How A Certified Retirement Specialist Can Help You Plan For The Future

By Cory Bowman

Retirement causes a great deal of concern for many people today. Economic factors are preventing workers from retiring early and many people are forced to work long past the typical retirement age because they cannot afford to go without a paycheck. It is important to plan for your retirement so that upon retiring, you will not have to worry about your finances and can enjoy your time. After completing and receiving a certification from a retirement institute, you will have the skills and knowledge to become a retirement specialist. Since retirement is such a milestone in ones life, it is important to begin the planning process early on.

A December 2010 Wall Street Journal survey shows that todays workers are less prepared for retirement than ever before. The survey results showed that $140,000 was the average 401(k) balance at year-end 2009 for employees in their 50s who had been in the plan for at least six years, versus $107,000 at year-end 2008, but still below the $147,000 level of 2007. Additionally, by year-end 2009, 60% of 401(k) money was invested in stock funds; the balance was invested in target-date funds, balanced funds and employer stock. A mere 6% of participants who can select employer stock have over 80% of their 401(k) money in those shares. The key to maximizing returns while minimizing risk is to spread investments among many asset classes. However, those who had at least $100,000 to invest had no idea as to what dollar figure their nest egg will need to grow to in order to retire fully. If all your money is invested in one place, your risk of losing money increases significantly. Like the old saying goes: Dont put all your eggs in one basket.


On January 1, 2011, the first of roughly 78 million baby boomers began turning 65, the typical retirement age. A study conducted by New York Life Insurance Company revealed significant information about their retirement concerns. For instance, 40 percent of Baby Boomers must delay retirement in order to afford the lifestyle they want. Another 22 percent must delay retirement in order to cover basic expenses. The remaining third, who have successfully managed their finances, can retire whenever they want to. This unpromising percentage predicts a bleak outlook for future generations of potential retirees. A retirement specialist has the capabilities to prevent delayed retirement.

Baby Boomers worry most about health care costs, outliving income, decline in Social Security benefits, and other market declines. Certification from a retirement institute will teach you how to handle client concerns. In order to guarantee eventual retirement, members of this generation can put more money into savings, adjust portfolio allocations, or sell off other assets. During this time of retirement turmoil, especially due to the high unemployment rates, many seek out the help of a retirement specialist to help assist their planning efforts. People need long-term financial stability before retirement becomes a viable option. The planner and client can work together to make the most of current investments and decide how to make retirement an endeavor that will occur in the near future and that the client can look forward to enjoying.

About the Author: Cory Bowman is Director of Ops at the Institute of Business Finance. IBF has helped thousands of members of the financial services industry attain designations. For more information about

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