Must Do Steps to Successfully Retire

The Time is NOW

If you’re within 5 years of retirement, there are a handful of easy “thought exercises” you must do that can make or break your retirement plans.

The problem is, many people put them off, thinking, “I’ll get to that later … it doesn’t matter right now.”

Years later, they finally make the time to address them because they have no choice. By then, it’s often too late.

Don’t fall into that trap.

The 5 Years Before Retirement are So Important!

Remember when you were a kid and you could fall off your bike, bump your knee, and hop right back on like nothing happened?

Then we aged, and the same little knee bump seems to take forever to get better! Our recovery time simply isn’t what it used to be, and the discomfort gets in the way of our daily life.

Think about it in relation to your investment and retirement accounts. Imagine that knee bump being a dip in the market, volatility, a downturn, or — worse yet — a market crash.

As we progress through life, it gets harder (speaking about investments now) and takes longer to recover from those bumps and bruises.

The Fragile Decade

For those of us nearing retirement (or already in retirement), it’s time that we literally can’t afford because of the short time horizon before we’ll need the money we have invested.

The five years before and after retirement are the most critical (some call it “the fragile decade”) because markets can exert a profound effect on your ability to retire when you want and live the way you want.

This is especially important to focus on now. The market did great in the years following the 2008 financial crisis, but volatility is back. And we don’t know what comes next.

What we do know is that the new SECURE Act (effective Jan. 1, 2020) was the largest overhaul of retirement planning rules since 2006 and may impact your existing plan.

The good news: proactive planning can help you avoid worrying about markets so much!

Don’t Put This Off Any Longer!

The decisions you make now will define your retirement lifestyle and your ability to retire successfully.

Yes. This is the harsh (but true) reality when you’re within that fragile period before or after retirement.

You could…

Do nothing. Put it off “just one more week,” or wait until you really need to do it (unfortunately it could be too late).

Sound familiar? We put things off that don’t feel important now … always waiting to the end of the wire.

Unfortunately, we simply can’t afford to do that with our retirement.

Every decision we make (or don’t make) now has a bigger and bigger ripple effect as our retirement gets closer.

I’ve witnessed this level of regret time and time again. People wishing they took action sooner because in hindsight it was actually quite easy, fast, and painless!

3 Pillars to a Successful Retirement Plan

I’ve found there are 3 essential pillars of a successful retirement plan. The sooner you address these 3 pillars, the better prepared you’ll be for a successful retirement.

I’m sure you’re wondering what these 3 pillars are, and if your retirement plan includes them.

To help you answer that question, I put together this quick checklist and guide that I highly recommend you read.

We have recently updated this resource to help you understand how the recent SECURE Act (effective Jan. 1, 2020) may impact your current retirement plan.

What’s Inside the Resource?

Here’s a taste of what’s inside:

  • Learn the 24 critical questions you need to ask yourself
  • Uncover commonly overlooked “blind spots” from your current retirement plan
  • Discover the steps you need to take during the years leading up to your work-free life!

You can download your copy for free by clicking below.

The 3 Pillars of Successful Retirement Plans: A Simple Checklist to Kick-Start Your New Work-Free Life

Garrett German offers products and services using the following business names: Harvest Wealth Group – insurance and financial services | Ameritas Investment Company, LLC (AIC), Member FINRA/SIPC – securities and investments | Ameritas Advisory Services (AAS) – investment advisory services. AIC and AAS are not affiliated with Harvest Wealth Group.

Representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your situation. Trades cannot be communicated to your Representative by e-mail, fax, or regular mail as the transaction may not be executed on a timely basis. Please contact your Representative by telephone to request trades and do not use e-mail to send confidential information or time-sensitive instructions. Performance quoted does not guarantee future results. Please refer to your regular periodic statement for complete information.

What’s Your Money Mindset?

What are your money beliefs?

No matter what they are, they’re guiding your financial choices. And they’ve already shaped your financial habits.

