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Retirement webinar: Retirement planning in the new normal

Find out if you're on track to have the retirement you want.

Tags: Retirement, Planning, Savings, Investing, Life events, Be prepared
Published: April 12, 2021

In the wake of coronavirus, are you confident you’ll be able to achieve the retirement lifestyle you want?

During this 45-minute retirement-focused webinar, investment and financial planning specialists from U.S. Bank and U.S. Bancorp Investments discuss considerations for your financial plan, including:

  • Retirement planning mistakes to avoid during a pandemic
  • Key retirement planning strategies in the current environment
  • Investment portfolio considerations
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Retirement planning in the new normal

BILL NORTHEY: Hello, and welcome to our third and final part of our three part series, the Informed Investor Webinar Series presented by U.S. Bank Wealth Management and U.S. Bancorp Investments. I'm Bill Northey, Senior Investment Director with U.S. Bank Wealth Management, and I'll be facilitating today's discussion.

Research shows that COVID-19 has changed how people think and plan about their own retirement. And today, as we normally do, we try to provide relevant insights and guidance for people as they navigate the current environment. So for the next 45 minutes, I'll be joined by investment and financial planning specialists from U.S. Bancorp Investments. And they'll be discussing strategies that you want to think about in the current environment to help you work towards the retirement lifestyle that you would like.

So before we get started and to familiarize yourself with the platform that we're utilizing today, it looks like a set of windows. And that's exactly what it is. You have the ability to customize your screen. You can make any of the modules bigger or smaller by dragging on the edge of the box. If you would like to close one of the boxes on your screen, simply hit the X in the upper right-hand corner.

The buttons at the bottom of the screen will also help you control what you see on the screen. And if you've closed something and you'd like to reinstate it later, you can do that by the controls at the bottom. Also at the bottom of the screen-- and this is an important one-- there's a tab labeled Questions. And if you click on that tab, you'll be able to submit any questions that you have during our conversation today. And if your question isn't addressed directly, we'll be sure to follow-up with a response after.

So today, we are joined by Karen Wimbish, Head of Investment, Product, and Financial Planning, and LeAnn Erenberger, Senior Vice President Wealth Management Advisor, both with U.S. Bancorp Investments. LeAnn, Karen, welcome. I'm very pleased to have a couple of my longtime colleagues joining us on our panel today. So let's get started.

So today, our ultimate goal is to have you walk away with some smart financial moves that you may want to consider in the current environment. And to start, we're going to start our conversation by talking about mistakes to avoid. And then we'll follow it up with things that you can proactively do to help you address your financial planning considerations and investment portfolio considerations.

So with that, let's go ahead and get started. We are getting closer to the end of this pandemic and there are always going to be uncertain times, whether it's a personal crisis, a national, or even a global one like we've recently experienced. So I'm going to have my guests, Karen and LeAnn, go over briefly some of the retirement planning mistakes to avoid during these uncertain times. And I'd like to start out with LeAnn and have you start talking to us a little bit about the things that we don't want to do in the current environment. So LeAnn, welcome.

LEANN ERENBERGER: Thanks. We'll start with something that won't be a surprise to anyone, but it's the number one mistake I've seen people make over this past year, and in general, and it's not having a comprehensive financial plan. Oftentimes, people think they have a plan, but it's not comprehensive, or even documented, but both are very important.

And for those people who do have a comprehensive plan, other mistakes I see is that it's not realistic, not stress tested, or it's not reviewed often enough. A lot has changed in the past year and it's likely people's goals and priorities have too. People need to review their financial plan at least yearly, so it continues to align with what's most important to them and to help assure you stay on track towards making them a reality.

The other mistake I've seen a lot in the past year is that people are retiring too soon. You can significantly increase your ultimate retirement income by delaying your retirement, even if it's by a year or two. Unfortunately, we've seen a lot of people get laid off or furloughed over this past year. In those situations, you may not have control over your retirement date. But if you've found yourself in this situation, if possible, try to find any work, even part-time work, that will help postpone the timing of when you need to take social security benefits or tap into your retirement savings.

