What Robin’s Reading: August 2015

Robin Weingast Reading RecsWelcome to a new installment of “What Robin’s Reading,” our bimonthly feature that highlights what the Robin Weingast team is reading to stay current and up-to-date on the issues that will most impact our clients and their benefits planning.

The entire Robin Weingast team believes that a key part of our responsibility is to understand what our clients value, what’s on their minds, and what they need to have peace of mind about their benefits and retirement planning. That’s why this month, some recently released studies have captured our attention.

The first is a study from the American Psychological Association that found that money is the leading cause of stress for Americans. This is probably not a surprise to most of us, since as the study indicates, most of us are stressed out about finances! What was surprising to us is that money anxiety crosses all socioeconomic lines. In fact, a recent survey of individuals “with a net worth of $1 million or more by UBS found that while millionaires derive significant satisfaction from the wealth they amassed, they also feel “ever-present fear of losing it all.” This fear and money anxiety take a toll on personal happiness and relationships, and sometimes trick us into making the wrong decisions about planning for our future.

Another recently released study indicates that Americans are saving more,  “but the percentage of household savings that went into employer-sponsored retirements plans like 401(k)s fell 7 percentage points to 22 percent in 2014, and households participating in employer-sponsored plans declined to 56 percent last year from 60 percent in 2013.” What’s the reason for the decline? A focus on short-term, unexpected cash needs rather than long-term planning. In fact, there was an 8% increase in households reporting that their savings were being put aside specifically to deal with immediate emergencies that may arise.

We’ve spent time on our Need to Know blog discussing the dangers of not being prepared for retirement (Link 4), and our 30+ years of experience have shown us that a well-structured, attractive retirement plan is a win for everyone — you’ll attract the best staff and they’ll be more prepared for retirement. We also know that knowledge and support are the keys to alleviating anxiety, preparing properly, and achieving peace of mind.

This month’s readings have shown us that now, more than ever, the Robin S. Weingast team’s ability to provide Retirement Peace of Mind is vital. Don’t let anxiety about your future affect your present. Our team is here to help you take a deep breath, plan, and free you up to enjoy the results of your hard work. Whether you want to ensure that you’re on track to meet your future goals, or you want to make sure your retirement plan is structured to ensure that you and your staff are properly prepared for retirement, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.

The Top 3 Retirement Myths: What you need to Know about the “R-Word”

Robin Weingast: Top 3 Retirement MythsDid you know that the National Institute on Retirement Security estimates that “Americans are at least $6.8 trillion short of what we need to fund comfortable retirements “? This is particularly true for Baby boomers. Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers retire with a media of $120,000 saved—hardly enough to last for what will be a more than 30-year retirement.

The biggest obstacle to being prepared for retirement isn’t actually money; it’s misinformation. Here are the top 3 myths that prevent people from being properly prepared for retirement.

Myth 1: Retirement means the end of investing

Retirement does not mean that you have to stop investing. Your retirement can last up to 30 years, meaning that you have that many more years to enjoy the fruits of investing. Conversely, a long retirement means your money will be subject to inflation, making the need to keep investing even more essential.

Myth 2: Taxes decrease when you retire

While you may be earning less in retirement (and thus be in a lower tax bracket), you may also lose certain deductions and exemptions that you receive because of your employment. In addition, state and local taxes will rise. These factors mean that you may actually pay a larger percentage of your income in taxes.

Myth 3: I won’t need as much day-to-day living money when I retire

While there certainly will be opportunities for you to decrease your daily cost of living, retirement may mean increased opportunities to travel or the chance to take on a new costly hobby. If you underestimate your financial needs, your retirement planning will be incorrect.

These are just a few of the many myths about retirement that many people believe are true. Others include that you should make your savings priority paying for your child’s education or that Social Security and/or Medicare will be enough for your retirement years.

Why not plan for this important part of your life using facts? At Robin Weingast & Associates, we can help you plan based on retirement reality, not retirement myths. Contact us today to find out how to make your retirement plan work for you.