Saving for Retirement When You Have a Pension

The biggest mistake that many people make is to not save for retirement because they think that they have a good pension. The reason this is a mistake is obvious: pensions are not as reliable as they used to be. Most of us probably know somebody whose supposedly great pension plan disappeared leaving them with a lot less retirement income.

Pensions are Not What They Used to be

The days when almost everybody could work for thirty years at the same job and look forward to a nice pension check in the mail each month are long gone. Most of us work at several different jobs with different retirement plans during our careers.

Even when a pension is available it could be unreliable in the last decade questions have even been raised about the security of government pensions. Many private pension plans have collapsed and been placed under the administration of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. The PBGC will continue paying the benefit at a much lower rate that is more vulnerable to inflation.

Finally pensions are a defined benefit which means retirees receive a set amount each month. This payment may not keep up with the rate of inflation and pensioners could end up in a situation where their income will not cover their expenses.

Retirement Savings Mechanisms for Pension Holders

Everybody who has a pension should have some retirement savings as a backup. A person can also get tax benefits from such savings because many retirement products are tax-deferred or tax-exempt. There are two excellent savings mechanisms available to everybody even if they have a pension.

Anybody can set up a tax-deferred Individual Retirement Account or IRA. A person can contribute up to $5,000 a year to an IRA and invest the funds in a wide variety of instruments including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and even annuities. The gains on the investment will be tax-deferred which means no taxes are due until money is withdrawn. A person can also invest in a Roth IRA in which funds are tax exempt after initial taxes are paid. Most persons who withdraw funds from IRAs before age 59½ will have to pay a 10% tax penalty in addition to normal income tax on the funds taken out.

A deferred annuity is a plan that allows a person to purchase an annuity through a series of payments or regular contributions. When they retire the plan will start making regular payments to them. The main advantage to this arrangement is that the funds are insured so the beneficiary will get them. Another plus is that there is no limit on the amount of tax-deferred funds a person can keep in annuities. Unfortunately it is also subject to the same withdrawal penalty for those under 59½.

How Much Retirement Savings Should You Have

A person should try to save as much additional retirement income as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of one year’s income saved when you retire. The more you save the better off you will be.

What If I Have Little or No Savings and I’m About to Retire

A person who has little or no savings who is about to retire has a number of options. An individual with a lot of cash can purchase products called immediate annuities. These are tax deferred, they are insured and they will provide a regular income. Some of them are designed to provide income for life. Other options for such a person include reverse mortgages and universal life insurance policies.

Steven Hart is a freelance writer and a Financial Advisor from Cary, IL. He writes about finance topics like annuities, insurance, investment, and retirement.

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The 6 Daily Habits of Highly Successful People

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have the Midas touch while others fail no matter how hard they try or how much effort they put into something? Me too. So much so that I decided to really look into what it was that made the successful people successful and the rest, well, unsuccessful.

What I learned was astonishing. There was actually a commonality in the set of daily habits, or activities, that successful people take on each and every day. It is these activities that make them successful. It gives them that “Midas Touch”.

So what are these common activities?

Personal Development

At any moment we are where we are because of our best thinking. Our current situation is simply a culmination of our past thoughts and actions. If we want different results, better results, then logically it makes sense that we should start with our thinking. Evolution through personal development will have an astounding impact towards the accomplishment of one’s goals

Our success is going to be predicated upon ‘who we are being’ more than any other factor.

Visualization of Goals

This is one of the most crucial steps in this success process. Not surprisingly, it is also one of the things that you will almost never hear about from a person who is failing.

The visualization that I am talking about here isn’t merely a quick “close your eyes and think about what you want for a minute” visualization. No, this is a full, blown-out, five senses type experience. You want to bring the visualization to life. You want to see it, smell it, taste it, hear it and feel it – you want it to be real.

Why is this so important? Well, if you don’t know where you are going then how in the world are you ever going to know when or if you get there? The visualization makes the experience real and the amazing thing is: Once you know the end result, the how pretty much takes care of itself.

Income Producing Activities

We can spend all day making ourselves better, aligning our thoughts with those who are where we want to be and we can visualize our wants and desires until the cows come home. BUT, unless we take some action, nothing will manifest itself.

So, what are your income producing activities? You have to think about this and it really shouldn’t be that difficult. But be careful and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all the ancillary things you do are actually producing income, because they’re probably not.

For me, in my business, it’s simple. I generate leads. I sort those leads and get the qualified leads information and then I collect a decision. That’s it. Nothing else I do is income producing. The writing, blogging, social networking, etc., those aren’t putting any money in my pocket. They are fun and they might generate a lead or two but that’s not why I do it and I need to keep that in perspective.

Do the things that make you money first and then get to the other stuff.

Mastermind with Other Leaders

Earlier I talked about our best thinking. What is the best way to change the way we think? It is to surround ourselves with people who are getting the results we want. By surrounding ourselves with these individuals something amazing happens. We start to model the behavior of those individuals and this is vastly different than imitating them. We start thinking like them. We start becoming them. (And remember earlier when I talked about your success being tied to who you are being… )

This masterminding can be done in various ways: conference calls, personal calls, email, etc. The important thing here is that we cease to take the advice from people who aren’t getting the results we want (which are typically those closest to us) and we start modeling those who are.

You can even create a board of directors for yourself. Depending on what your desired goals is, choose people who are where you want to be. These don’t even need to be people you know, or talk to. For instance, if you are looking for success in business then perhaps you’ll have Donald Trump on your board. When you are confronted with a pivotal decision, think to yourself, “What would Donald do?” There’s your answer and there’s your mastermind.

Cultivate the Expectation of Leadership

If you want success then you better damn well be the leader. Nobody wants to follow a loser. Step-up and take on the role of leader.

Do you want to know how you become a leader? It’s easier than you think… Just ‘be the leader’. Make the decision to do it and take action like a leader would.

In addition to expecting leadership from yourself, you should also expect that the people you are now attracting into your life will be leaders as well. You are going somewhere; make sure that the people coming with you deserve to be there too.

Gifts & Gratitude

Let’s start with gratitude. The most powerful position to operate from is that of gratitude. Why? You might ask. Well it is simply because if you are operating from a state of gratitude then you have already achieved your desired result. You are thankful for it and no longer wondering about it and wanting for it. You are thankful for the result and it has been realized. There is no doubt. There is nothing holding you back.

Now comes the point where I get a little ‘new age’ on you and talk about how giving opens the floodgates to receiving. Whether you want to believe it or not, there is a harmonic flow of wealth in the universe. If you horde everything you get then there is no room for whatever it is that you want. You must make room in your life for the things you want and the best way to do that is by giving.

For instance, if you want a new wardrobe then you better clean out the closet first, why not donate, or there won’t be room for all those new clothes. Similarly if you have been eyeing that new luxury car but your garage is cluttered with mess, where is that going to go?

The universe knows when there is or is not room for the things you want. If you make the room, it’s funny how things start to show up.

So there you have it. These are the things that you will find highly successful people doing on a daily basis.

Here’s the great news. You can choose to incorporate these activities into your daily routine. Before long, they will become your daily habits and you too will find the success that you’re looking for.

To learn more about creating wealth in any area of your life visit www.BrianPray.com.

You can also listen to Brian’s motivational podcast series The All You Want In Life Podcast by visiting www.AllYouWantInLife.com.

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