Retirement Planning Strategies - July 2017

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JULY 2017



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National and Personal Independence W hen I was growing up, Fourth of July was a day when the entire community got together. As I mentioned THEIMPORTANCEOFPROACTIVEPLANNING

last month, I was raised in a small town, and on Independence Day we gathered at the football field for fireworks. These celebrations are etched in my memory, and they bring me back to my childhood. These days, I can’t help but relate Independence Day to the importance of preserving your own independence during retirement, whether that be financial security or the freedom to spend your days how you want. The best advice I can give people to achieve this goal is to develop a plan. This may seem like a given, but most people haven’t really done proactive planning since they’ve been in school. A lot of us think about retirement in terms of absence, in particular the absence of work, but I urge you to contemplate it in a positive way.

What will my days consist of? How much money do I need? Have I planned for unexpected events like illness and long- term care? Only after you envision your retirement lifestyle can you properly tailor a savings plan to achieve your goals. We all want a comfortable, enjoyable, and secure retirement, but that doesn’t happen by accident. You’ll notice one common thread to these questions: They assume you’re in control. Sure, you can’t predict illness, but you can ensure you have insurance in case it happens. Too often, we dwell on things we can’t control. Recently, I’ve received many calls about proposed budget changes. I’m not saying these considerations don’t affect planning, but they shouldn’t be your primary concern. | 1 – Ann Vanderslice As a federal employee, you’ve weathered more change than you probably realize. The next change always seems the scariest, but things are always scarier on the horizon than they are when they arrive. Change, whether we like or not, is a fact of life. Discussing this reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from author John C. Maxwell: “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” With that in mind, let’s dedicate this summer to focusing on the aspects of life we can control and setting our sights on growth. Our forefathers fought tirelessly to gain independence from Britain and protect our freedoms. The work to protect your own independence might not be quite as historic, but it does make a significant difference.

Everyone should ask a few specific questions as they approach retirement.

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