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How Do You Plan for Retirement?

 Modern Woodmen March 05, 2014

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 individual situations.”

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 protect them.”

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: You 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:
  • 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

2. Picture your retirement: 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 questions:
  • 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
  • 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.

How Does Life Insurance Fit Into a Retirement Income Plan?
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.

Moving Forward
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.

To begin 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.

  1. Tax issues can be complex. Consult your tax professional before making a decision.
  2. Securities offered through MWA Financial Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Modern Woodmen of America. Member: FINRA, SIPC
  3. 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.
  4. Brokered insurance products available through MWAGIA Inc., a subsidiary of Modern Woodmen. Not available in all states.

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 Modern Woodmen| March 05, 2014
Categories:  Feature

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