This may seem like a funny question, but too few people ever actually think about retirement. What do you want it to be like? The standard image seems to be an old couple sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch. This does not have to be you! Instead, you can have adventures, buy the boat you always wanted, travel the world, or spend time in an RV visiting your grand kids. Whatever makes you happy is what retirement should be all about.
At Gulf Coast Educators Insurance, we know that planning for retirement needs to begin with establishing lifestyle goals. It is important to decide how you feel about retirement in general, when you want to actually retire, and what you want to do when you get there. This requires some soul searching, but it is worth it to ensure that you actually enjoy being retired, instead of wishing you were back at work or doing something else.
Once you know what you want retirement to be like and when you want to stop working, we can help you create a financial plan for what it will take to get you there. Retirement costs money, and that money can come from multiple sources. As an educator or someone working for the school district, you likely have a better than average pension. You will also be entitled to some Social Security benefits. This is the good news. However, that is often not enough to retire the way you want to. If you would rather spend Christmas in Switzerland than at home or would like to spend your days fishing in the open ocean, you will need more money than the typical porch-dweller. Fortunately, we can help you get it by helping you plan ahead.
There are several tools that can help you save for retirement. These include annuities and IRAs. When investing in an IRA, one of the things we will help you decide is whether you want to pay taxes on that money today or if you want to pay taxes when you draw the funds. The answer to this really depends on your current financial situation and whether you need tax deductions now. If you can afford to pay taxes on the money today, that can often be a better way to go, simply because you can then grow your investments as much as you want and never have to pay for those gains. Once you reach retirement age, you can draw from your IRA as needed.
Annuities are also beneficial for retirement, and they can provide you with cash flow on a monthly basis. With a fixed annuity, you are guaranteed a set rate of return and can withdraw up to 10 percent of your annuity on an annual basis. Many people prefer this method because there is no risk involved. However, if you would prefer an annuity that is tied to the stock market, we can offer you an indexed annuity.
These are all options we can discuss with you when meeting to plan for your future retirement.