Hi. Vince Oldre. Thanks for watching another video. I wanna talk to you about what some of you might be searching for. That is a checklist to make sure that you are ready for retirement. Think about this. When you bring your car in and you get the oil change or your tires rotated, technically they go through another checklist. They go through your tire pressure, your tire tread. They go through your oil, your windshield fluid, your brake fluid. They check all these things. They have their own checklist. When you get your car back, you actually get this checklist that they’ve done.
They check off whether it’s a pass, a medium, to fail grade. What we have done is actually have created a 10-point master retirement plan for you to follow so that you can make sure you have more confidence or more peace of mind when it comes to your own retirement. Here’s step number one when it comes to our 10-point retirement master plan.
Number one, look at concrete steps to minimize your risk. One thing that we do is we look at what type of risks you are taking today. What we do is we look at your current holdings, your mutual funds, exchange for your funds, and actually look at historical returns not in the good years, but in the bad years like 2008 and 2001. That will tell us how much risk you are taking with that particular investments. If it’s happened once, it can happen again. In fact, it probably happened twice between 2001 and 2008. Understanding how much risk you are taking can also tell you how much you’re willing to have at risk with your own retirement.
Step number two is how to substantially reduce fees. Reducing fees can be tricky because when we look at our statements, it’s not that easy to read. It’s not that easy to find where the fees are coming from. One thing you can do is put the mutual fund or the exchange traded fund that you are holding onto and put that into Google. Usually what will pop up right away is a Morningstar report. In that Morningstar report it will tell you your expenses. If the expenses are quite high or on one percent or more, that might mean that you might be paying too much in fees. The other thing is to avoid front-load commissionable mutual funds. When we think about a commission, sometimes we pay five percent or less or more, and if I pay my five percent upfront, that means I’m starting at a loss. Typically what you wanna do is avoid those front-load commissionable mutual funds.
Step number three is how to avoid the retirement tax trap. It’s not always that easy. You actually have to do a tax [forward 00:03:02] analysis. Most of you just look back at your taxes instead of looking forward, meaning what’s gonna happen next year, five years, 10 years. By doing that, you can understand what your taxes might look like when you hit retirement and how do you take out your required minimum distributions when you turn 70 1/2. Most of you that are in or near retirement that are baby boomers have a lot of money in your 401Ks or IRAs or 403Bs, and will have to take taxes out of those investments or retirement vehicles soon.
The next thing is step number four, wring every nickel out of your social security. Social security, if just looked at alone, is not always that easy. Even more difficult is putting it back into your entire retirement plan. As much as you wanna get every dollar out of social security, what you need to do is put that in with your overall retirement plan. That’s how you wring out every nickel out of your social security. If you want a social security analysis, a lot of people will offer them. If you want one of ours, we’re here to do that for you.
Step five is get the most out of your pension. There’re a lot of different options that you have when it comes to taking your pension. Sometimes you can leave 25%, 50%, or even 100% of your income to your surviving spouse. There is some decisions you’re gonna have to make when taking that income from your pension, as well as you might even have a lump sum option. Most of the time, what we recommend is taking that income over your life instead of taking that lump sum, because it’s pretty hard to take that money out and get a reasonable rate of income that’s similar to what you could get with your current pension. Look at all your options. Then what you also have to do is put that again with your overall plan.
Next, number six is protect your money from stock market crashes. This is pretty simple to do because if you’ve took step one into place, you’ll understand how much risk you’re willing to take or how much risk you are taking with your current investments and you can take the steps needed to reduce your overall risk, which will then protect your money from stock market crashes. There’s some other things that you can do, such as getting a tool, what we use is WealthGuard, which monitors your investments, whether it’s out of 401K or with your advisor. It monitors your investments and will alert you when the market goes down. Not when the market’s going up, but when the market’s going down. You set up those alerts. There’s no cost or obligation to have WealthGuard for you, but if you don’t have something like that, we welcome you to have WealthGuard added to your accounts. There are other ones out there that you can get that will help you monitor your assets for retirement.
Step number seven is generate tax-free income. There’s a lot of ways you can do that. Whether you use a Roth or Roth conversion, some people like to talk about life insurance and ways to do that. Before you jump into any product, make sure it’s gonna work with your overall plan.
Step number eight almost goes along with step number seven, that is a required minimum distribution strategy to recover your taxes. Because we know that you’re gonna have to take your required minimum distribution at age 70 1/2, you wanna have a plan in place to do that so that you don’t pay as much taxes, or you pay as very little taxes, as possible when it comes to your required minimum distributions in your retirement accounts.
The ninth step is learn the exact cost of your healthcare costs. It can be hard to talk to your neighbor about what their healthcare costs are, and everybody is under their own healthcare plan when it comes to your own employer, but once you go to age 65, then we’ll have Medicare. It gets a little bit easier, but before you turn 65, we’ll have to understand, “Are we gonna have to fill in some gaps to help you make ends meet?”
Number 10 is making sure you have your estate planned, wills trusted, and advanced care directives in place. What we wanna do is make sure you don’t leave things a mess when you’re no longer here. I’ll give you a prime example. There was a famous person here that recently passed away in Minnesota. His name was Prince, or he went by the name of Prince. He did not have a will, estate, or anything in place. When he passed away, people were coming out of the woodwork to collect his money. What’s really important for you is to make sure that when you’re no longer here, we don’t leave it a mess and we make sure that we have the healthcare directives in place so that we don’t put a lot of pressure on our family and they know what our wishes are when we have a medical event, if we’re in a coma or maybe on a respirator. They know what to do.
That’s a long list there. I know it can be pretty hard to do all those things on your own. If you want our help, that’s what we’re here for. We can help you put this 10-point retirement master plan together. If not, do look at how you can reach each step and make sure you hit all your goals when it comes to your retirement.
As always, I appreciate you watching. If you do wanna attend one of our events, make sure to go to our events page at www.assuredretirementgroup.com. Go to the “Events” page and make sure to come to our next event. Until then, I look forward to speaking to you next time.