BILL NORTHEY: Yeah, those are great insights, LeAnn. And Karen, let's hop across a few time zones and bring in our colleague from the East Coast. What would you add to the list today?

KAREN WIMBISH: Well, to add on to what LeAnn just mentioned, one mistake I've seen is people just deciding to start social security too soon. And the decision of when to begin collecting social security is different for every person, because there are a number of factors that you really need to consider.

So one thing to know is most people qualify to begin taking social security benefits on their 62nd birthday, but this might not be the right time to begin, because you have the option to delay taking benefits until as late as your 70th birthday. So why would you do that? Well, each month that you delay starting social security from age 62 to age 70 increases your monthly payouts by 8% each year. So that can have a substantially positive impact on your monthly income.

And another mistake that comes to mind-- and this one I can't emphasize enough-- is making fear-based investment decisions. The market has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride over the last year. And it's very easy to get swept up into the fear of the stock market crashing, or the fear that you might miss out on investment gains. Both of these fears are common and understandable, but they can set people up for some unnecessary losses. And one of the mistakes that bothers me the most is when I see people liquidate in a down market.

BILL NORTHEY: Yeah, that's good insights, Karen. Thank you for that. And LeAnn, maybe bring you back and have you talk about an additional final mistake that we'd like to have people think about avoiding in the current environment.

LEANN ERENBERGER: Yeah, thanks, Bill. There's two I'd like to add quickly. One is saving for retirement. We've had some clients ask if they should hold on to cash and either stop or lower their contributions to their retirement accounts. If it's at all possible, I would encourage folks to continue to save towards retirement, even if it's just a minimal amount.

And another mistake I see is people ignoring medical insurance. Today, more than ever, it's important to make sure you have health care coverage. You need to stay healthy. If you're in a situation where you did or are planning on retiring before 65 when you're eligible for Medicare, we recommend finding health insurance to bridge the gap. Similarly, if you've been laid off, take time to understand what options you have for health insurance until you find another job.

BILL NORTHEY: Yeah, thanks, LeAnn. And thanks, Karen. That's a good list of items that we should think about avoiding in the current environment. And I think it's appropriate now to turn to some of the things that we would have our audience think about actively doing in the current environment. So Karen, let's start with you. And what is the first strategy that you would suggest people consider implementing within the context of their own well developed financial plan, as LeAnn pointed out, in our current environment?

KAREN WIMBISH: Thanks, Bill. Well, if you're like many of our clients, you may have spent some time this past year reevaluating what's most important to you. And you may be asking yourself, well, how do I want to spend my time? And as you think about that, who do you want to spend that time with and where do you want to do these things?

And if you haven't yet, you should take some time to really think about these questions and reassess how the answers actually may impact your retirement goals. And then once you've done that, it's important to update your plan to reflect your current vision for your retirement. So again, it's so important to really take that time to build or rebuild the vision for your retirement lifestyle.

So one way we've seen this past year impact people's vision for retirement is related to location. Research has shown that, as you know, people are starting to leave cities. And there's a much more prevalent work from home culture that many people have more flexibility in where they choose to live now, and even leading up into retirement.

So for example, if you own a vacation home and you could decide to spend more time there now during your working years leading up to retirement. And then once you do retire, you have the option to sell one of your homes to free up cash. So it's also not a bad idea to think about state taxes when you're thinking about where you want to retire, or if you even want to own more than one home once you retire.

So just as you're revisiting your vision and your goals for retirement, it's important to make sure you're on the same page as your partner, if you have one. And too often, we see that couples don't talk together about their longer term goals. And that misalignment can make it really difficult to determine the path toward reaching these goals. And I can tell you, my husband and I had to do four meetings with our advisor before we could align on our goals. So it could take some time to do that.

But one of the tools we have available to help you do that and to prioritize what's most important to you is our goals cards. And when we're able to meet in person with our clients, we have this-- it's actually a deck of cards. They have goals on them. And the client's able to support them in priority order.

In the current environment, we've made a digital version available, which you can find a link to in the resources tab. And this is an interactive PDF that will allow you to explore your goals and rank order those that are priorities to you. And then if you have a partner, you should each do this, and then you should align on what your shared goals are.

