Administrative Professionals Conference – Session: Tomorrow in Focus (Retirement Planning)

Tomorrow in Focus: Saving for Your Ideal Retirement – Sara Thomas, CFP, ChFC, Financial Consultant, TIA-CREF Field Consulting Group
*** Note – These are my personal notes blogged LIVE so please excuse the typos – also there may be personal comments.

  • Story – Ms. Thomas’ grandfather died suddenly and her grandmother was lost, having never written a check, paid a bill, etc. At 8-years old, Ms. Thomas decided that she would never be in that position.
  • What is your ideal retirement? Travel / new home / volunteering / family & friends / hobbies – very individualized / personal
  • what is YOUR ideal retirement? Created in your own mind – customize around your own life

Retirement savings v. retirement income

  • which is better?
  • $1 million to retire on OR $5k a month to retire on

many experts believe you will need between 70%… Retirement Readiness: The asset/salary ratio graph

  • based on your current income – 4.5 of current salary in assets that they have saved – based on number of years to retirement & income replacement goal – To replace 80% of income

TIAA-CREF Retirement Advisor – online

  • Answer your most important retirement questions and find out how to help reach your goal:
    • Set goal
    • Enter information
    • Pick your strategy
    • Take action

The High Cost of DELAYING Investment strategy: A primer

  • Consider a mix of investment products & vehicles:
    • Employer-sponsored retirement plans: 401(k), 401(m), 403(b), 457(b)
    • supplemental plans: Keoghs, after-tax annuities, IRAs, mutual funds
    • equity investments
    • fixed-income investments
    • guaranteed investments
    • Real estate

What’s the right mix for you? Work with an advisor for your plan Which IRA is right for you? “Individual Retirement Account”

Traditional IRA

  • tax-deductible contributions, if under income limits
  • tax-deferred accumulation
  • withdrawals are taxable as ordinary income
  • balance is subject to IRS minimum required distributed

Roth IRA

  • After-tax contributions
  • Eligible if within income limits
  • Tax-free accumulation
  • Withdrawals are tax free*
  • Balance is not subject to IRS minimum
  • If you are over income limits, consider conversion to Roth

Important IRA considerations

  • Your tax bracket now
  • Your projected tax bracket in retirement
  • deferred income option beyond age 70 1/2
  • Access to funds in the event of an emergency
  • Are you “maxing it out”? – Are you taking full advantage of it?

Social Security retirement benefits

  • visit
  • understand your choices for income
  • the full benefit age is gradually increasing
  • how much do you expect Social Security to Replace of your income – can be different per person / individual (based on your contributions / when you start)

Financial well-being for you and your family

  • Life insurance
  • Help protect your assets for your family
  • Help protect your family from undue burden
  • Ultimate plan for the unforeseen
  • Can have their own value


  • Account for one of retirement’s largest expenses
  • Disability insurance
  • Life expectancy

Long-term Care Insurance

  • Be prepared

Income once you retire

  • Customize an income stream
  • creating an income that will cover your daily needs and requirements

When a lifetime annual makes sense The flexibility of cash withdrawals 70 1/2 IRS requirement minimum distribution rules Consider how consolidating assets might help Meet with a TIAA-CREF representative at least one year prior to retirement to review options Retirement income worksheet (handout) – cash-flow worksheet

  • look at what you are spending – will these expenses continue after I retire?

Case Study

  • Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor
  • Clair Huxtable

Questions: Closing comments – The key to Write Down your goals because you are more likely to Meet your goals – Seal it up and they will mail it to you in a couple week so that you are reminded of those acton steps for the future.

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