Retirement Planning Q&A
In this interview, firm co-founder Ian Welham, RFC® talks about retirement strategies and how to build a successful retirement plan safely, for the long term.
Q: Retirement planning is such a broad, nebulous concept. What is retirement planning exactly, Ian?
IAN: A retirement plan is simply a road map to help us reach our financial goals. If your goal is a financially secure retirement free of worry and stress, well then, how do we get there? The path is different depending on what stage of life we’re in. Are we just starting our career or are we getting close to our retirement years?
Q: So retirement planning changes as we get closer to retirement?
IAN: Yes, just as the car you drove at age 22 is likely different than the car you drive at age 62.
Q: OK, so how does this translate to making investment choices?
IAN: There’s a big difference between an investment portfolio and a retirement portfolio. After age 55, asset protection becomes more important than ever. But that doesn’t mean we want to give up on growth.
Q: So what’s the solution? What’s the right balance?
IAN: Every person’s situation is different. We use a unique process that explores 5 key areas:
- income planning
- investment planning
- tax planning
- health care planning
- legacy planning
Q: Can you explain a bit more?
IAN: Sure. Step 1 is income planning. We want to make sure that we have a reliable and predictable income stream that pays the bills every month for as long as we’re alive.
Q: That’s important because many people are worried about running out of money.
IAN: Indeed. Once the income plan is established, we can create a plan for the assets that we don’t draw on from month to month.
Q: Why worry about taxes? Won’t they go down in retirement?
IAN: We see it time and again when people ask us review their retirement plan. They’re shocked to find out that their tax bill is going to double or triple when they start taking required minimum distributions. Our goal is to help you avoid these kinds of money drains.
Q: I know lots of men and women are concerned about healthcare costs in retirement.
IAN: Whether you’re looking to protect yourself against rising healthcare costs or have a family history that requires long-term care, it’s important to consider potential health care needs as part of your plan.
Q: What if I want to leave a legacy?
IAN: If you’re thinking of leaving money to kids – or to a charity or college or a favorite cause – how you plan today can make a big difference on what they get tomorrow.