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7 steps to a secure retirement

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Tom Hegna opened the 2015 Advisor Network Summit his speech on how clients can have a guaranteed secure retirement. Hegna captured the room’s attention with his strong voice, just as one would think a former military officer’s voice would.

Hegna stated that our retirement is going to focus on one main thing: savings. Read on to see how he explained to get your clients to a happy, secure retirement.

Step 1: Have a plan 

Thirty-five percent of people don’t want to spend more time working on financial planning according to the 2009 Hartford Life Insurance Company’s “The Hartford Investments and Retirement Survey.” But, also according to the study, the people who do plan out their finance have even a better outlook on their retirement future. 

Here’s two questions your clients should ask themselves:

    1. What do I need my retirement income to do? 
    2. What do I want my retirement to do?

How their plan looks should be a reflection of these two questions. Help your client’s avoid the “just-in-case retirement.” A plan will ensure that they won’t be afraid of actually using the money they worked so hard to save.


Step 2: Maximize Social Security benefits 

Social Security is not a concept that many people take advantage of, Hegna said. Advisors should understand their own Social Security benefits so they can better help their clients.

Here’s what lifetime Social Security benefits could look like:

  • For singles: up to $500,000 

  • For married/combined: up to $1 million

In general, Hegna said the breadwinner should delay Social Security benefits until age 70 if they can. Waiting until age 70 can be a difference of $570 a month.

See also:

An inflection point: The current state of Social Security

older couple

Step 3: Consider a hybrid retirement 

Hegna began this step with the quote: “Retirement at 65 is ridiculous. When I was 65, I still had pimples” – George Burns.

Explain to your clients that there are three benefits that can come from a hybrid retirement:

  • Increased earnings 

  • Increased savings 

  • Increased Social Security benefits

A 2006 study by the Urban Institute discovered that people who work for just five more years can increase their income by 56 percent.


Step 4: Protect your savings from inflation 

Inflation is one of the biggest aspects clients should worry about in retirement. Hegna added that the market is always changing. Currently over the past 25 years, the U.S. has experienced a period of relative price stability and low inflation but items such as food, gas and stamps have gone up. When ignored, inflation can make a huge difference in retirement income.


Step 5: Secure more guaranteed income 

There are three sources of guaranteed income during retirement Hegna discussed: annuities, Social Security and pensions. He added that the key to a successful retirement is determined by guaranteed lifetime income. 

Annuities can be that key component Hegna said.


Step 6: Plan for long term medical costs 

One of the least prepared aspect of retirement is long term care costs. There are three phases of retirement:

  • Go-go years 

  • Slow-go years 

  • No-go years

There will be a time in retirement where you just can’t get out of the house anymore, Hegna adds. In fact 72 percent of people will need some form of long term care. There is one tool that can help this: Long term care insurance. 

Hegna says this is a shield for clients to protect their assets and live the type of retirement they want to live.

See also: 

From cheap to top-dollar: retiree health care costs in 5 states


Step 7: Use your home equity wisely

There are three ways to access the equity in your home:

  • Sell the home and downsize 

  • Take a loan against the equity 

  • A reverse mortgage

Making sure your clients take advantage of the equity they own will guarantee a successful retirement. 

Check back to ProducersWEB and LifeHealthPro for more content from the 2015 Advisor Network Summit.

See also:

3 places clients can find money for life insurance

How to personalize health care costs in retirement