Have you ever wondered
what you can do now to plan a more enjoyable retirement? Have you ever
wanted to put a plan in place to take care of loved ones who would be
left behind if the worst happened? Have you ever thought of leaving a
gift to a favorite charity, school, or other organization when you die? Do you have questions about your current 401(k) or other investments
and are not sure who to ask for answers? If so, then Ruth Ahnen,
financial representative for Modern Woodmen of America, can help you.
How Does Ruth Do This?
Ruth is highly sought out because she cares for her clients on a
personal level. “People can sit down with me for free,” she says.
“There’s no service charge, no obligation to do business. I feel it is
important to help people understand what they can do to achieve their
goals. If they choose those plans with me, it tells me I‘ve earned their
trust well enough to become a partner in implementing those goals, and
that’s a responsibility I do not take lightly.” Ruth also mentions how
financial planning often gets little attention in today’s households.
“Financial planning is often secondary priority in many people’s lives.
Most people get little instruction in money management in the course of
their lifetime, because most high schools do not offer a course on money
management, and many college courses only briefly discuss the topic.
Books, television shows, and radio programs can help, but these almost
always offer general advice to a large audience, rather than the
specific advice that I can provide to each unique family, based on their
Ruth continues, “As a financial
services professional, my role is to find out what it is that my client
wants to accomplish financially, and then help them put a plan in place
that can accomplish those goals. It is common that the first time a
person really thinks about their financial goal is when I ask them that
question. My expertise in defining those goals with my clients is the
most important step in this process. I ask my clients open-ended
questions designed to elicit both logic and emotion. This helps them to
better define and understand my clients’ personal and financial goals.
Once we have accomplished this, I can put together a plan that
accomplishes these goals. As situations change, whether it is a career
change, a new addition to the family, the purchase of a new home, or the
excitement of a pending retirement, I can help retool the services to
Million Dollar Round Table
At the end of 2013, Ruth Ahnen qualified, for the third consecutive
year, for the Million Dollar Round Table. “Ruth approaches her business
with a passion for service and as an advocate for her clientele. It’s
easy to see why Ruth is a member of this prestigious organization,“ says
Patrick J. Barnes, Chief Marketing Officer, Modern Woodmen of America.
Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier
Association of Financial Professionals, is an international, independent
association of more than 38,000 of the world’s leading life insurance
and financial services professionals from more than 450 companies in 74
countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge,
strict ethical conduct, and outstanding client service. MDRT membership
is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life
insurance and financial services business.
How Do You Begin to Plan for Retirement?
It’s critical to develop a retirement income strategy that will help
you have the money when you need it the most. Have you asked yourself
or your financial professional the following questions?
- How do I start my retirement savings?
- Have I saved enough to have a happy retirement?
- How much income will I need in retirement?
- Are my investments in the right place?
- How can I make sure my retirement income will last as long as I do?
- Will I have to work during retirement?
It’s natural for everyone to ask these questions. Do you know where to get the answers? Ruth can help you!
Per statistics from the Annuity 2000 Mortality Table we know that
today’s retirees will live longer and spend more time in retirement than
any other generation in American history. Many will live longer than
they projected when they planned their retirement. After a lifetime of
hard work and saving, it is natural to want to:
- Maintain your standard of living, while keeping pace with the rising cost of living.
- Remain independent.
- Not outlive your money.
- Maintain your ability to pay for quality health care.
Regardless of how much you may have saved for retirement, you may
not know how to turn your retirement savings into an adequate and
sustainable amount of retirement income. Fortunately, with planning, you
can provide yourself a guaranteed stream of income that can last for as
long as you live.
