Retirement Planning

The Art of Retirement

Making your money last a lifetime. What does retirement sound like? For some it’s the click of pruning shears snipping a prized rose bush.

For some it’s the click of pruning shears snipping a prized rose bush. For others, it’s those familiar voices from reruns of “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke” in the afternoon. And for many, it’s the rumble of an airplane taking off to Florida or some other long dreamed-of destination.

But in recent years, other sounds have crept back to the lives of retirees in America – like morning alarm clocks and the cacophony of car horns during rush hour. Why? Because retired people are returning to the workforce in droves. A 2014 study by Merril Lynch states that 47% of current retirees say they either have worked or plan to work during their retirement.

Consider the fact that we’re living longer – along with dwindling pensions, economic conditions, healthcare and long-term care costs – and you’ll understand why the golden years of retirement may not be playing out as most baby boomers and those who are part of the Silent Generation (born 1925-1942) had planned.

According to Matt Nelson, president and founder of Income For Life LLC, a retirement income planning firm based in Topeka, Kansas, ten thousand people retire per day in the U.S. But that’s not the end of the story. He says that the nation is in the midst of a retirement crisis.

“Retirement is extremely easy in America today, but staying retired is, unfortunately, very difficult. We have many retirees who come to us after they have retired. They have to go back into the workforce because they are not able to stay retired, and they each have their own reasons why,” he said.

Income For Life is built on a straightforward concept Nelson calls “common sense retirement planning.”

“We like to specialize in self-awareness with our clients so that they understand exactly what proper retirement planning means for them. Then they can help us design a proper retirement plan moving forward that can help them stay retired. We fully understand that there is a retirement crisis – and that a common sense element must be in play – and we transition that through our retirees' retirement plan,” said Nelson.

At Income For Life, clients understand that the average retirement span could be 20 to 30 years long due to the increased longevity of Americans that has been evolving over recent decades.

Now, the crux of retirement planning is to create a plan around that. As a result, Nelson sees that retirees are shifting from traditional accumulation investment strategies which often accompany risk, to a guaranteed or a more consistent distribution platform. The crash of 2008 also contributed to this shift.

“You must have a plan that guarantees you will not outlive your income. There are specific strategies and plans that have been designed to do exactly that, yet the client still remains in control of that particular asset,” Nelson explained.

During the last two economic downturns, one in 2002 and the other in 2008, not one client of Income for Life suffered a financial loss. “Our specialty is making sure that priority number one is to guarantee no loss, so our clients were ecstatic that they didn't lose a dime,” Nelson said, adding that his firm has clients located throughout the U.S.

Because Income For Life is ranked as a Top Rated National Retirement Planner, they can offer clients exclusive hybrid annuities not marketed through traditional media outlets. “We have these products available that are exclusive to our group of retirement planners and clients,” said Nelson, noting that since there is not a large marketing budget for these products, the marketing money is directed into the products themselves.

Offering retirement planning services nationwide, Nelson stays in step with current events, trends and laws affecting the financial industry. One issue in particular is on his mind, and that is the recent ruling from the U.S. Department of Labor to protect the public from conflicts of interest by professionals providing investment and retirement planning services. He had this to say:

“I do feel strongly about all advisors doing what's in the best interest of the client, however, I don't feel that this rule gets us there. The way the rule stands now, it will be the lower and middle classes that will be negatively affected. Advisors will not be willing to take on smaller accounts because of the back-end liability that will come with it. So with that being said, we should expect a lot more clarity on the specifics of this ruling in the next few months.”

With its conservative approach and customized solutions, Income For Life’s philosophy has not changed since the firm’s launch in 2000.

“Treat people the way they like to be treated, be accountable and be of high integrity,” said Nelson. “We are of the view that if you can maintain those three qualities in any business that you are doing, that will be the driving point for the rest of your career. Stay true to your values, put your clients ahead of yourself and be accountable.”

For more information on Income For Life LLC, visit:

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