BILL NORTHEY: That's great insight, Karen. And starting with the end in mind or the goals in mind and continuing to update that, that's incredibly important. And recognizing that communication with whomever the journey is also incredibly important. So two good tips for us to focus on there. LeAnn, let's bring you back in here and have you maybe share some additional tips or strategies that you would see as appropriate in the current environment.

LEANN ERENBERGER: Sure. One thing I'd mention is saving as much as you can when you can. You likely know that when it comes to retirement, you should save as much as you can after taking your expenses into account and establishing that all important emergency fund. But you might not have a specific number in your head that you should be aiming for.

Meeting with a financial professional can really help. Together, you can determine how much you need to save for retirement by factoring in things like life expectancy, land expenses, anticipated inflation rate, taxes, and many other things. While the exact percentage of your income to save may be varied based off of your goals, but saving 10% to 15% of your pre-tax salary is a good baseline.

How long you have until retirement will also affect how you save and what strategies are best suited to you in order to maximize your retirement savings. If you're just starting out in your career as a young investor, you have two things on your side-- time and compound interest. That means the earlier you can start saving for retirement, the better. People who are just starting out and not in a high tax bracket yet would be particularly wise to capitalize on a Roth account.

If you're planning for kids or another large life event, your budget can change really quickly. To plan ahead, consider contributing as much as you can to your 401(k) before that pre-life event. The logic behind this is that you not only increase your retirement fund, but you learn to live on less. That way when the kids come along or another life event happens, that same money can go towards those expenses.

When retirement is on the horizon, an option that can increase that transition from working from full-time to retirement, both financially and psychologically, is phasing into your retirement. A lot of people will start working 3/4 time and then part-time before they completely retire. And with the current work from home culture for many people, this has become a lot easier to do. That really helps because you're not leaning so heavily on your savings right away. If it works for you, stretching out that retirement phase can give you more wiggle room with your budget and allow you the potential to do more with what you want to do in retirement.

BILL NORTHEY: Yeah, that's great insight there, LeAnn. And I have told my children from a very young age, a couple of the forces in the universe they want to understand, gravity and compound interest. So thank you for pointing that one out. That's a good lesson from a very young age. Karen, what else would you recommend for us today?

KAREN WIMBISH: Well, it's a great time right now to take an inventory of your retirement income sources. We've seen some clients withdraw funds from their retirement accounts during COVID-19. Others are focused on building their cash reserve. And there are those who have continued to invest heavily in the market.

So no matter which of those scenarios describes you, it's very important to have several what we term buckets of income sources that you can pull from when it comes to retirement. So let me explain what I mean about buckets that we recommend everyone have. The first income source number one is a predictable retirement resource. These are things like social security or pension, set amount every month usually for a lifetime.

The second bucket is earnings and income. If you're still working, you could be full-time or part-time, that would be your salary, and then things like interest and dividends from your investments and savings. And the third bucket of income is asset and investment drawdown, taking money out of your long-term savings and investment accounts. And a major focus here should be having a very healthy cash reserve, which is helpful for a number of reasons, one of which is keeping you from having to liquidate in a down market to pay your living expenses.

So now that we've talked about the three buckets, we often get asked, which one should I pull from first? So when it comes to retirement, typically done in this order. Number one, you would use your what we call that predictable retirement income resources to cover at least 80%, preferably 100% if you can, of your essential expenses. And those are things like housing, utilities, food, and health care expenses. And you use those predictable retirement income sources to cover those.

Secondly, and ideally, you would access your earnings on income for retirement only after you've exhausted those predictable retirement resources. And if those sources are not needed to cover those, you have the opportunity to either retain the money, reinvest the money, or use it to fund other priorities.

And then the last bucket, your asset investment drawdown, really should be used when you've exhausted your other bucket sources. And then you can consider liquidating to do some things that you might want to do in a tax efficient way, which we're going to talk about in a minute.

So it's important to think about your spending and retirement in terms of needs-- those things that you need, the basic necessities, wants, spending for things that you'd like to do in retirement, like travel or hobbies, and then those big wishes, maybe it's a boat or a vacation home or even making bequests to charities.

