The IRA Specialists The days are long gone when someone goes to work for a company in his or her twenties, spends thirty to forty years with that company, and then retires with a nice pension and a gold watch. Since the advent of the 401(k) plan in 1974, we have seen companies increasingly shift the burden of planning and saving for retirement to their employees. Over the next ten to fifteen years, many will still retire with some form of a pension plan, but the trend toward retirement plans funded primarily by the employee is likely to continue. For those who do retire with some type of pension plan, many will have choose whether to take the annuitized payout over his or her lifetime or to take the value of the pension in a lump sum, usually to roll that money into an IRA. Each person’s circumstances are different, making each person’s decision unique. Decisions that you make at this point can mean a difference of tens of thousands of dollars to you and/or your heirs. The IRA Specialists can help.Many companies make matching contributions to employees’ retirement savings plans, and some are quite generous. But in most cases it is still the responsibility of the employee to make the greater share of the annual contribution and to make the investment decisions. The IRA Specialists can help.Another growing phenomenon is that most people will change companies—and sometimes careers—multiple times during their working years. As a result, there can be many times during your working years when you will need guidance as to whether to leave your retirement plan with a former employer or roll that money into the new employer’s plan or into your own IRA. The IRA Specialists can help. By the time your reach retirement, if you have done a good job of planning and investing, your retirement savings is likely to be your largest asset. Your emphasis over the years has been getting money into your retirement plan, not taking money out. At this point you enter a new phase in your retirement plan, namely, retirement. At this point the questions center around whether you will have enough money to provide the retirement lifestyle that you have been planning for, how much you can comfortably take from your assets and how to do so in the most tax-efficient way. The IRA Specialists can help.Although many would say that the perfect estate plan is to spend it, few actually do. As a result, that asset that has become your largest single asset may also be the largest component of your estate. Many don’t consider that there is a right way and many wrong ways to inherit money—especially IRAs. Mistakes that you may make during your lifetime as well as mistakes your heirs may make can be extremely costly in terms of income and/or estate tax. The largest asset in your estate can become the smallest asset in the hands of your heirs if you and they fail to do proper planning. The IRA Specialists can help.