Many of us daydream about spending retirement years traveling, enjoying hobbies, or spending time with family. But planning ahead requires more than a simple savings account these days. Successful retirement takes research, tools, teamwork and careful management. That’s where partnering with a personalized life and legacy planner like Asset Care and Protection Services is crucial.
Industry studies show that “Americans who are age 55-64 have only saved 12 percent of what they need to fund a secure retirement.” Even more have questions about what they’ll need, the best ways to save, and how to plan for the future. Linda Jensen, Asset Care and Protection Services’ founder, is a Certified Financial Educator, Financial Planner, and Financial Services and Insurance Professional with many years of experience. Her services help clients manage money, create an estate plan, develop tax strategies, and address lifetime income and insurance needs.
Linda, who moved to Washington State in 1994 and Thurston County in 2003, has offices in Olympia and Lakewood. “I worked for a very large company beginning in 1994 and went independent after three years,” she recalls. “The reason I started my own firm is because when you work for a big company, you are limited in terms of what products you can offer. Being independent allows me to offer the entire universe of options. My goal is to do the very best for my clients and I want them to have all available options.”
Over the years she’s offered one-on-one meetings, taught seminars and helped many Western Washington individuals work towards a stable future. “I’ve been conducting seminars for more than 22 years,” says Linda. “So I meet new folks on a regular basis. I would say that the majority don’t know what questions to ask and they don’t know what options they have. I consider myself as an educator first and love to work with people to offer them planning options and educate them at the same time.”
Like people, no two retirement plans are the same. “Everyone’s situation is different,” she admits. “Some folks want to plan themselves and others have hired an advisor. Sometimes folks appreciate a fresh pair of eyes and a second opinion. The average person does not have access to the software tools and resources of a financial planner. I would recommend developing a retirement and income plan at least a year before retirement but I do work with folks much younger and others who have been retired for some time.”
And it’s never too early—or too late—to start working with a professional. No-one knows what lies ahead but even a small amount of organization and effort goes a long way. “You can’t do anything about the past,” Jensen acknowledges. “Life changes, circumstances change, and many times the plans have to change along with the changes in our lives.”
Linda is a holistic financial planner and has many partners to help clients with their retirement and financial planning. One partnership provides clients with a reverse mortgage solution. The Federal Trade Commission explains that “When you have a regular mortgage, you pay the lender every month to buy your home over time. In a reverse mortgage, you get a loan in which the lender pays you. Reverse mortgages take part of the equity in your home and convert it into payments to you—a kind of advance payment on your home equity…Generally, you don’t have to pay back the money for as long as you live in your home. When you die, sell your home, or move out, you, your spouse, or your estate would repay the loan.” The loan is typically paid off when the house is sold. The property owner never gives up ownership and control. The owner can remain in the home as long as they wish and the home continues to appreciate. Reverse mortgages aren’t the best option for everyone. Linda works with professionals to make sure her clients get the best advice.
Linda explains that through the use of reverse mortgages, “I’ve helped clients eliminate their mortgage payments in retirement, purchase a vacation home and tap into the cash for Roth Conversions. I use software to analyze the tax consequences and forecast the growth of accounts to offer advice and help clients develop a strategy.”
Colleague Harlan Accola, National Reverse Mortgage Director at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, explains that “Reverse mortgages have unfortunately been branded as a loan of last resort for people who have not managed their money well. The truth is clear with the latest research: 90% of people will have a better—and safer—retirement and leave a larger legacy—if they take out a reverse mortgage at 62 before they need it!”
During the recent COVID-19 shutdowns, Linda is still finding ways to meet with both established and new clients. With limited work and social activities, many of us are taking time to putter, organize, and update the piles of paper we’ve been putting off…like financial planning. “Currently I’ve been conducting mostly video chats or phone calls,” explains Jensen. “I have conference rooms in both offices so it’s easy to social distance. Grateful that we have so much technology! I’ve had more clients ask for help to get their estate planning during this shutdown.”
At Asset Care and Protection Services, Jensen’s four keystone values are simple: people, integrity, communication, and service matters. “There is no one ‘best place’ to put your retirement money because each individual and couple has unique requirements, different tolerances for risk, and need their money at different times,” she admits. “Likewise, there is no one place to keep your money that fits everyone for exactly the same reasons. Your unique circumstances must be taken into consideration if you seek to find the most favorable place for your retirement money. This is where we can be of service.”
When you’re ready to take that first—or next—step in the retirement process, if you want to check out details about the next educational seminar, or schedule an appointment online, call 360-908-0612, or email Linda@AssetCareFinancial.com.