Despite widespread warnings to the contrary, veteran financial planner and investment advisor Jonathan Pond believes no matter what your age or circumstances you can take steps to get your financial house in order and achieve a comfortable retirement.
Jonathan Pond Author and Financial Advisor
CONSUELO MACK: This week on WEALTHTRACK, some call him “America’s financial planner”. Jonathan Pond has been a fixture on Public Television over the years with his seminars on getting your financial house in order. This week he joins us with his “Smart Planner” approach to building a secure retirement. Personal finance fixer Jonathan Pond is next on Consuelo Mack WEALTHTRACK.
Hello and welcome to this edition of WEALTHTRACK, I’m Consuelo Mack. How prepared are you, or your loved ones and friends for retirement? We have all heard about the impending retirement crisis. We recently devoted a program to it with Financial Thought Leader, Charles Ellis who co- authored a short and excellent book on the topic titled Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It.
It provides both a history of how retirement benefits have evolved and now devolved in this country, as well as providing some straightforward remedies for both the nation and individuals. But how critical is the health of Americans approaching or now in retirement? Headlines to the contrary some recent research suggests that the dire warnings are overstated for the general population.
There are some segments in serious trouble.
Not surprisingly the biggest differentiator between the haves and have nots is work history. 73% of people without access to employer-sponsored retirement plans have less than $1,000 in savings and investments. A sporadic work record also means lower Social Security benefits, or none at all for those with less than 10 years employment. However lower income Americans who have been working steadily typically can maintain their standard of living because of Social Security and Medicare.
For middle to upper income Americans who have a higher standard of living that is not always a realistic goal. A rule of thumb has been that retirees should aim to replace 75% of their average annual pre-retirement income.
However, many of them are living on less.
Rowe price surveyed recent retirees with 401ks and median household assets of close to $500,000. The average couple was living on 66% of their pre-retirement income. 85% said they didn’t need to spend as much as they did before they retired and 89% said they were somewhat or very satisfied with retirement so far.
This week’s guest has spent his entire professional career helping Americans prepare for retirement. He is very well known to Public Television audiences.
He is Jonathan Pond, a financial planner, Registered Investment Advisor, prolific author, and host of 23 prime-time Public Television specials. His customized financial review reports have been among the most popular self-help thank-you gifts in Public Television history.
His most recent product is Smart Planner, a comprehensive financial online planning tool for the general public, which he says is the culmination of 25 years of work refining all of those financial review reports. I started the interview by asking Pond how concerned he is about the financial health of Americans.
JONATHAN POND: Less concerned than many. I think people are tending to know what they need to do more than they have in the past.