The more you know about your money mindset, the more you’ll know about yourself — and how your mindset affects your financial decisions and your overall financial health.

How do you make decisions about money?

Your choices don’t come out of thin air. They come from internal beliefs and the “scripts” you’re following — whether or not you’re aware of it.

Your money script is like an internal monologue that’s constantly running. It comes from your core beliefs about money.

Researchers have found four basic scripts people follow:1

→ Does money stress you out? Do you think money is the root of problems or that it’s a virtue to get by with less money? If so, you’re probably following the money avoidance script.

→ If you think money is the solution to problems or that your success depends on your earnings, you’re more likely following the money worship or the money status script.

→ Or maybe you’re very cautious with money. Do you prefer to pay in cash, instead of using credit? Do you remind others to watch their finances? If you do, you might be following the money vigilance script.

Understanding your money script is incredibly valuable because it says a lot about how you view money and what your personal challenges are.

It’s also a useful tool for recognizing potentially destructive financial patterns, so you can start changing them before they derail your goals.

Trying to reach your goals without understanding your own behavior is like driving down the highway with the emergency brake on — you won’t go very fast and you’ll probably damage your car.

How do your money habits affect your financial health?

Mindset → Habits → Choices

Your money mindset drives these habits. And the more mindful you are, the more control you’ll have over your financial choices — and your financial future.

You can take your reflections on money even further by answering these questions:

  • What’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of money?
  • Do I ever want to “retire” in the traditional way? What do I want to be doing with my life at “retirement” age?
  • What’s my next major money milestone? What’s standing in the way of achieving it?
  • Am I happy with my saving and spending habits? If not, why?
  • Where did I pick up my beliefs about money?

Your answers to these seemingly simple questions are actually very illuminating because they point directly to your values and mindset around money.

If you’ve made financial decisions that you regret (or you’ve got money habits you’d like to change), the answers may help point the way to the change you’d like to see.

So, what bad money habits do you have?

What was the last bad financial decision you made? How did that impact you financially and emotionally?

At some point in life, we’ve all made a money mistake we wish we could take back. Sometimes, it’s because of a simple error in judgment or a bad call. Other times, our emotions and beliefs about money are to blame.

That’s where behavioral finance comes in. It’s about figuring out why people make the decisions they do (even when their decisions fly in the face of rationality). And it looks at everything from herd behavior to personal bias.2

Behavioral finance is an extremely complex field (because humans are complex creatures). But here’s the major takeaway: if you can put emotions and assumptions aside and focus on rational decision making, you’ll be empowered to make better choices. And that can mean better financial outcomes.

My advice?

Know your money mindset. Be aware of what triggers you to stress out about money, so you can find better ways to manage your emotions and impulses.

Also, make sure you have a sounding board. A financial advisor can help you understand more about your money mindset. He or she can also talk you off a financial ledge, be a coach, and be your accountability partner. And that can keep you on track toward the financial future you’re working for.

Check out our Money Mindset Visual Insights Newsletter to discover even more about your money mindset!

 

 

Garrett German offers products and services using the following business names: Harvest Wealth Group – insurance and financial services | Ameritas Investment Company, LLC (AIC), Member FINRA/SIPC – securities and investments | Ameritas Advisory Services (AAS) – investment advisory services. AIC and AAS are not affiliated with Harvest Wealth Group.

Representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your situation. Trades cannot be communicated to your Representative by e-mail, fax, or regular mail as the transaction may not be executed on a timely basis. Please contact your Representative by telephone to request trades and do not use e-mail to send confidential information or time-sensitive instructions. Performance quoted does not guarantee future results. Please refer to your regular periodic statement for complete information.

1https://www.onefpa.org/journal/Pages/How%20Clients%E2%80%99%20Money%20Scripts%20Predict%20Their%20Financial%20Behaviors.aspx

2https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/trading-investing/behavioral-finance/

Investing in Bear Markets

What should you do when a bear market hits?

The truth is the answer is different for everyone. It depends on your situation, your risk tolerance, and more.

