Planning for your Future

While Thurston County is fortunate to have facilities and services such as those provided by local non-profits such as Senior Services for South Sound, recent statistics show that many aging citizens are not as prepared for retirement as they should be.

A cup that reads "Let the Adventure Begin"According to an article by KD Smart Chair, there is a looming retirement crisis that no one wants to discuss. The article states there are currently somewhere around 40 million senior citizens in the United States, with that number projected to skyrocket to 89 million by 2050. Perhaps most concerning is the fact that 25 percent of Americans in the 46- to 64-years-old age bracket have no retirement savings at all.

Jason Andrew works with customers on their retirement and financial planning. “Care facilities are expensive, $3,000 or more a month at least, which can eat into a savings portfolio really quickly,” explains Andrew. “For people getting to this stage of life, this is one of the major areas of planning that needs to be discussed.”

People are living longer and wanting to retire sooner, but Andrew says this presents major financial challenges, especially with government services like Social Security and Medicare benefits being diminished in some cases and also being pushed out to later stages of life. Workers are now eligible for early retirement at 62, but with monthly Social Security benefits reduced by at least 25 percent in most cases. While the full retirement age to receive full benefits now stands at 66, it is expected to rise in the future.

When discussing retirement planning with clients, Andrew uses the term “‘alternative retirement income resources,” which includes a combination of income options such as 401K, social security, rental income, individual savings accounts, etc.

Andrew says when planning for retirement, there isn’t any one mistake that people make. The problem lies in waiting to start saving. “The longer you wait, the harder is becomes,” he said. “The sooner you can get your money working for you in the form of compound interest the better. It’s the people who haven’t done the planning that have the bigger issues because there’s a smaller margin for error with less resources.”

“Every little bit helps,” he says. “Some people think they don’t have the resources now but just getting in the habit of putting a little money away each month goes a long way,” Andrew said. “It’s like working out, it has to become a habit to become a lifestyle.”

It’s apparent that these conversations need to be had and need to be discussed much earlier in life. Andrew says anyone concerned about their financial future, regardless of age, should schedule a meeting to discuss options and create a savings plan. “We say plan for the worst and hope for the best,” Andrew adds.

For financial planning services, call Jason Andrew at 360-596-9788 or email

*Distributions from traditional IRAs and employer sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to reaching age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% IRS tax penalty.