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Happy Landings! Four Financial Tips for Empty Nesters

Ruth Ahnen 

Some days you thought they’d never leave. Now you get sentimental over a stray sock you spot under the sofa.
Your chicks have flown the nest. Much like your emotions, your financial situation may have taken wing too.
For 18 years (or more), you’ve been preparing your kids for their future. Now it’s time to make sure you’re prepared for yours. Consider these retirement savings tips.

  1. Retirement before school
    If your kids are in college, your primary focus shouldn’t be paying for school. Investigate college scholarship opportu- nities. Encourage your child to participate in a campus work-study program or apply for a student loan from a reputable lender. Remember, it’s easier for your kids to get school loans than for you to get a retirement loan.
  2. Retirement before the boat
    With fewer mouths to feed, you may have more disposable income now than ever before. Don’t blow it all on the bass boat. Now may be a prime opportunity to get caught up on your retirement plan contributions. Annual limits apply to the amount of money you can save in qualified retirement plans. If you’re age 50 or older, you can contribute the maximum allowed. You may also be able to make additional “catch-up” contributions if you’re behind on your savings. (fig. 1)
  3. Little charges add up
    An empty nest doesn’t necessarily mean a fuller wallet … especially if you’re paying less attention to your budget. Create a spending plan, look for easy ways to find extra money, and then put this money toward retirement.

    For example, consider bank service fees. These charges may seem insignificant, but they can add up. Modern Woodmen Bank offers many services, such as online banking and overdraft protection, for free. And the bank refunds all ATM charges. See the comparison sheet online at ModernWoodmenBank.com.
  4. The sooner the better
    Thanks to the power of compound interest, time can be a saver’s best friend. However, it’s never too late to start saving. Something is better than nothing. Your Modern Woodmen representative can help you figure out the best way to save considering your needs, budget and time horizon.

    You’ve focused on their needs for more than 18 years. It’s time to throw that dirty, old sock away and set your finances flying toward a happy landing at retirement. by Julie Fuhr

    (fig. 1)


    Plan type  Max. contribution  Additional catch-up limit
    Traditional and Roth IRAs  $5,000 $1,000
    SIMPLE IRA $11,500 $2,500
    401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans $16,500 $5,500


  5. Contact your local Modern Woodmen representative:
    Ruth Ahnen
    Bettendorf, Iowa

    Founded in 1883 as a fraternal benefit society, Modern Woodmen of America offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.