Archive for Thursday, October 29, 2009

Part 3 of series focuses on life post-career

October 29, 2009

Retirement planning can seem quite daunting, but a class at the Basehor Community Library showed visitors a few ways to ease stress when preparing for the golden years.

Sage Point investment adviser Julian Espinoza led the class Monday night, which is the third in a series the library is conducting on the basics of investing.

Espinoza discussed some key factors to keep in mind when creating a retirement plan.

Spending time mapping out retirement is more crucial today than ever before, Espinoza said, because of the huge discrepancies between retirement funding today and retirement funding of the past.

“The retirement era has changed drastically,” Espinoza said. “You can’t expect to sustain retirement with social security and pension these days. Sixty percent of your retirement is your responsibility, versus my parents had 80 or 90 percent of their retirements paid for by social security and pension.”

One of the biggest questions Espinoza said he heard from clients about retirement concerned the best time to step out of the workforce.

“This is a very important question,” he said. “We’re seeing people now living in retirement longer than they worked. Work with your (financial) adviser to determine the best time for you. You have to understand the risks.”

Five risks involved in retirement, Espinoza said, include longevity of assets, healthcare expenses, inflation, asset allocation and excess withdrawal. Espinoza said people should plan to live longer than they think to ensure they have enough money and to plan on spending a substantial amount on medical expenses. A 65-year-old male could need as much as $225,000 to cover medical expenses if he lives to be 82.

When creating clients’ retirement portfolios, Espinoza said he encourages people to have a variety of investments with an individual balance of bonds, short-term investments and equities.

“I always recommend at least some stocks in a client’s portfolio because you get more bang for your buck,” Espinoza said. “It’s key to creating a balanced portfolio.”

The investment amounts and types depend on the person, Espinoza said. Everyone thinking about retirement should sit down with an investment adviser to get a clear idea of what works best.

“It’s my job to educate you and to take the emotion out of your situation,” he said. “It’s an emotional experience. I always ask people, ‘If you go to the boats, what type of gambler are you?’ That tells me a lot about people.”

Espinoza said people should take the time to find the right adviser with whom they feel most comfortable and visit this adviser annually to review their portfolio.

“I really encourage yearly meetings with an adviser,” he said. “Make sure you trust that person because that person is working with your money. It’s important to check in each year to see what they’ve been doing and to review your retirement goals because those things change.”

Espinoza will instruct one more class from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Basehor Community Library. The class is free. For more information, or to register, go to basehorlibrary.org or call (913) 724-2828.

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