There’s no quick and easy answer to that question. But here’s what I can tell you.

You can take action to prepare yourself. And you may even discover some new opportunities.

Bear markets can bring new, attractive entry points.

With the right outlook, you may just find new opportunities in bear markets.

Here are the two things we know for sure about bear markets:

  1. We can never predict exactly how they’ll happen, and we can never predict how they will evolve.
  2. We can only figure out those things in hindsight.

That can be unnerving to consider. But here’s some good news.

You can gain a lot of peace just from knowing some fundamentals about bear markets—and what to do when they happen.

Remember, bear markets are part of a healthy market cycle.

When they (inevitably) happen, focus on the long-term view. Bear markets have historically had a shorter life span than bull markets. And in past market performances, a bull market has followed a bear market. Though these past results can’t guarantee a future, these patterns point to the value of a long-term perspective.

You know what you shouldn’t focus on during corrections and bear markets? WHAT YOU THINK OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING.

It’s easy to lose focus in the chaos of a bear market.

In fact, behavioral economists say we’re primed to look for the negatives after a market downturn.

When that happens, we tend to seek out more negative information. When we find it, we start to feel threatened. It’s human nature.1

You know what can help?

Knowing the facts. And knowing what to focus on during bear markets. It’s one of the best ways to stay level-headed—and it can lead to better decisions.

Are you ready to get the facts about bear markets?

Click here to learn more with our Visual Insights Newsletter!

 

 

Garrett German offers products and services using the following business names: Harvest Wealth Group – insurance and financial services | Ameritas Investment Company, LLC (AIC), Member FINRA/SIPC – securities and investments | Ameritas Advisory Services (AAS) – investment advisory services. AIC and AAS are not affiliated with Harvest Wealth Group.

Representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your situation. Trades cannot be communicated to your Representative by e-mail, fax, or regular mail as the transaction may not be executed on a timely basis. Please contact your Representative by telephone to request trades and do not use e-mail to send confidential information or time-sensitive instructions. Performance quoted does not guarantee future results. Please refer to your regular periodic statement for complete information.

1https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-bear-a-bull-market-the-psychology-of-volatile-securities-trading/

What Do I Do With My Old 401(k)?

Is There a Zombie Lurking in Your Past?

You have 5 options when it comes to your “zombie” 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan that’s sitting dormant at an old employer.

Your employer plan is typically your most valuable retirement asset, and how you handle it could have major financial implications now and in retirement.

(If you’re knocking on retirement’s door, it’s even more critical that you make the right decision.)

Weighing Your Options Means Knowing Your Options

I would like to encourage you to take at least a few minutes and read this FREE guide even if you aren’t prepared to make a move yet.

The pros and cons of each of your 5 options are quick to read and will help you get crystal clear on the next steps you should take.

After you read this free guide, you may decide that your best option is to keep your plan where it is and you can stop worrying about it.

Or maybe you’ll decide that option 4 or 5 is a better fit for you because they open up more investment options.

I’m confident that within minutes of reading this FREE guide, you’ll feel confident and clear about the next steps that make the most sense for you.

Most importantly, you’ll be armed with the information you need to avoid a surprise tax bill!

Questions Addressed in the FREE Guide

Reading this will give you answers to the critical questions that have been running through your head:

  • What should I do with the retirement plan at my old employer?
  • Will my old plan move automatically?
  • Do I have to move it?
  • Where should I put it?
  • Will I owe taxes on it if I move it?
  • How do I turn it into retirement income?

When you’re done reading, you may want to schedule a FREE Consultation Call with our Team, or you can always call our office directly with any questions at (559) 592-3200.

I’m happy to provide guidance or answer any questions you have.