So as you are faced with this new frontier of liquidating your assets to fund your retirement, LeAnn is going to provide you some guidance as to ways that you can do that in the most tax efficient manner. So, LeAnn?

LEANN ERENBERGER: Thanks, Karen. Earlier in 2020 when the markets were down, I was talking to a lot of clients about tax loss harvesting and Roth conversion of assets. Right now the market is up, so these strategies may not be as relevant. But I still want to address them briefly, however, because they're good to keep in mind should the market experience another downturn.

First, tax loss harvesting. If you have any stock investments that end up in a loss position as a result of a recent market downturn, one benefit to consider is harvesting those losses, particularly if you're looking for ways to offset capital gains.

For example, if you had a stock that declined in value, you could sell the stock, take the loss to reduce your taxable income, and then buy a similar stock that could potentially do better for you. But please note, when you're selling positions to claim a deductible loss, they're allowed if you do not reinvest that money in the same security within a 30 day period, which is called or referred to as a wash-sale rule.

Also, there are investment strategies that focus on tax management. These types of portfolio management teams use tax loss harvesting as part of their overall investment strategy, so you don't have to worry about it. Roth conversion of assets that have declined in value is another option. The Roth conversion allow someone to convert all or a portion of their retirement savings that is held in a traditional, simple, SAP, or 401(k) into a Roth IRA. But this is a taxable event.

A market downturn could be a prime opportunity to consider converting the traditional IRA assets to the Roth. Since the taxes are due based off on the account value on the date of the conversion, choosing to convert to a Roth IRA when your account value is reduced will help limit some of the tax liability. Once the market recovers and the value of the converted units go up, you're going to see a higher tax free balance in the future.

Another timing consideration is when your anticipated tax bracket may be lower than in other years, or because your income has changed. And if this is happening, this may be a good time to consider-- a good opportunity, from a tax perspective, to convert that.

One other income planning strategy that makes sense no matter what the market is doing is to make sure your investments are properly positioned in the most tax efficient manner. When you're considering your tax deferred retirement accounts, like traditional IRAs, workplace savings, tax free Roth IRAs, and already taxed account, do you have your assets in the right place?

This is maybe an opportunity to reposition them to get the most favorable impact from each investment from a tax perspective. The more tax diversified your sources of income are, the further you'll be able to keep and stretch your retirement funds. You'll also lessen the likelihood of being surprised when you start using those funds.

So now let's dive a little bit deeper into the differences between the three potential tax treatment categories for retirement accounts. When you're accumulating assets for retirement, the assets fall in three categories in terms of tax treatment-- taxable or tax preferred, tax deferred, and tax free.

Examples of taxable or tax preferred are things like savings accounts, cash reserves, mutual funds, and stocks. Generally, these assets are taken from taxable-- generally assets taken from these taxable accounts have already been taxed, or if taxes are due, the gain are taxed in a more favorable way, as in long-term capital gains.

Examples of tax deferred accounts are things like IRAs, Roths-- excuse me, IRAs, 401(k)s, pensions, and annuities. Tax deferred accounts are taxable at the time the assets are withdrawn and are often subject to the 59 and 1/2 distribution rules or early distribution rules and other restrictions.

The last example of tax free accounts are things like Roth IRAs and HSAs. Tax free assets allow an individual to top off their income needs by utilizing tax free assets while avoiding crossing over the threshold to a higher tax bracket. Another tax free option are municipal bonds, where the interest that is generated does not cause any federal tax but may be subject to state taxes.

BILL NORTHEY: --insights. And particularly, as we think about the what to do in periods of time when there is market volatility, the past 13, 14 months has provided us many opportunities. And for those of us who have been in the market for a long period of time, we know those opportunities will present themselves again. So very good thoughts. With respect to the types and tax treatment of the different accounts, is there a set rule or formula that you talk to your clients about having in each of these types of buckets?

LEANN ERENBERGER: Yes, but unfortunately, there's no rule of thumb for how to balance the assets across these three buckets. In general, it's worth considering having assets in each bucket, but how you diversify depends on your overall goals and needs.

