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Preparing for Retirement

 COUNTRY Financial® December 08, 2015

By Gemma Long

If you’re looking to retire in the next five to 10 years, now could be the time to decide how you will draw on your retirement assets. Julie Hale Miller, who has more than 20 years of experience in insurance and financial services, says often times people in their fifties have spent their working life accumulating retirement assets, but when it comes to knowing how to make these assets last, that’s another story.

“The economic crash of 2007 2008 remains at the forefront of people’s minds,” says Julie. “Many Americans lost a chunk of their assets, including what they had put away for the future.”

Julie, however, is concerned that the lessons people learned from that economic downturn may not have endured. So, if another financial crisis hits, she worries people’s assets could once again be in danger.

“It’s definitely worth a conversation if you have concerns,” says Julie. “Now is the time to figure out what works for you, how to manage your assets, and how you could protect your money from future potential losses.”

The key to financial stability during retirement is to have a plan.
“Some people are afraid of knowing. They think it is worse to find out if they are going to have less than they think they might,” says Julie. “They would rather not have the conversation all together; but in reality, once they are clear about their financial situation, they have taken the first steps towards preparing themselves for the future.”

In order to demonstrate the need for retirement planning, Julie often shares a story with her clients. It’s a tale she first heard from a consultant to the financial services industry, about a family visiting the desert for the first time.

“The family is very excited, and when they get to the desert, they hire an RV to see all of the sights; they spot lizards, cacti and coyotes. They are having such a wonderful time in their air-conditioned trailer, and spotting all of the wildlife. It’s 120 degrees outside, and then they notice the fuel gauge shows they only have a quarter of a tank left, but they have to travel 100 miles to civilization. The family argues about whose fault it was, and how they are going to survive. The moral of the story is: if you don’t plan your journey and know how much gas (or money) you have, you’ll only experience anguish leading up to that day. It’s not about the day you run out of money, it’s about all of the anxiety leading to that point. If you plan, at least you know how to spread out your money during the journey, instead of living miserably,” says Julie.
The path to developing a plan doesn’t have to be painful.

“A lot of times, the first conversation is comprised of simple questions about who the client is. It’s important I understand their past experiences, get to know the person, their lifestyle, and what they expect out of retirement,” says Julie.

She knows not everyone can start planning at the same time. “When did you start planning for your financial future: after high school, or college? It’s tough to think ahead when your main concern is making ends meet today. By establishing a budget and setting goals, you may be able to do both.” 

She also says it’s important for people to carefully consider how they plan to spend their time during retirement. Will they have a part-time job, do volunteer work, take up a new hobby, golf, or travel? These decisions will affect their financial planning. “Often, in my experience, people get six months into their retirement and aren’t happy with it, because they haven’t planned how they are going to spend their time. They feel lost.”

Julie says everyone’s situation is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to preparing for retirement. Options will depend on how close you are to retirement, your current financial situation, the lifestyle you want to maintain, and other factors.

For more information, please contact Julie Hale-Miller, COUNTRY® Financial, at 217-483-4355. COUNTRY® Trust Bank has the expertise to meet your needs with our Journey Series of asset management services. For more information about updating your portfolio or other personal and financial plans, please contact Julie Hale-Miller, COUNTRY® Financial, at 217-483-4355 or visit www.countryfinancial.com.

Dedicated to Serving Your Financial Needs

Julie has been with COUNTRY Financial® for 18 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from William Woods University, Fulton, MO. Julie is licensed for the sale of insurance and securities in Illinois and Missouri. She is a former president of the Central Illinois chapter of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors. Hale Miller attends and volunteers at the Chatham United Methodist Church. She is also a member of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce and Springfield Chamber of Commerce, as well as Marketing Senior Lifestyles. Julie is a Chartered Advisor for Senior Living. She graduated from the Leadership in Life Institute in 2011. She continually studies retirement planning and distribution techniques by attending conferences and taking courses.


Don’t Worry, Retire Happy Seminar

Featured guest speaker, economist, author, and retirement expert, Tom Hegna.

Event held at the Crowne Plaza on February 2nd.

Please RSVP to Julie at 217-483-4355.

Photo credits: AndreyPopov, joebelanger, Susan Chiang — iStock

Investment management, retirement, trust and planning services provided by COUNTRY Trust Bank®
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 COUNTRY Financial®| December 08, 2015
Keywords:  Feature Story

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