5 steps to protect your retirement assets and income

Protect your retirement from financial losses.

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When you retire, it is a good idea to develop strategies that will protect you from significant financial loss in later years due to failure, financial exploitation by unethical friends and relatives, and fraud.

The recently released Thinking Ahead Roadmap will help you select a financial advisor who can help you manage your money and property at a time in your life when you may need help.

Thinking aheadThink ahead

As part of your retirement planning, you should take steps that can protect your retirement savings and retirement income sources from future losses. Let’s look at five steps that can help ensure this protection.

Step 1: Use your retirement savings to fund a social security bridging strategy. This can greatly increase the amount of Social Security income you will receive over the course of your life because you can delay starting your benefits for as long as possible (although there is no benefit in going after you are 70. A social security bridging strategy also helps lower your retirement income by turning easily accessible savings – a target for scammers – into a stream of monthly income guaranteed by the federal government.

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Step 2: Consider keeping your retirement savings on employer-funded plans like 401 (k) plans when you retire. These plans are administered by trustees who are legally required to act in your best interests. The same standards are not required for other investment accounts such as IRAs with banks, insurance companies, or brokerage firms. If you do decide to remove your retirement accounts from employer-sponsored savings plans, look for financial advisors or institutions that usually act in your best interests.

Step 3: Choose a guaranteed monthly annuity payment if you are on a traditional retirement or cash plan, even if your plan includes a lump-sum payment of your monthly retirement benefits, you can often earn more retirement income over the course of your life. Not only does this provide a guaranteed monthly income, but it also protects you from fraud, exploitation and investment errors.

Step 4: Find Out How Your Financial Institution Can Help Financial institutions often offer ways to protect your savings from financial exploitation, identity theft, and other types of loss. Here are some examples:

  • Warnings. You can set up a bank account notification to notify you when a transaction is in excess of a certain dollar amount or when money is being transferred beyond a certain geographic area.
  • Account blocks for investment accounts. With such a block, you authorize the only authorized withdrawals that can be made from your account. A typical example is a regular electronic transfer from your system to your checking account. If someone wants to change these withdrawals, the financial institution will put additional security steps through them.
  • Account monitoring with third party alerts. There are services that allow trusted third parties to receive alerts when a transaction appears suspicious. This gives you the opportunity to designate someone you trust to help you monitor your accounts.

Step 5: Consider using part of your retirement savings to buy an annuity that generates guaranteed monthly income. An annuity can provide a stream of monthly retirement income that will last for the rest of your life. Annuity insurance usually protects you from investment losses resulting from mistakes or a collapse in the stock market. With most annuities, it is difficult or even impossible to withdraw all of your money at once; This feature protects you from catastrophic losses by preventing you from withdrawing all of your money at once. A note of caution: purchasing an annuity can be a confusing process, and some annuities have high fees. To make it easier, look for an affordable retirement or work with an expert who cares about your interests and can help you make the right choice.

Protecting your valuable retirement assets and income from financial loss through error, exploitation and fraud is an important aspect that is often overlooked in retirement planning. But you will enjoy your retirement more if you develop a retirement income strategy that takes into account all of the risks you face.

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