So in order to come up with an appropriate balance for you, it's important to know what you're saving for, what your income is now versus at retirement. And also, no one can predict what tax laws will do, especially decades in advance. Therefore, investors should think really carefully about possible taxation scenarios in retirement before making any long-term decisions on the types of accounts to invest in.

BILL NORTHEY: So thanks, LeAnn. And as a reminder to our audience, it's important to consult with your own wealth professional and, perhaps, a tax advisor as you come up with your strategies and how to plan for your own situation and utilizing the three buckets or types of accounts here. Karen, what is another retirement strategy that you'd like to add to our conversation?

KAREN WIMBISH: Well, just another practical thing that you can do as you're approaching retirement is to focus on any upcoming major expense items you might be facing-- those are things like replacing appliances, home repairs, replacing your car-- in those last one to three years before you actually retire. And scheduling these major repairs and expenses and purchases during the last couple of years that you're working, which, for a lot of us, will be our highest earning years, just can help you avoid unexpected expenses after you are retiring on more of a fixed budget.

And the other thing we'd recommend is trying to pay off your debt, or at least pay your debt down, before you retire. And if you're not able to pay it off, make sure that it's part of the fixed cash flow budget that you have, so that you can account for that in your budget.

BILL NORTHEY: That's a good thought there, Karen. So LeAnn, earlier you mentioned health insurance. And so in the wake of what we've gone through in the past year with COVID-19, health is on the top of our mind perhaps more than ever. And what should people be considering related to that and their retirement at this point?

LEANN ERENBERGER: You bet. When it comes to health and wellness, there are three things I would highlight here. First, anticipate longevity. While we have access to research that tells us things like people's life expectancy has gone down through COVID-19, none of us really can predict how long we'll live. And because of that, you might worry that you outlive your resources. That's why it's especially important to factor in longevity when you're doing your retirement planning. Consider the fact that retiring in your mid 60s may mean you need to generate income for two or more decades.

Second, prepare for health care. One of the biggest expenses in retirement is typically health care. While Medicare covers some of the costs if you're over the age of 65, it only covers roughly 62% of those expenses. And one major expense it doesn't cover is long-term care, something most older Americans will need at some point. To offset that significant expense, consider purchasing a long-term care insurance plan.

One trend as the result of COVID is that more people are likely to age at home versus going to a nursing home. What choice you make will most likely impact your health insurance expenses. New types of long-term care policies include hybrid life and long-term care insurance that provides additional unused tax advantage benefits to your heirs. If you buy it at a younger age, the premiums could be lower. And also, keep in mind, you're required to have that coverage in place before you need it.

Third, be intentional about end of life planning. End of life planning is something many people put off. But thanks to COVID, it started to feel more pressing to people. And as difficult as it is to plan for death, it's crucial that people prepare. It can improve not only how we live our last part of our lives, but how our loved ones deal with our death.

BILL NORTHEY: Yeah, so, LeAnn, that's a great segue. And I'd like to bring Karen back in here. As people are thinking more and more about their estate planning, what are some of the potential strategies that people might want to consider in their conversations with their wealth professional?

KAREN WIMBISH: Well, as LeAnn just said, it's very important to think through and to document really what your wishes are, what you hope to leave beneficiaries. And that would include things like charitable organization. And you should be very clear on the legacy you want to leave. And if there's anything that's made us focus on this of late, it's certainly been COVID.

So this is an optimal opportunity to set aside some time to look at your key estate planning documents and make sure your wills, your trusts, your health care directives especially, and your power of attorney designations are all up to date. You should also consider life changes that have occurred since you last reviewed your estate documents. Do you have a new son-in-law, a new daughter-in-law, grandchildren, a change in marital status?

The same is true for beneficiary designations on IRAs and retirement accounts. Also make sure that your assets are properly titled in accordance with your estate planning accounts and identify someone you trust to have access to your online accounts and passwords. And if need be, have a family discussion about what to do and what steps to follow if someone becomes, in the family, seriously ill.

And this is something that I like to remind people, at 18, you become an adult. So if you have an 18-year-old heading off to college, make sure you have a medical power of attorney for them, so that you can be involved in their care in the case of a medical emergency.

