Preparing for the Future
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With retirement in sight, I’m looking for a little reassurance. I want to make sure we’re retirement-ready. | By Andrew

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I’ve been teaching for years, and comparative literature is my passion. Plus, being tenured gives my wife Christina and me a sense of security that’s hard to beat. But lately, when I write up a new syllabus, I wonder how many more of those semester outlines I’ll craft. After all, I’m 63 now.

The past few years, I’ve been asking myself: How will Christina and I know when it’s time to transition from this professional pace? And when I’m ready to retire, will our finances be on the same page?

Christina has always supplemented our income with direct sales businesses—from her food container business years ago to the more recent jewelry business. She averages about $10,000 per year, a nice cap to my $110,000 annual salary. Our children, Michael and Caitlyn, are both in their mid-20s, and have moved to Chicago for work, which leaves us free to focus our financial lives on our own needs—and on our future.

We plan to stay in Bloomington. It’s home. We met here in high school, and after college at Ball State over in Muncie, we came right back. Our house, valued at $260,000, is paid for.

As diligent as Christina is about her business, I’m the one who manages our household finances. I’m the one who worries the most about our future. My biggest concern is that we’ll run out of money. Especially with Christina’s back issue and her fear that Alzheimer’s runs in her family. Could we afford assisted living if necessary? Medicare won’t cover everything.

Since I set up an appointment with Caroline, a financial professional, a few weeks ago, I finally have a few more answers. She was impressed with the phased retirement plan that my university offers tenured professors–a way to reduce workload, take early withdrawals from my retirement savings plan, and still maintain health benefits. Meant to ease professors out the door, it’s a plan I really like. I’ll be eligible at 65, which gives me a firmer timeframe to plan toward.

Caroline and I talked through Christina’s and my assets, including the IRA that Christina started about 15 years ago with some of her earnings. Now 62, she doesn’t have to take the first required minimum distribution until she’s 70 1/2.

We talked about other options for creating income streams in retirement, including an option for an annuity we can consider. Caroline gave me a lot to think about. Put a different way, she gave me a lot less to worry about. Now I feel we can make a legitimate plan, with a realistic timeframe. I’ll know when the time is right.

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Plan now, so you’re ready later

For you, family is one of the most important things in your life. You take care of them. They take care of you. Making sure that they’ll always be taken care of, no matter what happens.

LEARN MORE

Retirement income

Being happily retired looks different for everybody. Maybe you want steady retirement income that lasts or supplemental income to help you meet the unexpected in life.

LEARN MORE

Protect and grow my business

You want your business to maintain its competitive edge. Attracting talent and building a succession plan for the future means you can ensure your business stays in stable hands.

LEARN MORE

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