Main navigation

April 2014 Bulletin: Women in Medicine

A Retirement Income Planning Primer

Theresa Meehan

—Courtesy of Theresa Meehan, Baystate Financial Services

Save, save and save

Start off with the basic principle of money management saving. Whether you’re saving for a car, a new home, college or a vacation, saving for retirement, is no different. Make every effort to save the maximum allowed by your defined contribution plans—that is, i.e. 401(k)s or 403(b)s. And, be sure to at least set aside enough to get the employer matching contribution. If you’re already making the maximum contribution, consider funding an individual IRA. If you change jobs, don’t forget to take your retirement money. In some cases, as in 401(k)s, you may be allowed to roll the contributions over into your new plan or into a traditional IRA. Taking a lump sum distribution will be a taxable event (based on your ordinary income tax rate), and, you could incur a 10% income tax penalty for taking distributions early, before age 59 1/2. Many younger workers make this mistake.

Take steps to create reliable income

There is no magic number, but 60 percent of pre-retirement income before tax is a good starting point for income to cover essential expenses in retirement. Social Security and pensions are great sources of dependable income, but most people will need more stable, lifelong income. Start protecting your future income by putting a portion of your savings into an annuity and adding to it over time, or purchase an income annuity when you retire to cover any remaining expense gaps.  Through annuitization, these products can provide a guaranteed income stream during retirement that will help supplement Social Security and pensions.

Have liquidity AND growth

Having cash on hand for the unexpected is smart. There could be an unexpected expense, such as a health need, a job loss or a change to your income – perhaps from an earlier-than-planned retirement date. Keep in mind, too much cash in the bank earning little interest can be detrimental to your retirement savings.  There are a number of financial products that can let you access some cash when it’s needed and still keep your money working hard for you. For a list of the options, as well as what makes sense for you, consider speaking with a financial services professional who can suggest products and services to help meet your needs.

Know what you want your retirement to look like

Many of us know that we may need to work longer in order to save for retirement. For some, the idea of retirement may be spending time traveling or fulfilling a lifelong urge to go back to school for higher education. For others it may be spending days working part-time or volunteering at a non-profit near to your heart. Figuring out what you may want you retirement to look like, will also help you take the steps necessary to get there.

This article is prepared by Metlife. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notification: The information contained in this document is not intended to (and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This document supports the promotion and marketing of insurance products. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. MetLife, its agents and representatives may not give legal or tax advice. Any discussion of taxes herein or related to this document is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. Tax law is subject to interpretation and legislative change. Tax results and the appropriateness of any product for any specific taxpayer may vary depending on the facts and circumstances. You should consult with and rely on your own independent legal and tax advisors regarding your particular set of facts and circumstances. For information on MetLife insurance or other financial products and services, please contact [full name], [company approved title] with [MetLife], [office address], at [FINRA registered phone number (required)] or [other number (optional), MetLife e-mail address, MetLife FSR Website]. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), New York, NY 10166. Securities products offered by MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI)(member FINRA/SIPC). 1095 Avenue of the America’s, New York, NY 10036. MLIC and MSI are MetLife Companies. L0413317777[exp0414][All States][DC]

Theresa has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 2013 Theresa was named a FiveStar Wealth Manager for overall satisfaction and was featured in Boston Magazine's, "Best of Boston" edition. Theresa was named Hancock Partners "2000 Partner of the Year," and was the youngest person to be inducted into the "Hall of Fame" for overall performance. You may contact her at

Contact PIAM

  • Telephone Numbers
781-434-7525 Insurance All Departments
781-434-7398 Medigap, MMS Member Benefits, Health, Financial Services, and Long-Term Care
  • Fax Number
  • 781-434-6929