So one other thing I want to mention about beneficiary designations is you may have the best of intentions in naming a non-spouse beneficiary, such as children or grandchildren, to inherit your IRA or your workplace savings plan. But under new laws that took effect in 2020, this could actually create a greater tax burden for them. Because instead of being able to calculate the annual distributions on inherited accounts based on their own life expectancy, non-spouse beneficiaries now have to withdraw the full balance in the inherited account within 10 years. So you want to make sure you discuss this with your tax or legal advisors.

And then the last thing I'd mention is this is a great time to think about your community and charitable organizations. It's a challenging time that they've all been in more ways than one. And it's a wonderful opportunity for you to have a significant impact on nonprofit organizations that make a difference at a time when their resources may really be stretched.

And then just a note on that topic, for those people who are age 70 and 1/2 or older, you can take advantage of the opportunity to make qualified charitable distributions directly from your IRA to charities. And you can distribute up to $100,000 a year to charities, which avoids the need for you to report this distribution into your own taxable income in the year it's made.

BILL NORTHEY: Thanks, Karen. And LeAnn, I know you wanted to add one additional strategy to think about before we move on to portfolio consideration, so I'd invite you back in.

LEANN ERENBERGER: Yes, we're seeing a lot of people worried about protecting what they've worked so hard to earn, and there's a couple of things to consider here. First is insurance protection, and this is an important part of your overall health plan. By considering your goals and your whole financial situation, you can determine the type and amount of insurance that meet your needs.

A solid insurance protection plan is so important, so you don't have to withdraw or draw down your savings or liquidate your investments should you ever find yourself in a crisis. No matter your stage in life, the right protection can help you feel more confident that you're prepared for what lies ahead.

Another protection strategy is to plan for the unexpected, including unforeseen expenses and down markets. I know we mentioned it earlier, but again, this is where having a healthy cash reserve comes in handy. There are also strategies you can put in place to protect our investment portfolio, but I think we're getting to that next. Right, Bill?

BILL NORTHEY: Right. And that will be our final section for the conversation today, LeAnn. Thanks for that. So investment portfolio considerations, what makes sense in the current environment? Karen, you have a framework for assessing some of these things, so I'd like to bring you back in and have you share some of your insights.

KAREN WIMBISH: Sure. Well, just like you need to review your estate planning documents, it's also likely your investment portfolio is going to play a big role in your overall financial plan. And this is an opportune time to really assess if your asset mix and the specific holdings within that current portfolio are still a good fit for you.

I mean, are you comfortable with the level of risk you're taking? Do you feel like certain assets represent an overweight or underweight position in your portfolio? Is it still appropriately diversified and does it reflect your current and future goals? Depending on how you answer those questions, you may need to rebalance your portfolio to bring it back into alignment with your risk and diversification goals.

BILL NORTHEY: And it's always important to continue to drive back to that well developed financial plan that LeAnn led us off with. So LeAnn, what else would you add here in terms of opportunities to assess your portfolio in the current environment?

LEANN ERENBERGER: Yeah, one thing that I recommend people take advantage of is dollar-cost averaging during the volatile market. As we've seen in recent events, timing the market can be really problematic. By starting a consistent, predetermined savings plan or increasing 401(k) contributions, you can avoid timing the market, while potentially benefiting from those market downturns.

Dollar-cost averaging is a systematic approach to investing which investments are made in that predetermined, consistent basis. And the main benefit to this strategy is to lower the average cost you pay for the investments by buying more shares when the prices are low and fewer shares when the prices are high.

BILL NORTHEY: Thank you. And Karen, you alluded to this last tip earlier in our conversation, but have you come back in and talk about Required Minimum Distributions.

KAREN WIMBISH: Yes, otherwise known as RMDs. And I'm going to be very specific here because this can be a little confusing because some of the law changes that have been made. But if you own a traditional IRA or another tax deferred retirement plans, such as a 401(k), the Internal Revenue Service requires that you begin taking distributions after you reach the age of 72.

Now if you remember, this age used to be 70 and 1/2. But with the passage of the SECURE Act, the RMD age requirement was changed from 70 and 1/2 to 72. Now this only applies to individuals who turn 70 and 1/2 after December 31, 2019.

