South Florida Business Journal
The Business of Aging
Preparing for Retirement? Start young and plan well, advisers say
Premium content from South Florida Business Journal by Jeff Zbar
Date: Friday, March 9, 2012
When clients or prospects come to the offices of NFP-FDR Financial Group in Hollywood seeking retirement advice, advisers there might as well ask them to start by looking in the mirror.
By law, clients must tap the IRA by 70 1/2, he said. Yet, a healthy marrried couple that waits longer to significantly tap into Social Security can boost their annual distribution. If the couple needs at leaast some of the income, have the healthier spouse – or the one who makes or made the least – take it sooner, Mathes said. At the same time, defer the higher wage earner longer.
Future planning begins with a needs analysis, said Joseph Karp, an attorney with The Karp Law Firm and Karp Financial Services, which has offices in Palm Beach Gardens and Boynton Beach. Yet, without an honest assessment or professional guidance, many people underestimate their long-term needs, he said.
“You cannot count on Medicare to be there. Your retirement has to be properly analyzed. People think, ‘If I can live on my retirement, I will die soon enough that it won’t matter,’ ” Karp said. “Some people retire too young based upon their assets. Or, they might not do a good evaluation of what happens if one spouse dies, versus the other.”
Finally, get all your advisers on the same page. From your accountant and tax planner to the attorney who handled your affairs, financial advisers are increasingly asking seniors whether extended family are important to their investment, retirement tax and estate plans – and, if so, to bring them into the meetings, said Mindy Ferer, who leads the elder care practice at Hinshaw and Culbertson, a national law firm with local offices in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Partner Steven W. Cutler agreed. Advisers must ask what’s important to the clinet, whom their loved ones are.
“Communication is key. You must collaborate, communicate and execute with advisors, accountants and attorneys,” Mathes said. “As boomers age, senior planning advice is more important than ever. Thirty years ago, with retirement distribution planning, people didn’t live as long. Now, they have to be prepared.”