Iowans who may be green in their careers are being nudged to start planning now for their golden years.
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart is encouraging people, especially younger Iowans, to begin plotting ways to fulfill their financial needs for the decades ahead.
“We often say we spend a lot of time planning a summer vacation and yet we don’t plan very much for a 20-year vacation,” Gerhart says. “We just want people to think ahead and make some steps today to plan for that retirement.” Diversifying investments in several areas is a safer financial bet, he says, as opposed to simply hoping Social Security will provide for us.
“We do not want people to rely solely on that,” Gerhart says. “Having other sources of predictable retirement income will help insure you have a dignified retirement. We want people to look at how they’re going to have their assets spread across different asset classes, different streams of income. Start planning today because this is going to be a 20 to 30 maybe 40-year retirement for some folks.”
Talk to family members and friends about their financial advisors and insurance agents and consider hiring one of your own who can offer advice on the opportunities and risks. “For a lot of folks, sitting down with a good advisor or agent can be very helpful,” Gerhart says. “Make sure that he or she is licensed and supervised either by the Iowa Insurance Division or FINRA. You can do some research online. We also think just having a little bit of education can go a long way toward having a good conversation with that advisor.”
One key is to prepare for the long haul, not quarter-by-quarter. A little planning, he says, can go a long way. “This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” Gerhart says. “You’re going to have to do this over a long term. Never make an investment decision based on what the stock market’s doing today or next week. Warren Buffett always says, ‘I don’t know what it’s going to do this year or next year, even, but I know over time, it’s probably going to do pretty well.’ Having a long-term diversified strategy makes the most sense.”
This is National Retirement Planning Week. Gerhart recommends a website for all sorts of resources, tools and tips: www.RetireOnYourTerms.org.