Follow a Successful Retirement Income Planning Process
Part of planning for a comfortable retirement is determining how and
when you will draw from your accumulated retirement assets. Even though
it may seem like many factors are working against you, proper planning
can help you prepare for a satisfying retirement. The following steps
will guide you:
1. Gather your important papers:
should have your important papers ready when you begin the process of
analyzing your retirement income situation. Important papers may
include, but are not limited to:
2. Picture your retirement:
- Latest income tax return
- Most recent retirement plan statement
- Bank and investment statements
- Social Security statement
- Life insurance and annuity contracts
- Employee benefits handbook
- Wills and trust documents
You are unique and that includes your vision of retirement. One
person’s dream retirement may be to sit on their front porch swing while
someone else may want to take an Alaskan cruise, visit relatives across
the country, and take the grandkids to an amusement park twice a year.
It is important you define your retirement and ask yourself some
- What do I want to do?
- Where do I want to go?
- Who do I want to see?
- How do I want to be remembered?
- What do I have to replace when I retire? Do I have any employer sponsored benefits that will be reduced or eliminated?
This step will naturally lead you to the next step in the process where you find out how much your retirement will cost.
Planning for Life and Retirement Distribution
How Does Life Insurance Fit Into a Retirement Income Plan?
- Review your beneficiaries:
A review of your beneficiary designations is a critical part of the
overall planning process. This review will ensure your remaining
proceeds at death go to the individuals or organizations you want to
receive the money. Proper planning should include a review with your
beneficiaries so they will understand their options and your intentions
at the time of your death.
- Your loved ones and your legacy:
Is it important to leave a financial legacy to a loved one or charity? A
small piece of your retirement savings can be used to pay for the life
insurance needed to provide an income tax-free death benefit, leaving a
legacy that may last many years after your death.
Ruth explains some misconceptions that people have when looking at
life insurance. “First, people who are not experienced think that life
insurance is expensive. Many of these consumers assume that since their
car insurance is $150 per month, their life insurance has to be too.
This is not the case.”
Ruth continues, “Others think that the only
way you ‘win’ is if you die. People don’t buy car insurance in the hope
that car will get wrecked, or buy homeowners insurance hoping their
house will burn down. Life insurance can present many living benefits
along with benefits to survivors if the worst occurs.”
Life insurance can be used to help:
- Pay the income taxes due on inherited retirement accounts
- Ensure an income to a surviving spouse
- Provide an income to a family member with special needs
- Distribute your assets tax efficiently to your heirs1
- Create an endowment for your favorite charity or organization
- Protect businesses held by partnerships
A lifetime of retirement savings could be liquidated due to an
extended stay in a nursing home. You could use a small piece of your
retirement savings to protect against this risk by integrating long-term
care insurance into your retirement income planning process.
A Comprehensive Solution
Many retirees want to simplify their financial situation and are
looking for a way to consolidate their retirement savings with a
provider that is capable of providing the services they desire. Modern
Woodmen can help you with the entire process with one point of contact
for your retirement income needs.
- Guaranteed income and growth options through our fixed annuities
- Market-driven income and growth options, such as mutual funds and our variable annuity
- Tax-deferred growth for the money not currently being distributed to you as income2
- Banking solutions to help you manage and consolidate your income payments through Modern Woodmen Bank3
- Life insurance and long-term4 care options to help you protect the retirement savings you have accumulated over your lifetime.
To better understand your retirement distribution needs, and where
you currently stand in terms of meeting those needs, it is important to
answer some basic planning questions. Then we will discuss your options
and the solutions available to you.
working on your retirement plan, call Ruth Ahnen, financial
representative for Modern Woodmen of America, to schedule an appointment
at 563-508-0842. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
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Tax issues can be complex. Consult your tax professional before making a decision.
Securities offered through MWA Financial Services Inc., a wholly owned
subsidiary of Modern Woodmen of America. Member: FINRA, SIPC
Annuities, insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds and other
securities are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government
agency, are not obligations or deposits for MWABank and are not
guaranteed by MWA Bank. These products involve risk, including the
possible loss of principal invested.
Brokered insurance products available through MWAGIA Inc., a subsidiary of Modern Woodmen. Not available in all states.