Retirement Planning Beyond Numbers

Funding the nest egg is only the first step to a successful retirement.

With advancements in healthcare and lifestyle choices, today’s retirees face a real threat of outliving their finances. According to the Social Security Administration, a quarter of all 65-year-olds will survive past 90, and one in ten will live past 95. Unfortunately, for many the numbers simply don’t add up.

According to Debbie Craig, CFP®, MBA, CRPS®, Branch Manager of Craig Wealth Advisors, we’ve reached a juncture where Americans can no longer rely on either the government or pensions from employment to fund retirement. “Neither of these things happen anymore, and everyone needs to be able to prepare and save on their own behalf,” she said. “In order to ask an individual to do that, you have to give them an education.”

Craig, who strives to make financial conversations accessible and easy to understand for all involved, continually tries to educate her clients – not only on how to save – but also on why it’s so critical for them to be preparing for an eventual retirement.

Client education also includes guiding them through making strategic decisions about when and how to make financial decisions that carry a greater impact, such as hitting the sweet spot in taking social security benefits. According to Craig, every individual and couple has a different “break-even” point when deciding if it’s more advantageous to take longer distributions of lower amounts, or wait and receive more money over fewer years. Twelve  to 15 years is the average break-even point.

Having entered the financial services industry during the tumultuous 2000s, Craig excels at managing risk and helping to ensure that her clients have the funds they need for retirement. Her investment philosophy is summed up in three steps: income today, income tomorrow and flexibility.

“You have to be able to generate a nest egg in a conservative and consistent fashion,” she emphasized, adding that the ultimate goal is to have a plan that generates enough income from interest, dividends and bank guaranteed products to replace the loss of a paycheck.

But Craig’s retirement education plan goes far beyond straight fiscal facts and figures. As part of her client outreach, she is implementing a new educational series, including webinars, aimed at diving deeper into helping people prepare for the psychological and emotional impacts of retirement as well.

“Emotionally, it’s really hard,” Craig said. Everything about a person’s life changes – routine, friends, income, purpose and health. “Work is not just about money,” she added. “There has to be something we are looking forward to that will fill in the blanks.” Time with grandkids, hobbies, charitable works and travel are all good forward-looking goals.

As a strong proponent of both education and communication, Craig appreciates the increased access to online information and tools now available to the public, noting how it helps clients and advisors have conversations with more meaning and impact right from the start.

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Craig Wealth Advisors is an independent firm. Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Any opinions are those of Debbie Craig and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.

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