Planning for the Golden Years

Posted: 7th March 2018 by Bruce Smith in General
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Paul Heising has been teaching “Passport to Retirement” at SMC Community Education since 2003. He is a partner with Moran, Heising & McElravey, LLC, an independent investment advisory and financial planning firm that specializes in investment management and retirement planning for individuals and small businesses. He has served as both a director and advisor for corporate boards and frequently speaks to groups about investing and retirement planning. In addition, he has taught business courses to graduate and undergraduate students on a part-time basis at Chapman University for the last 15 years.

First thing first, what is it you enjoy about teaching your retirement course at SMC Community Ed?

The most enjoyable part is the interaction with all the wonderful people I meet. They represent all ages and all walks of life. The common element is that they are interested in planning for their retirement and committed to taking steps to achieve their goals. My commitment to them is that the class is 100% focused on helping them understand the things that can help them retire successfully and help them navigate through the myriad of choices they have.

Is there anything you’d like to add about the retirement course you teach?

My class is an educational class that covers a broad number of important retirement planning issues. My specialty is in Investment Management and Retirement Planning. My focus in class is an academic focus rather than a Wall Street focus. There is no sales pitch or sales focus in the class. It is purely educational.

What is the average age of your clients when they first come to see you?

I have clients spanning all age groups.  Some are in their 20’s and 30’s, some in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s or older. Each client has different goals and needs and it is my job to help them pursue their goals of retiring successfully.

What are some of their most common issues?

The most common issues for 20 and 30-year-olds are to pay down student loan debt, save for a down payment on a home, and to begin saving and investing. The most common issues for older clients who are working and saving for eventual retirement is to understand at what age they can plan to retire so they won’t run out of money and to invest with the least amount of risk in order to pursue their retirement goals successfully.

The last thing on young people’s minds is retirement and many of them are struggling with college loan debt and the high cost of living in places such as Los Angeles. How can they put aside money for retirement?

There are always good reasons to procrastinate since there never is a ‘right time’ to save and invest. Many reasons are very real and understandable. This is especially true given the more immediate need for younger adults to pay off student loans, save for a down payment on a home or spend necessary funds to raise a family. Still, the key is to live below your means and begin to save something, even a small amount while they are paying down their student loans or saving for a home. One great way is to invest in the company retirement plan (like a 401-k or 403-b), where you defer a portion of your salary into investments that can grow significantly over time*. Sometimes employers provide a match to an employee’s salary deferral that can help the retirement plan grow even more significantly.

Is there a fear among all age groups, but particularly young people, that they will lose Social Security? If so, how does that tie into retirement planning?

While no one really knows how the Social Security system might change in future years, it has changed a number of times since it started in 1935 and will like change in future years, too. The best way to factor the possibility of a reduced or even the elimination of future Social Security benefits is to plan as if it may not be a benefit in the first place. Unfortunately, this may mean that someone may have to plan to delay their retirement or save even more.

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The hypothetical investment results are for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed a representation of past or future results. Actual investment results may be more or less than those shown. This does not represent any specific product or service.  Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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