Montgomery County financial specialist Miguel Villegas tells how to plan for a comfortable ride


By Raquel Alfaro

Do you find yourself daydreaming of retiring to a beach? Or maybe you hope to travel the world. But before you buy that plane ticket you have to make sure you’re financially prepared to enter your next venture.

To succeed in retirement, you need to have a financial plan and understand the dos and don’ts.

If you’re looking for a stress-free process to lead to your dream retirement, it’s always best to get a jump ahead and plan. If you’re new to the process and want to know where to get started on your road to retirement, look no further.

Montgomery Magazine spoke to financial specialist Miguel Villegas, CEO of Villegas Financial Group in Gaithersburg, for his directions on the road to retirement.

Montgomery Magazine: How long have you been in the financial industry and your role as a financial specialist?

Miguel Villegas: I’ve been in the industry and a financial specialist for over 14 years.

Q: What is a common mistake you’ve seen people make when it comes to planning their retirement?

Over the years, I’ve seen people not taking the necessary steps to set up their retirement plans. I’ve also seen people waiting too long to plan and take action when it comes to setting up their retirement. Which can make the process a bit more difficult and stressful, especially if you have a year before retirement.

Financial specialist Miguel Villegas. Courtesy Miguel Villegas

Q: So, what would you say is the best retirement plan, especially if you have a year before retiring?

A: It could be a 401k, could be an IRA, it could be all types of retirement planning. So, if you’re a year away from retiring you have to start by talking to a financial specialist or financial adviser. They’ll be able to help you locate those assets and help you to maximize your benefits and minimize your taxes.

Q: What kind of accounts would you need to get started for your retirement plan?

A: If you are a business owner you can do an SEP IRA, it could be a Roth IRA, etc. There are many types of IRAs, but if you want to do a pre-tax, usually it’s a traditional IRA.If you want to do a post-tax dollar plan, you can put up to $6,500 a year for a Roth IRA that’ll go toward your retirement plan.

Q: Is there a certain amount of money you need when you retire?

A: It comes down to the kind of lifestyle you have. Or the county and place you’re looking to retire. Most people look at places like Delaware or Florida because they have no state income tax so it’s a way to save money.

Q: When should I claim my Social Security and is there an amount of money I should expect?

A: Usually, the longer you wait the better and more money you’ll have. Back in the day, people were retiring around 62 to 63 years old. Now it has extended to around 67 years old, which is an ideal situation.

However, most people want to retire earlier, so they end up getting a lower percentage on their Social Security.

As far as an amount of money to expect, it depends on how much you contributed over the years, how much you worked, the type of income stream you’ve got, and when you will ultimately retire.

Q: How will I know if I qualify for Medicare?

A: It varies on the income stream that you’d receive from your Social Security as well as the income you’d receive from your pension plans.

Some people have pension plans while others have accumulated a decent amount of money that will give them a good income stream. The more money your make, the fewer chances you have to qualify for Medicare.

Q: How can I diversify my portfolio to get the best return?

A: Always put some money into a type of mutual fund where they’re going to have some bonds, fixed income and some equities to diversify your portfolio. You want to be sure that your portfolio is suitable for you.

In this step of the process, you’ll want to review your portfolio with your financial specialist every couple of years or every year because things are constantly changing.


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