retirement calculator

Your Retirement Goals

A reader wrote in this week.  Like so many, it seems this person has a hard time knowing where to start, and this is unfortunately a very common issue we run into every day.  But not to fear! A few simple questions can get you on the right track

Yes, I read your annuity report. I have a person telling me I should buy a variable annuity and also bonds.  I have another person who is retired from the business and says not to buy any annuities or bonds.  He says I should only buy no load mutual funds which have mostly natural gas and energy stocks.

 We wrote back with the following:

You can listen to 20 people and get 20 opinions.  They are just opinions at this point- some people like Ford, others Chevy, and others Toyota.  It’s all opinion, and without knowing what you want or need, it’s all static and noise that hurts you much more than helps you.

You might want great gas mileage… but if you’re talking to a pickup truck guy, he’ll tell you you are nuts to want a Prius.

The only important opinion at this point is your own.  If you sit back and determine the outcome you desire, there are likely several ways to achieve that goal.  Each will have varying pros and cons, and until we – you and whoever you are talking with- know what you need, any discussion of bonds vs annuities vs mutual funds is also just static and noise.

The best way to find out what is right for you is to ask yourself a couple questions.  We’d be happy to help if you could give us a little info on your situation and desires.  Here are a few questions to get started:

  1. What is your current age and when do you plan to retire?
    1. ______________________________________________
  2. Are you looking for joint or single life coverage?
    1. ______________________________________________
    2. Spouse Age:______________________________
  3. What is your base level of income needed in retirement?
    1. ______________________________________________
  4. How much guaranteed income do you expect from other sources?
    1. ______________________________________________
    2. The difference between what you need and what you expect is the income gap that needs to be filled.
  5. Therefore, your Income Gap/ Minimum Guaranteed Income amount needed is:
    1. ______________________________________________
  6. How long does this income need to last?
    1. ______________________________________________
  7. You may be seeking appreciation or future lump sums, or want to leave an inheritance, and not need income.  If so, let us know what you are seeking here:
    1. ______________________________________________
  8. What is your State of residence?
    1. ______________________________________________

Now we have a starting point, or a Retirement Income Goal Statement.  It’s critical to get to this point, because everything falls into place once you know where you want to go.

Ready to set your retirement plans on the right track? We look forward to hearing from you!

2 replies
  1. Bob
    Bob says:

    Hi my name is Bob and I have participated in the risky market since 1982
    I opened A qualified mutual fund Ira and saw that fund grow after a 4 year basis of
    $7000.00 I never put another cent after losing my job in 1986 that fund doubled
    Every 4th year unto the $7 k total in 1986 to $227k in 2000. In the succeeding
    2 years that fund dropped in value to $51k . My nonqualified ira was changed to
    A variable annuity for my account “protection” what a joke. With 12b1 fees my 14
    Accounts went from a 2007 max total of $282k to $159k in mar 2009.
    In July 2010 I hear a man talk about a protected product that would guarantee
    8.% growth. I then transferred the balance of my 3 account into a fixed
    Annuity . with an income rider.
    The reduced fee structure of his product sounded great however after 3 years in the
    Product I now realize I never got information on the biggest fee of all
    Taxes incurred on the back end when the product is used
    Please send me information of how taxes affect
    A.qualified annuities B non qualified C roth annuities
    Sincerely Bob

    Reply
    • Nathaniel Pulsifer
      Nathaniel Pulsifer says:

      Bob-
      Taxes on annuities in qualified funds are assessed at your regular income rate at the time you withdraw from the qualified fund. With a Roth, there are no taxes as that was paid when you put money in. as to non qualified funds, annuity income is taxed at ordinary rates at the time of withdrawal. hope this helps!

      Reply

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