Today’s speaker was Pam Thomas of Thrivent Financial, our financial planner. She spoke today about small business owners and retirement planning, when the retirement age was set at 65 – the expected life span was 58. Now our average life expectancy is 85 – so in planning for retirement you have to plan for at least 30 years. Most small business owners do not have a retirement plan – thinking that their business will provide their retirement and also average small business owner feels that they can’t afford a retirement plan. The younger generation are becoming more savvy in planning for the future and understand the need to plan for their twilight years. Not only have they heard about how Social Security will be bankrupt by the time they reach retirement age – they also know that they will probably live long past their retirement.  Thrivent Financial specializes in working with small and mid size businesses offering a variety of plans that can be designed for your particular situation.  As a small business, one should realize all of the tax advantages for your business with retirement plans – you can shelter income and not pay taxes on most dollars invested in a retirement plan. Pam reminded us, however, the Roth IRA does not offer the shelter that many other plans do.

There are around eight different plans that Thrivent Financial offers – they are the Simple IRA plan, a Sep Plan, Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Profit Sharing Plan, 401K or a 401k Roth plan, a 403(b), The Safe Harbor Plan and a Single K Plan. Each plan offers different level of salary deferment, employee contribution and contribution levels.

Pam also talked about how to find a financial planner – when looking you should find someone who has experience and large range experience – working with a variety of funds – also look for someone who can be realistic in your scope of business and what you want to do and are able to do. Thrivent Financial has financial planners that have a good range of experience and have the ability to work with companies of any size. SO, they would be a good company to look at when deciding on a financial planner.

Pam Thomas  * Thrivent Financial * 1.800.847.4836

Today as our second speaker was not feeling well, we discussed other business for 15 minutes before the end of our meeting.  Our website came up several times as we started with great enthusiasm and have a good start, our past member who was willing to manage it has not been able to keep up with the changes that we need to make. There will be a change in management and we should be making the updates that need to be made in the near future.