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Be Wise With Money

Making the Most of Retirement

Thrivent members plan for retirement

Thrivent member Bill Blanton of Cypress, Texas, has one word to say about retirement: "Awesome."

After working 48 years, Bill was more than ready to retire. Today he and his wife, Pat, are spending their days traveling, being with family and pursuing Bill's favorite hobby – fishing.

But it took some wise planning and intentionality to get to where the Blantons are today.

Bill had a significant amount in retirement accounts through 401(k) retirement plan contributions at two employers. And at age 64, he realized he hadn't talked to anyone about his financial goals.

The couple met Thrivent Financial representative Matt Miller at a Thrivent-sponsored Social Security workshop. When Matt sat down with the Blantons, they talked about fishing, faith and family.

Matt also asked about the couple's current financial position and their goals for retirement.

Based on their goals, Matt recommended combining the two 401(k) accounts into a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) – a process known as a rollover.

Although it would take some administrative work to move the money, an IRA would give them a wider choice of investment options, all the funds would be in one place and they would continue to have tax-deferred growth potential.

Matt provided the Blantons with a number of illustrations and projections to show how their retirement funds could help meet their financial goals. He also talked about estate strategies and how to leave a legacy for their grandchildren.

After several meetings with Matt, the Blantons had found a strategy they were comfortable with. Matt remembers how it felt to see the Blantons relax, knowing they had a strategy in place: "It's the part of our job that is truly the most rewarding."

Through the years, Bill and Pat have to come to really know Matt. "We think the world of him," says Bill. "He's more than my financial advisor. He's a friend."

Working with Matt had an unexpected bonus for Bill and Pat: "I had planned to retire in November 2014," says Bill. "But after talking with Matt, I found out that financially I could retire as early as March 2014. I ended up retiring in June. I had a financial plan that could take care of me so I could focus on my love – Fishers of Men. That's a plus right there."

Bill leads the Texas East Division of Fishers of Men, a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry that holds bass fishing tournaments.

He also has plans in place for two Thrivent Action Team events: A junior fishing tournament with 20 teams and a C.A.S.T. (Catch A Special Thrill) for Kids event which connects volunteers who love to fish with special needs and disadvantaged children.

Bill is excited about the opportunity to coordinate these events. "Thrivent Action Teams are a way for us to get resources to help us facilitate and put on these tournaments," he says.

Wondering if an IRA rollover is right for you? Learn how to roll over your IRA and discover how a rollover may benefit you.

Connect with your local Thrivent Financial representative today to discuss your dreams and goals for retirement. He or she can help you prepare to retire fearlessly.

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