How to Retire Smarter

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As you move toward 65, an unfamiliar landscape is coming in to view. On the sunny side, you’ll enjoy perks for seniors like park pass and movie discounts, but one of the downsides is life without a steady paycheck.

If you’re not quite ready to handle the shift from accumulating a retirement nest egg to sustaining the lifestyle you desire, reach out for help. Many older Americans consult a financial advisor or someone with similarly rigorous training, to review their financial picture and make suggestions.

VSECU provides you access to MEMBERS Financial Services, a professional brokerage service that is specifically designed with the credit union member in mind. Through Brian Bishop, a registered and licensed broker/representative for MEMBERS Financial Services Program1, you can build a nest egg for your future, protect your hard earned money, and retire to a lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

Objective: Create a source of stable income. If predictable income such as Social Security won’t cover all your living expenses, you may need to take cash from your investments. The trouble is you could take a loss if the market happens to be down. A better idea: When the market is up, sell enough investments to cover the next two years’ worth of expenses. Parcel out this money into certificates that mature in six, 12, 18, and 24 months. The cash will be ready when you need it, no matter what the market is doing.

Objective: Set aside funds for a special purpose. It’s easier on a retiree’s income to put aside small amounts over time for a grandchild’s wedding gift, next year’s vacation, the start of a new baby’s college fund, or another special purpose. We can help you create a separate Special Savings account that focuses on your desired deadline, funded with automatic withdrawals from your checking or savings account.

Objective: Handle an unexpected one-time expense. If your car needs costly repairs or replacement, or your roof shingles have curled up and leak water, check with us instead of raiding your retirement nest egg. We can tailor a short-term loan that suits your monthly cash flow and won’t deplete your savings.

Objective: Cope with a financial emergency. About 90% of middle-income Americans don’t feel prepared for the cost of a critical illness, according to a recent survey by the Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions. Boomers are the age group that feels most vulnerable to the risk of major illness, notes Washington National President Barbara Stewart.2 With a line of credit standing by from VSECU, you could have funds on hand to cover a medical (or non-medical) emergency.

One more suggestion for Boomers: when you stop by, bring the grandchildren. Here at your credit union, we’re not just about meeting the needs of today’s members. We intend to be ready for tomorrow’s, too.

Semiretired? Get a tax break for stashing new savings.
Many Baby Boomers aren’t ready or willing to retire in their 60s. If you or your spouse continues to work and your combined income meets certain limits, you may still be eligible to store some or all of your pay in a tax-favored IRA.

Traditional IRAs, which may be tax-deductible, can be funded until the year you reach 70½. As you make withdrawals, you’ll pay the deferred tax on your contributions and earnings. Roth IRAs are available at any age. Although Roth contributions aren’t deductible, after five years withdrawals are tax-free once you’ve reached 59½.3


1 Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free (866) 512-6109. Nondeposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members.

2 Health Crisis Would Shatter Finances of Most Middle-Income Americans,”, 5/8/13