Is your retirement secure?

Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by LeBuick, Aug 30, 2008.

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Is your retirement secure?

Poll closed Sep 9, 2008.
  1. I will do well.

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  2. I will be ok.

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  3. I will get by.

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  4. I will barely get by.

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  5. I will depend on social security.

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  6. I have no hope to retire.

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  7. Other.

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  1. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    My wife has contributed 5% of her pay toward a 401K for 7 years. Her company matches up to 5% of her pay. I was just checking her account and found she has just over $18K.

    She has her money in one of her companies managed fund and her year to date change in value is -$2536. At this rate, I don't think she will ever retire.

    How do you fair at best managing your own retirement?
     
  2. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I did a voluntary salary reduction agreement for more than 20 years, and found when I was 65 that my Guidestone pension plus Social Security, added to my wife's Guidestone (she worked part-time in campus ministry for about 20 years) and Social Security, came to more than the church I served was paying me. So for that and some other more compelling reasons (my sense that after that amount of time they were no longer really hearing my leadership), I retired.

    Our financial advisor put us into equity indexed annuities, one of which starts paying out next year (five years after my retirement) and the other five years after that. This is an investment vehicle that cannot drop down below annual benchmarks, but whose gains are capped as well. It made sense for our time of life, and now that the market is doing what it's doing, it seems even better.

    After retirement I have continued to work part-time as a Foundation executive, an adjunct professor, and an interim pastor. We spend very little of those incomes, other than on the occasional travel venture, so that we can add to the equity-indexed annuity that matures in 2014. It is buying low now, with the hope it will pay out, if not sell, high. We think we will do well. And even if we have miscalculated, we know that our pensions and our Social Security incomes are secured. It's just that inflation factor that is a bit worrisome.
     
  3. Jon-Marc

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    I voted "Other", because nothing is secure. There are no guarantees in this world, and if there are then those guarantees are no good. My retirement check was cut $345 per month in June, and I'm hurting financially.
     
  4. LeBuick

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    Looks like you had great vision and guidance. How did you find a financial adviser? Are they expensive or do they work only on commission? I would like to look into these annuities.
     
  5. LeBuick

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    Are you on some sort of pension? I noticed companies no longer offer pensions to average workers but do still offer them to top executives. Something seems backwards in this picture...
     
  6. ktn4eg

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    When I received Christ as my Savior, He gave me a retirement plan that's out of this world!! :godisgood:
     
  7. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Some do charge fees and others work on commission. This particular advisor we found because we attended one of those "dog and pony shows" that lawyers and financial planners put on all the time ... free lunch, listen to the lecture, sign up if you want consultation. We were favorably impressed with this particular presentation, though we went with our defenses up, and decided to visit with this man. Turns out he is the son of a Church of the Brethren pastor who never had much income or retirement, so he knows the minister's situation. He has made suggestions, offered ideas, but never, never pushed anything at us. However, when we were ready to make a move, he has provided options and has helped us decide which were right. Yes, I know he makes a commission, but that's all right. This laborer is worthy of his hire.

    Just an example of the guidance he gave: Guidestone (the Southern Baptist retirement program that some of us knew as the Annuity Board and then some of us before that knew as the Relief and Annuity Board) offers a variety of payout options when one is ready to retire. Our advisor suggested that I take the 100% annuitization option, which would mean that when I die, it all stops and nothing comes back to my wife, assuming she outlives me. We protested that that did not seem good, but then he showed us that we could couple that to a life insurance policy which would kick in if I die first, and would provide her with almost exactly the same income as my annuity. Meanwhile, it is building equity, and if she should die first, I could simply stop paying on it and reinvest the equity as I choose. The kind of thing I never would I have thought of.

    As for the equity-indexed annuities, I had never heard of them until Steve (our planner) suggested them, and at first blush it felt as though they were too good to be true. He pointed us to resources to read about them, I looked up other reports, we discussed the potential problems, but then decided to go for them. Again he offered any number of providers, but did steer us to the one he thought best suited for us. Yes, I am aware of how one gets nudged in the direction a salesman wants him to go ... but again, no pressure, not even followup phone calls. I initiated all the followups.

    Steve also helped us determine what Medicare supplement health insurance to buy -- which tier and which provider. We talked about long-term care insurance, but did not follow through with that. And he even offered us information, should we want to look at it, on reverse mortgages. We do not anticipate needing to use that option.

