What’s Your Plan for Retirement? Mine Includes Going to the Fair

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By Jackie Heater – Director of Client Relations

I had the opportunity to visit my hometown and take in the fair. Most people would think, “It’s just a hometown fair, so what’s the big deal?” But if you are from Putnam County, Unionville, MO, you know it’s a big deal!

The fair always starts the day after Labor Day and runs through Saturday. The fairgrounds are attached to the city park and the entire area is filled with a carnival, exhibits from businesses, 4-H kids and local citizens all vying for a blue ribbon, the grandstand where headliners perform each night, the livestock barns, the tractor pull and demo derby arena. Schools are out all week to allow students to learn and show their livestock, businesses close to allow employees to attend– it’s the most anticipated event of the year in Putnam County.

Connecting at the Fair

It also gives you the opportunity to see family and friends that you haven’t seen in a while and catch up.  I connected with one of my best friends, saw many classmates and even an old boyfriend. Even though the fair has changed some since our youth, the magic of being at the fair together was still there.

What was interesting is how the conversations had changed, even though we felt like we should still be in our teens running around as we did in our youth. The topics of conversation have matured and now include kids, grandkids, parents, but the main theme was retirement. The rest of the weekend I thought about our conversations, the same conversations we have every day with our clients and conversations every person should have with their financial advisor.

What Will Retirement Look Like?

One of my friends asked, “What does retirement look like to you?” This is a question we ask our clients all the time. Mike will often ask them, “Are you retiring from something or to something?”

While visiting with my friends the answers to what retirement looks like varied.

  • One friend owns a business and is concerned about the transition to a new owner and what will happen to his loyal employees.
  • For all of us, the cost of health insurance until 65 is a concern. If you have a job with good insurance, retirement sometimes isn’t even a consideration until 65.
  • The other concern is about Social Security. We tend to think that as soon as you retire you should start taking your Social Security, but sometimes it can make sense to wait.

There is always a need for estate planning and tax planning if a business is being sold or if there will eventually be an inheritance of the family farm or other significant assets. Then there was the consistent question among everyone, “What to do about an income if I don’t work? How do I replace it?” That same friend asked me if I was still working in investments, and asked, “if I was interested in investing right now, what would you recommend?”

What We Do

My answer to that was, “We aren’t stock jockeys, selling the latest thing for commissions.” I continued to tell them the mission of Gertsema Wealth Advisors, explaining that we are financial planning focused and how important it is to look at their entire picture to determine the best plan for their needs and risk tolerance.

Many people think that financial planning is only about the investments and asset allocation, but true financial planning is so much more than that. I talked to them about the tools we have to help them determine their income needs and we can show them:

  • How we can help replace that income so that their lifestyle doesn’t change in retirement
  • How we will illustrate those “what ifs” that come along during retirement
  • Tax planning that will continue throughout retirement
  • Estate planning
  • Transitioning a business to the next generation

We’ve learned that people are looking for advice so they can make smart decisions as they move into the retirement phase. I bragged on our entire team of professionals working in specialized areas that include CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, a CPA, and our partnership with Carson and their strategy managers who provide the highest quality of service for our valued clients.

Making My Retirement Plan

When Bob was alive, we had dreams for our retirement, but with his health issues it was hard to really see what the future would bring. When he passed away, things changed drastically.

I’m still working on what my retirement looks like. I love what I do and love this team of professionals that I’m working with, but it’s starting to look a little clearer. I’m constantly thinking about the “what ifs,” and it changes on a regular basis depending on what life throws at me, just as it does for everyone. Fortunately, I have tools and a team of professionals at my fingertips to help me as my journey into retirement begins in a few years.

I think the answer to the question, “Are you retiring from something or to something?” is both. You retire from a job that has been your chosen career and who you are for many years. But with the help of the Gertsema Wealth Advisors team you can retire to a lifestyle that doesn’t change and have the fun of checking your retirement dreams off your bucket list.

Gertsema Wealth Advisors wants to have these conversations with you, not just once but throughout each phase of your life. Contact us at 816-259-5060 to schedule an appointment.

I think part of my retirement will include more visits to the magic of the Putnam County Fair!

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