Retirement in America
You may be currently retired, a baby boomer who is retiring in the next few years, or just beginning to accumulate retirement assets. There are two rules that should drive your quest for a comfortable, secure retirement. Rule One is you can never have too much money in your retirement savings accounts. Rule Two is see Rule One.
Very few Americans manage their own retirement assets. Most of us send our money to mutual fund families like Fidelity and Vanguard or we rely on the expertise and services of financial advisors to help us make planning and investment decisions. This is Paladin's niche. We provide information services to investors who rely on financial advisors to help them achieve their goals of comfortable, secure retirements. We help you avoid mistakes and make the right decisions.
A major source of retirement assets is employer sponsored retirement plans. Plans can be sponsored by companies, public entities, and unions.
- You are very lucky if you participate in a defined benefit pension plan that guarantees income for life
- You are less lucky if you participate in a defined contribution plan (401k) that makes you responsible for performance and does not guarantee anything after you retire
- You are unlucky if you do not participate in any type of pension plan, therefore you are more dependent on IRAs and taxable savings accounts
50 million U.S. households are accumulating assets inside IRAs. This may be your only type of tax-deferred savings or it supplements savings inside corporate, public, or Taft-Hartley pension plans.
You may own one or more annuities if your financial advisor is licensed to sell insurance products. Be very cautious when you buy this product. A high percentage of annuities have excessive expenses and poor results. But, they are popular with advisors because they pay the highest commissions in the financial service industry.
Millions of Americans have Rollover IRAs when they change employers or retire from employers that sponsored defined contribution plans (401k). In many cases, they are the most vulnerable investors in America because they have limited experience investing this amount of money and no experience selecting high quality advisors who can help them.
Many Americans have exhausted their tax-deferred retirement savings options so they save additional dollars in taxable accounts. This means dividends, interest, and realized capital gains are taxable which slows down the accumulation of assets.
If you are lucky you live in parts of the country that have experienced substantial residential price appreciation. You purchased a home 20 years ago for $350,000. The home is paid off and is currently worth $1,000,000. You have the option of downsizing and using some of your equity to produce retirement income.
Again, if you are lucky, you will inherit assets from parents that can be used to produce income during your retirement years. It is difficult to predict when you will gain control of the assets, but they provide additional financial security late in life.