Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Planning Pays in Retirement – Personal Savings Are Key to Living Comfortably


Michael doesn’t see himself living on the beach when he retires, but he’d like to vacation there with his wife. He worries he isn’t saving enough in the 401(k) account he has at work, but he isn’t sure what more he can manage with two kids, a mortgage, and credit cards.

Michael is like most Americans. He faces two dilemmas:

  1. Saving enough money for a comfortable retirement.
  2. Making those savings last his lifetime.

Retirees today are spending more than they expected. The average Social Security benefit is less than $1,300 per month,* and it’s uncertain if it will be there for Michael when he retires.

It has become rare for companies to fund traditional pensions for their employees, leaving retirees to rely on income from part-time jobs, personal savings, and tax-advantaged retirement savings, such as 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, called IRAs.

A professional financial representative in your community can explain your retirement savings options in simple terms, so you can decide what’s the best option for you. Some options include:

  • Traditional and Roth IRAs, offering potential income tax benefits while saving for retirement.
  • 401(k) and 403(b) plans, allowing contributions to be made directly from your paycheck and grow on a tax-deferred basis. Plus, many companies match your contributions up to a certain percentage.
  • Fixed annuities, offering a guaranteed interest rate, tax-deferred growth and a range of income options at retirement, including lifetime income you can’t outlive.
  • Variable annuities, which allow you to actively manage your investments and earn a return based on performance of the options selected.

Saving for retirement doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. A financial representative can help you determine how much money you’ll need in retirement and develop a plan to save.

The key is to set goals and get started. The longer you wait to start saving, the more you will have to save to reach these goals.

*Source: 2014 OASDI Trustees Report

Ruth Ahnen is a local Modern Woodmen representative in Bettendorf. She can be reached at 563-508-0842 or Ruth.Ahnen@mwarep.org, to set up an appointment or to answer any questions.

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