View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Jim Lentini: Retirement road map, part I

Guest Commentary

Posted: January 3, 2011 8:45 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2011 4:55 a.m.

Happy New Year! As we begin a new year and try to keep our New Year’s resolutions, we need to address our goals for our retirement planning as well. 

By now, I believe every working American should be aware that we can’t rely just on government programs for our retirement.

It will be our personal and employer plans that will make the difference of what resources, and how much, we will have for our peace and comfort in our golden years.

We all are concerned about our future planning, not only for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren.

Daily, we have to deal with the uncertainty of our economy, which affects every aspect of our lives and our families.

One factor that is paramount to our planning is protecting our savings as we get closer to retirement, and being assured of growing the assets that we are putting away for our continued income when we stop working.

In the future, as in the past, you can be assured there always has been — and always will be — ups and downs with the markets.

This is even more true today based on the state and federal governments’ deficit spending.

When we think about saving for retirement, we need to focus differently when we reach certain age brackets in our 50s, 60s and 70s.

When you reach your 50s, you are still working, and trying to save as much as you can now, so you can enjoy retirement later.

This is called the “accumulation and protection” period, and you should focus on the following:

-Maximize contributions to retirement accounts: it reduces your taxable income, and allows catch up contributions for the years when you were not in a position to save as much.

-Create an exit strategy. This is a transition plan that moves you from saving for retirement to spending in retirement: deciding when you will retire, determining your monthly income during retirement and calculating (or estimating) your expenses in retirement.

-Conduct beneficiary reviews of retirement accounts and insurance policies to ensure that all your information is accurate and up-to-date.

-Consolidate retirement accounts by rolling plans into a single IRA as doing so can circumvent plan-imposed restrictions, provide greater estate planning flexibility, control and investment opportunity, and eliminate 20 percent withholding on any withdrawals.

This is a good time to consider a variable annuity with an optional guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit for your retirement portfolio. It provides the potential for growth like an IRA, with the predictability and protection of a pension. You can start working to guarantee your retirement income now, before you need it. Discuss these options and importance with your financial planner.

Watch for this series to continue describing the best course of action for those people who reach their 60s and 70s.

Jim Lentini, CLU, ChFC, IAR is president of Lentini Insurance & Investments Inc. He  can be reached at (661) 254-7633. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...