Read Now: What Should I Do With My Old 401(k) or Employer Plan? A clear guide to your options for 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans (including how to avoid a surprise tax bill or IRS penalties that could put you in the crosshairs) 

 

Garrett German offers products and services using the following business names: Harvest Wealth Group – insurance and financial services | Ameritas Investment Company, LLC (AIC), Member FINRA/SIPC – securities and investments | Ameritas Advisory Services (AAS) – investment advisory services. AIC and AAS are not affiliated with Harvest Wealth Group.

Representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your situation. Trades cannot be communicated to your Representative by e-mail, fax, or regular mail as the transaction may not be executed on a timely basis. Please contact your Representative by telephone to request trades and do not use e-mail to send confidential information or time-sensitive instructions. Performance quoted does not guarantee future results. Please refer to your regular periodic statement for complete information.

Burglaries & Investing in Volatile Markets

Imagine This…

There’s a burglary in your neighborhood (not your house, fortunately), but you have a 2-week trip planned and no one will be home.

What do you do to protect your home while you’re away?

Do you take precautionary measures?

Talk to neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on your house?

Maybe activate an alarm system or install cameras?

If you’re like most people, you’d spend at least a few minutes proactively planning so your home doesn’t get broken into or burglarized, right?

Just for a moment, I want you to think about why you’d take these steps.

Control What You Can

Ultimately, whatever happens, while you’re gone is completely out of your control, right?

I’m guessing you’d argue back, “Yes, it is out of my control, but I CAN control a few things, and I’m willing to do everything I can to protect my home!

Your mindset is 100% logical.

For sacred possessions and relationships in our life, we do everything we can to control the uncontrollable.

So let me ask you this…

Are you taking the same approach that may help protect your investments from a volatile market?

Volatility is Here

Like the burglar lurking through the night in your neighborhood plotting his next break-in volatility here.

You don’t know when the burglar will strike, or which home he’ll hit.

Chances are he’s going to go after the most vulnerable house with minimal lighting and no alarm system.

Just like volatility or downturns could metaphorically “rob” certain investment portfolios of value because they are more vulnerable than others (that’s why it’s so important to proactively prepare by assessing your current situation).

Unlike a home whose valuables are insured and mostly replaceable (except those heirlooms and sentimental pieces), your investment portfolio isn’t insured against market loss.

That’s why it’s so important to take these crucial and proactive steps that may help protect your investments.

Get Our Volatile Market Flowchart

In the wake of recent market volatility predictions, I prepared this 4-minute read and flowchart that I think you’ll find incredibly valuable.

My team’s most recent publication, Investments Facing Volatile Markets: A Simple Flowchart to Determine What (if Anything) You Should Do, will guide you through an extremely simple 3-step process to discover:

  • How to assess your current investment situation whether you’re 10 years away, 5 years away, or already in retirement
  • The 3 or 4 critical questions you need to ask yourself that will determine what you should do next (if anything)
  • Your level of confidence with your current investment strategy and what you can do about it

You’ll leave with a crystal-clear picture of what you should do next (if anything) that may help preserve and protect your investment health — just like how you’d protect your house while you’re away.

My goal in sharing this free article with you is to help you feel confident that you’ve done everything you can to control the uncontrollable.

You have retirement income you’ll be depending on in the next 10 years, 5 years, or maybe even right now.

Please take the time to examine this flowchart — it will empower your work-free life!

Need Help or Perspective?

If you have any questions, we’re here to help.

Just contact my office directly at (559) 592-3200 or schedule a FREE consultation call on your own.

 

 

Garrett German offers products and services using the following business names: Harvest Wealth Group – insurance and financial services | Ameritas Investment Company, LLC (AIC), Member FINRA/SIPC – securities and investments | Ameritas Advisory Services (AAS) – investment advisory services. AIC and AAS are not affiliated with Harvest Wealth Group.

Representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your situation. Trades cannot be communicated to your Representative by e-mail, fax, or regular mail as the transaction may not be executed on a timely basis. Please contact your Representative by telephone to request trades and do not use e-mail to send confidential information or time-sensitive instructions. Performance quoted does not guarantee future results. Please refer to your regular periodic statement for complete information.