So an important feature of the CARES Act, which only apply to 2020, was that people who had started taking RMDs prior to 2020, or who turned 72 in 2020, were able to defer taking any RMDs last year. They will, however, need to restart or start taking them again in 2021.

So remember, RMDs must be withdrawn every year, even if you do not need the money out of your account. You could be subject to tax penalty for failing to comply with the distribution requirements, so be sure to consult your tax or legal advisor about your particular situation here.

BILL NORTHEY: Thank you both for those insights. And there will be a quiz later-- RMD, Required Minimum Distribution. So for those of you looking for more guidance based on our capital market views, you can get our most current thinking from the asset management group of U.S. Bank Wealth Management at USBank.com/marketnews.

And we know that we've offered a lot of things for people to think about here today, and they all tie back to that important element that LeAnn talked about at the beginning, having a live and active comprehensive financial plan documented and revisited. So LeAnn, I know you kicked us off today by saying not having the financial plan was the biggest mistake to avoid, the thing we shouldn't do. Is there anything you'd want to close on to help us with that critical element?

LEANN ERENBERGER: Yeah, thanks, Bill. This is one of my favorite things to talk about of the financial planning process. We know it can be overwhelming to think about, but keeping track of your complete financial picture is easier when it's all viewable in a safe, secure place. And we have online planning tools for our clients that provides you with visibility into all of your accounts, your portfolio of investment holdings, and your financial plan itself.

You can test the impacts of risk outside of your control, such as market downturns or cuts to social security. And our online planning experience is a great way for you to monitor and test the what I call what if scenarios. You can tell if you're on track to reach your goals by checking the confidence meter, which can help you focus on the success of your plan today and into the future.

You'll be able to instantly see how changing some of your expectations around how you spend and save now, when to retire in the future, and even how market events can all impact your financial life. It is easy to model the impact on your financial plan by changing when you retire, if you work part-time, or spending patterns into retirement. We can even stress test the plan for unforeseeable events like market downturns, long-term care events, or premature death.

Also, I found, in creating financial plans for clients, there are things that they forget to plan for in retirement. As you test different variables and planning drivers, your financial plan itself remains intact. Actual adjustments are only made when you and your wealth management professional agree that changes are necessary to keep pace with your evolving goals. Your online planning experience is designed to help you easily access your plan, so you can manage all aspects of your financial life when, where, and how it's easiest for you.

BILL NORTHEY: And you can see LeAnn's passion about financial planning when she talks about this. So if you're an existing Wealth Management client, please don't hesitate to reach out to your Wealth Management team to see how you can apply any of what we've learned here today to your personal situation, or whether you have any questions.

If you're not a client of U.S. Bank Wealth Management and you're interested in knowing how you might apply these, or even have a second look at your own financial plan, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our teams. You can go to the Resources tab at the bottom of your screen and click on Find an advisor or banker near you. And we encourage you to do so.

So as I mentioned at the outset, today's webinar is the third in a three part series of our Informed Investor Webinar Series that are hosted by U.S. Bancorp Investments and U.S. Bank Wealth Management. And we'll be hosting another series starting later this summer, and we encourage you to come back and join that. So watch for invitations from your Wealth Management team. But in the meantime, you can find any of our prior webinars in replays for this series on our website.

We'll be sending out a replay of this webinar soon. And in the meantime, if you want to go to the Resources tab at the bottom of your screen again, you can find some links to some helpful retirement tools in the planning kit available for you to really help you develop your own plan and work with your advisor. It's at USBank.com/retirement-planning-toolkit. But don't worry, it's easy to find on the website, so you don't have to remember that URL. That's not part of your quiz today.

So thank you to my colleagues, Karen Wimbish and LeAnn Erenberger, for all the great insights today. And thank you all for attending this webinar. We hope it was valuable for you. We're always here to help you plan for today, plan for the future, or just answer any questions that you might have.

And if you would like someone to contact you after today's webinar, please fill out the Contact tab at the bottom of the screen in front of you and we'll have a team member reach out to you. Again, thank you for attending this last in our three part series of webinars for the Informed Investor. Be well, have a great day, and take care out there.    

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