    This person operates out of Bel Air, MD, and if anyone reading this is close enough to that area and wants to consult with Steve, I will provide his full name and telephone number in private mail.
     
  8. KenH

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    Amen. :thumbs:
     
  9. LeBuick

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    Good answer but I was asking about the time before that plan kicks in...
     
  10. ktn4eg

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    I know that.

    Just FTR, I do happen to have a 401(k) from my employer, a Roth IRA, and my military retirement.

    Will these be enough? I don't know. God's Word records a time when money failed way back in Genesis 47.

    Revelation also alludes to a time(s) in the future when apparently there will be some restrictions on money (6:6 & 13:17).

    Hopefully by then I will already be enoying God's retirement plan in a place where gold is used as paving material.
     
  11. Jon-Marc

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    I worked 35 years for Uncle Sam, and they took a certain % out of each check and put it into a retirement fund. I paid very little into social security since I worked most of my life for the government.
     
  12. LeBuick

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    Sounds like the Thrift Savings Plan. I hear the Gov has a good one. Too bad we all can't invest in it.

    Looking at all the funds in my wifes plan, they all have negatives for 1, 3, 5 and 10 year historical with the exception of 1 set of Bonds. It seems to be linked to inflation somehow. Fidelity says her company assembled the funds so they are not responsible for the performance.

    Her money is in a managed fund, but the manager says he is limited to the company provided funds. Why is this? Why just the company provided funds instead of all the resources Fidelity has available? I am trying to learn but it appears there is something behind the scenes I have yet to discover.
     
  13. donnA

    donnA
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    We have no retirement fund, we have no extra money for retirement. My husbands work has no 401K or anythng else. We will draw social security and depend on God, thats all.
     
  14. LeBuick

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    I will pray it's there when we need it Donna. I have the same plan as you.
     
  15. Jon-Marc

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    No, the Thrift Savings Plan was nothing more than a savings account--like in a bank. It was separate from my retirement fund. Had I started saving in it a lot sooner, I would have had a lot more saved than I had. I had nearly $11,000 in the account as it was, which came in very handy for buying a good used car, which I still drive over 5 years later.

    The smart thing to do is to have some kind of savings to draw on during retirement since that check from the government doesn't quite make it. I had planned on writing children's books after retirement, but I soon found out I have no imagination and have no idea what children like to read--if anything. With children being into the computer these days, books are ignored.
     
    #15 Jon-Marc, Sep 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2008
  16. Joseph M. Smith

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    Money managers operate on the basis of guidelines provided them by those who own the funds. If the owner, in this case the employer, wants all growth or all fixed income or whatever, then the fund manager is obligated to follow that instruction.

    However, why do we hire a fund manager unless we are willing to listen to his/her advice? Believe me, Fidelity collects a nice management fee for making investment decisions, but if they have to do so within narrow boundaries, the fund owner is more or less throwing away that fee by not listening to advice.
     
  17. JerryL

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    I voted, I will do well. That's if everything goes as planned and the government and the companies don't rob me. But you know the old saying, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans."
     
  18. FriendofSpurgeon

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    These percentages might be a little dated, though my guess is that they are still pretty accurate. I can't remember where I got these from (perhaps Larry Burkett or Ron Blue). All of these are pretty staggering though.

    1. At age 65 in the United States today ....

    2% Are financially free
    23% Are still working
    30% Are dependent upon charity
    45% Are dependent upon family

    2. 11 out of every 12 women in the United States will become a widow at some point in their lives.

    3. Most individuals reach their peak earnings at age 46; after age 54, earnings drop rapidly.

    4. Currently, 80% of all Americans owe more than they own. In other words, they have a net negative balance.


    By the time you retire, you should have life insurance, no major debt, a free & clear home, an auto with no payments, social security income, savings & investments, and a pension or retirement income.

    Of course, everyone is in a different situation & it's not easy to accomplish all of the above. However, most everyone under-estimates the costs associated with being retired, especially medical costs.


     
  19. Jon-Marc

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    When you're young retirement and planning for it generally doesn't enter the picture, but everyone should start planning for it as soon as they get their first job. Unfortunately, I was one of the foolish ones who didn't do much planning, and I'm suffering because of it.
     

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