If 2020 taught us anything, it is that the tides of fortune can turn on a dime. And if you do not have enough dimes, you might find yourself struggling to keep your head above water.
Not long ago, the future of retirees looked bright. With legions of youthful baby boomers looking forward to active post-employment lifestyles, retirement planning went from saving for a rainy day to investing for an adventure-filled future. Flash forward to 2020 and the focus is now on saving enough to survive tough economic times precipitated by a pandemic that forced millions of mid-life workers into unexpected early retirement.
According to a recently released study conducted by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, 2.9 million older workers ages 55-70 have left the labor force since March, putting these workers “at risk of having to retire involuntarily due to increased health risks coupled with decreased job prospects.”
These unsettling numbers bring home the importance of getting sound advice sooner rather than later.
“When major events happen in people's lives, they call us because they know we can be trusted to map their financial future,” said Becki Jennings, owner of Jennings Insurance Group in Osage Beach, Mo. “For instance, when COVID-19 hit and the market dropped, we had clients who were very concerned about losing their money. We were pleased to be able to tell them they had not lost a thing.”
Founded in 2007, the Jennings Insurance Group has a proven track record of helping individuals and employers navigate health and life insurance coverage. In 2018, the group expanded its services to include retirement solutions.
“Many of our clients come in to explore their healthcare options in retirement and they are surprised to discover that we provide so many more retirement solutions,” Jennings said. “We provide a holistic approach to determining your retirement needs. From healthcare coverage to income, we evaluate, discover and map your financial future.”
Jennings cautions that regardless of how well you prepare and how substantial your retirement income may be, things can come along that catch you off guard. Those unexpected events often serve as wake-up calls for people to become more proactive about planning for their retirement needs. It can be a complex undertaking that requires the wisdom of seasoned financial professionals.
“When it comes to mapping your financial future, don't go it alone,” Jennings said. “When someone is forced into early retirement, someone receives an inheritance, business owners want to evaluate their exit strategy — these are just a few of the events that often trigger folks to reach out to discuss their situation.”
Moving from saving for retirement to living off your retirement savings can be an intimidating transition filled with complex decisions. For older workers, those decisions can mean the difference between a healthy, active post-employment lifestyle and one where the retiree is struggling to afford their basic needs and essential medications.
“The ability to afford long-term health care and the possibility of outliving their money are pressing concerns for our clients,” Jennings said. “People want to make sure their money will last. We provide a path to lifetime income.”
For those who are in their pre-retirement or who are just now retiring, Jennings stressed it is essential to understand the transition from the accumulation phase of building a retirement nest egg, to the distribution phase of using those nest egg dollars to maximize quality of life and peace of mind during the retirement years.
It is never too soon or too late to protect the future.
Jennings financial professionals help people of all ages and income levels navigate the maze of retirement solutions: she emphasizes it is essential that people in their 40s to mid-50s get a financial check-up right away.
For those who have retirement accounts with employers but are changing jobs or wondering what to do with those accounts as they grow, Jennings financial professionals can conduct a review and make recommendations on ways to maximize retirement opportunities. The primary focus is on helping clients protect their finances and understand how to begin drawing income, strategize for tax efficiencies and protect their assets.
Lifetime tax implications, legacy planning and healthcare coverage in retirement are major factors in the retirement mapping process. The group helps clients develop strategies that can reduce taxable liability, putting more money in their pockets, thereby increasing quality of life.
“Most people who are approaching retirement age realize they no longer have the ability or time to risk their money and hope to recoup any losses when the market goes back up,” Jennings said. “That can take years, even decades. We deliver a comprehensive income plan and discover any potential shortfalls to prop up those weak spots.”
Jennings emphasized that many people do not realize their retirement funds may have extensive exposure in the market and they may be at much higher risk of losing their savings than they may think.
“Often when discussing risk at retirement, folks say they want low or no risk, but once we begin reviewing their contracts, they are often in a much higher risk,” Jennings explained. “We provide solutions to lower their financial exposure.”
Young or old, there is no time like the present to plan your financial future.
To further help people navigate the maze of retirement decisions, the Jennings Insurance Group hosts local seminars and webinars to connect with the community and share the importance of preparing for your financial future. The seminars and webinars address common retirement topics, including how to prepare for unexpected medical expenses and ways to create income to help support your desired lifestyle.
The seminars and webinars are open to people of all ages and income levels.
“The earlier we can start with people, the better the outcome,” Jennings stressed. “We’ve dedicated our lives to helping clients design and implement successful financial strategies to reach their goals. If you are looking for a team to guide you at every step on your retirement journey, we’re here to help.”
Jennings Insurance Group offers a full line of services to help you go from planning for retirement to enjoying your retirement:
Retirement Income Strategies
Asset Protection Strategies
Long-term care strategies
IRA Legacy Planning
To learn more, call the Jennings Insurance Group at (573) 693-9443 or visit jenningsinsurancegroup.com.