Retirement planning doesn’t have to be stressful |

Retirement planning doesn’t have to be stressful

Fraser Horn and Dudley IrwinVail, CO, Colorado

Whether you’re a baby boomer an American born in the years 1946-1964 or not, you know about them. These 76 million Americans have driven major national trends since they were born. Today, with the oldest of them turning 60in 2006, some are already retired, or have been forced to retire, and many more are thinking seriously about retirement.And there’s a lot to think about:Do you want to retire outright and never work again? How many years do you need to keep working before you can realistically afford to do that?Or do you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself with a new career — retire sooner from your present job and spend more years following a passion that can also provide at least a modest income?With large corporations continuing to downsize, your company may offer you a retirement package. If so, it makes a big difference how you choose to receive it. If handled well, how far can your package take you toward financial independence?If your corporation offers a traditional pension perhaps in addition to a 401(k) plan how much is your pension account worth? Have you been with the company long enough for those assets to be fully vested? Will the plan continue to be funded? Should you take your money as a lump sum? As a life annuity? What about your beneficiaries?When it’s time to take your 401(k) assets, how do you transfer them to an IRA without tax consequences? What’s the best way to designate beneficiaries for your legacy?If you’re fortunate enough to have stock options as part of your corporate compensation plan, how should they be factored into your retirement plan? Do you fully understand what you own?Once you’ve retired, how much can you take from your account each year and still be confident that you won’t outlive your money? What is the best way to structure your assets to benefit your heirs? What role should life insurance play in retirement and estate planning?Federal tax law is designed to reward investing for retirement, but it gives the full rewards only to those who know how to take advantage of the rules. The options are many, the rules are complicated, and the tax law is changing from year to year.How can you get all this under control without making it a full-time job? That’s where your financial adviser, along with your tax and legal advisers, comes in. Use these professionals to help you address concerns connected with planning your retirement from clarifying your dreams of financial independence, to the psychology of spending and saving, to developing an investment policy statement, to planning your estate.The accuracy and completeness of this material are not guaranteed. The opinions expressed are those of Fraser M. Horn and Dudley M. Irwin and are not necessarily those of Berthel Fisher or its affiliates. This material is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or to participate in any trading strategy. Provided by courtesy of Fraser M. Horn and Dudley M. Irwin, investment adviser representatives with Berthel Fisher in Edwards.Registered Representative of and securities offered through Berthel Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. Member NASD/SIPC. 1st & Main Investment Advisors is independent of BFCFS.

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