of us, pure “gymtimidation,” getting to the local fitness center can be challenging. Before you throw in the proverbial gym towel, consider trying out these three cost-effective ways to stay fit without leaving home. Don’t forget to make sure to discuss any medical concerns with your health care provider before beginning any fitness routine; this information is not a substitute for medical advice.
  1. YouTube videos – From yoga to Pilates, walking to Zumba, and more, thousands of free fitness tutorials are available right at your fingertips.
  2. Resistance bands – The tools typically cost around $15-20 for a set of three mini- or five regular-sized bands. They’re compact and lightweight, making them easy to use, store, and even bring along while traveling.
  3. Interval training – Try working out in multiple 10-minute sessions throughout the day. You’ll counteract boredom and fire up your metabolism more frequently.
Staying fit doesn’t necessitate a one-size-fits-all approach, so don’t let skipping the gym intimidate you from reaching your fitness goals!
Tip adapted from[6]

Green Living

Green(er) Tea

Many items in your kitchen have environmentally-friendly replacements that can make a big difference over time. Your daily cup of tea is no exception.
One of the most delicious kitchen swaps is to switch your regular teabags with loose leaf tea with a reusable infuser. Many store-bought tea bags have plastic in them, and the boxes that the tea comes in is often laden with plastics. Making your daily cup of tea will take a little longer, but many people find the ritual of making loose leaf tea enjoyable and soothing. After you’re done, the used tea leaves can be composted.
Tip adapted from Green Living Ideas[7]