By Bill Dragon
Joel Harris, an independent investment and insurance professional, will be conducting retirement-planning workshops at the Monon Center in Carmel in the coming days.
Harris said he puts these workshops together to provide information for people thinking about their retirement.
“The purpose of the workshops is not to sell anything, but to educate people,” he said.
This is the third year Harris has presented the workshops at the center. The schedule and topics to be covered are:
● Unlocking Social Security, 6 to 8 p.m. March 12
● Financial planning, 6 to 8 p.m. March 13
● Risk management, 6 to 8 p.m. March 19
The registration fee is $10 for each workshop.
“As you approach retirement, income planning is important. While any investment has risks, a key consideration is the longevity risks,” Harris said. “People are living longer, so you’ve got to find ways to maximize your income.”
Interest rates on CDs and bonds are low right now, so it’s really difficult for people to create an appropriate portfolio with limited risk that will provide good income. That’s the biggest challenge, he said.
In addition, there are important factors to consider about Social Security benefits that many people do not understand.
“I teach people how to take spousal benefits and ex-spousal benefits, along with filing and suspend strategies available that will maximize their benefits,” Harris said.
Risk management is another topic Harris talks about. He said he will discuss the strategy of not withdrawing money first from “high risk” investments such as stocks.
“Health care will be your largest expense in retirement,” he said. “It cannot be overlooked.”
Finally, inflation is another concern you should factor into your retirement considerations.
The upcoming workshops will cover all this information and more.