• The New Gradual Retirement

    Working a little (or a lot) after 60 may become the norm.

     

    Provided by MidAmerica Financial Resources

     

     

    Do we really want to retire at 65? Not according to the latest annual retirement survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies which gauges the outlook of American workers. It found that 51% of us plan to work part-time once retired. Moreover, 64% of workers 60 and older wanted to work at least a little after 65 and 18% had no intention of retiring.1 

       

    Are financial needs shaping these responses? Not entirely. While 61% of all those polled in the Transamerica survey cited income and employer-sponsored health benefits as major reasons to stay employed in the “third act” of life, 34% of respondents said they wanted to keep working because they enjoy their occupation or like the social and mental engagement of the workplace.1   

     

    It seems “retirement” and “work” are no longer mutually exclusive. Not all of us have sufficiently large retirement nest eggs, so we strive to stay employed – to let our savings compound a little more, and to leave us with fewer years of retirement to fund.

     

    We want to keep working into our mid-sixties because of two other realities as well. If you are a baby boomer and you retire before age 66 (or 67, in the case of those born 1960 and later), your monthly Social Security benefits will be smaller than if you had worked until full retirement age. Additionally, we can qualify for Medicare at age 65.2,3

      

    We are sometimes cautioned that working too much in retirement may result in our Social Security benefits being taxed – but is there really such a thing as “too much” retirement income?

     

    Income aside, there is another question we all face as retirement approaches.

     

    How much control will we have over our retirement transition? In the Transamerica survey, 41% of respondents saw themselves making a gradual entry into retirement, shifting from full-time employment to part-time employment or another kind of work in their sixties.1

          

    Is that thinking realistic? It may or may not be. A recent Gallup survey of retirees found that 67% had left the workforce before age 65; just 18% had managed to work longer. Recent research from the Employee Benefit Retirement Institute fielded roughly the same results: 14% of retirees kept working after 65 and about half had been forced to stop working earlier than they planned due to layoffs, health issues or eldercare responsibilities.3

       

    If you do want to make a gradual retirement transition, what might help you do it? First of all, work on maintaining your health. The second priority: maintain and enhance your skill set, so that your prospects for employment in your sixties are not reduced by separation from the latest technologies. Keep networking. Think about Plan B: if you are unable to continue working in your chosen career even part-time, what prospects might you have for creating income through financial decisions, self-employment or in other lines of work? How can you reduce your monthly expenses?  

     

    Easing out of work & into retirement may be the new normal. Pessimistic analysts contend that many baby boomers will not be able to keep working past 65, no matter their aspirations. They may be wrong – just as this active, ambitious generation has changed America, it may also change the definition of retirement. 

     

    MidAmerica Financial Resources may be reached at 618.548.4777 or greg.malan@natplan.com. www.mid-america.us

     

    This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

       

    Citations.

    1 - forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2015/05/05/why-the-new-retirement-involves-working-past-65/ [5/5/15]

    2 - ssa.gov/retire2/agereduction.htm [6/11/15]

    3 - money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2015/05/22/how-to-pick-the-optimal-retirement-age [5/22/15]

     

  • Investing in Agreement With Your Beliefs

    The case for aligning your portfolio with your outlook & worldview.

     

    Provided by MidAmerica Financial Resources

     

     

    Do your investment choices reflect your outlook? Are they in agreement with your values? These questions may seem rather deep when it comes to deciding what to buy or sell, but some great investors have built fortunes by investing according to the ethical, moral and spiritual tenets that guide their lives.      

       

    Sir John Templeton stands out as an example. Born and raised in a small Tennessee town, he became one of the world’s richest men and most respected philanthropists. Templeton maintained a lifelong curiosity about science, religion, economics and world cultures – and it led him to notice opportunities in emerging industries and emerging markets (like Japan) that other investors missed. Believing that “every successful entrepreneur is a servant,” he invested in companies that did no harm and which reflected his conviction that “success is a process of continually seeking answers to new questions.”1

     

    Among Templeton’s more famous maxims was the comment, “Invest, don’t trade or speculate.” Having endured the Great Depression as a youth, he had a knack for spotting irrational exuberance.2,4

     

    As the 1990s drew to a close, he correctly forecast that 90% of Internet companies would go belly-up within five years. In 2003, he warned investors of a housing bubble that would soon burst; in 2005, he predicted “financial chaos” and a huge stock market downturn. To Templeton, a rally or an investment opportunity had to have sound fundamentals; if it lacked them, it was dangerous.3,4

     

    Warren Buffett leaps to mind as another example. The “Oracle of Omaha” is worth $70 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway’s market value has risen 1,826,163% under his guidance – yet he still lives in the same house he bought for $31,500 in 1958, and prefers cheeseburgers and Cherry Coke to champagne or caviar. He was born to an influential family (his father served in Congress), but he has maintained humility through the decades.5

     

    Money manager Guy Spier dined with Buffett in 2008 at one of the billionaire’s annual charity lunches, and in his book The Education of a Value Investor (co-written with TIME correspondent William Green), he shares a key piece of advice Buffett gave him that day: “It’s very important always to live your life by an inner scorecard, not an outer scorecard.” In other words, act and invest in such a way that you can hold your head high, so that you are staying true to your values and not engaging in behavior that conflicts with your morals and beliefs.5

     

    Buffett has also cited the need to be truthful with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses and capabilities – as you invest, you should not be swayed from your core beliefs to embrace something that you find mysterious. “You have to stick within what I call your circle of competence. You have to know what you understand and what you don’t understand. It’s not terribly important how big the circle is. But it’s terribly important that you know where the perimeter is.”5

                                 

    Speaking to a college class some years ago in Georgia, he cited the real reward for a life well lived: “When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”5

     

    Values and beliefs helped guide Templeton and Buffett to success in the markets, in business and in life. For all the opportunities they seized, their legacy will be that of humble and value-centered individuals who knew what mattered most.

      

    Today, socially responsible investing looks better than ever. Investors who want to their portfolios to better reflect their beliefs and values often turn to “socially responsible” investments – or alternately, “impact” investments that respond to environmental issues, women’s rights issues and other pressing societal concerns. When they emerged in the late 1980s, people were skeptical about how well such investments would perform; that skepticism is still around, but it appears to be unwarranted. Since 1990, the average annual total return for the S&P 500 has been 9.93%; the Domini 400, considered the prime index tracking socially responsible companies, has an annual total return of 10.46% by comparison. So aligning your portfolio with your outlook and worldview looks like even more like a win-win these days.6

        

    MidAmerica Financial Resources may be reached at 618.548.4777 or greg.malan@natplan.com. www.mid-america.us

     

    This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

       

    Citations.

    1 - forbes.com/sites/alejandrochafuen/2013/05/07/how-to-invest-think-and-live-like-sir-john-templeton/ [5/7/13]

    2 - record-eagle.com/news/local_news/jason-tank-finding-the-right-mindset-is-good-start/article_42c81b99-c7c9-5fa1-83b3-4fa2f9c1c641.html [5/5/15]

    3 - csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2008/0711/p09s01-coop.html [7/11/08]

    4 - crossingwallstreet.com/archives/2014/02/sir-john-templeton-the-last-yankee.html [2/10/14]

    5 - observer.com/2015/05/ive-followed-warren-buffett-for-decades-and-keep-coming-back-to-these-10-quotes/ [5/4/15]

    6 - marketwatch.com/story/socially-responsible-investing-has-beaten-the-sp-500-for-decades-2015-05-21 [5/21/15]