Planning for retirement is one of the most important financial decisions any of us will make. Making sure there’s enough money to support us in our old age, when the ability to earn is diminished, and plenty of things can go wrong that might leave retirees short on funds, is one of the main tasks of retirement planning.
And it’s a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly — because of the compounding effects, any mistake regarding retirement made early on can cause massive losses by the time the twilight years come around. The field gets complicated fast because of the many ways to save for retirement, leaving future retirees without the knowledge crucial for decision-making.
But thats’s where companies such as GCES come in. Headed by Galen Bargerstock and Clinton Smith, this financial services company from Indiana, Pennsylvania, is always on hand to break down some of the not-so-widely understood financial tools their clients have at their disposal for retirement.
Annuities are one of those tools. “Annuities are contracts people can buy, usually from an insurance company, which entitles them for payments later on, typically during retirement,” explains Bargerstock, the company’s President. “It’s a straightforward concept — you pay some money, either at one or in installments, and then you receive regular disbursement. But the options annuity products offer might make them difficult to understand.”
Annuities can be immediate, meaning their payment starts shortly after a lump-sum payment is made. They can also be deferred, meaning the payment starts at a future date, either over some time or as a lump sum. Their major selling point is that they accumulate freely, with taxation being deterred to the moment when the withdrawals start.
Annuities can also be fixed, providing regular payments with a fixed interest rate on the investment or variable payments that follow the performance of the investment vehicle the money was invested in. Indexed annuities are tied to an index and provide a return based on its performance.
And then, in between these annuities, some options make them even more complicated. Working with trustworthy financial advisors with a track record is critical for understanding the options and making an informed decision.
“Because there’s such a variety of annuities, they are a vehicle that can accommodate many different retirement goals,” Bargerstock explains. “They can provide a steady income, but they can also be used to grow retirement savings. We will advise our clients on the type of annuity that we believe aligns with their retirement goals, but we first need to understand where they’re at, financially, and where they want to be.”
After an analysis of the client’s finances and formulating the client’s retirement goals, the team at GCES will go ahead and give recommendations for the types of annuities that might be best suited to the client’s situation. In this part of the process, transparency and meticulousness are key. After everything is explained and all the decisions are made, GCES will also ensure its clients are directed to the right products and providers.
“At GCES, we’ve worked hard to build a reputation of trust and commitment to our clients’ financial wellbeing,” Bargerstock explains. “While we would never presume to make decisions for our clients, we go above and beyond to ensure that they are presented with the options to help them reach their goals.”