Join us on Facebook
What's Happening
Does anyone support affordable housing?
Food & Wine
more >>
Meet ‘Flippy,’ the hamburger cooking robot
Columnist, Blogs & Reports
more >>
Eric Gullotta
Before It's Too Late
Eric Gullotta

Planning for retirement

Quiz time – how much time did you spend planning your most recent vacation? How much time, in total, have you spent planning vacations? Now, how much time have you spent planning your retirement? See where I’m going? Yes, planning a vacation is more fun than planning for retirement, but which is more important? The real reason many, if not most, people don’t make that plan is fear. They are literally afraid of what they’ll find when they actually start planning. They fear that they’ll have to work longer or maybe not even be able to retire at all. This is faulty thinking. Regardless of whether or not you plan… your retirement age is coming. The only way to successfully get there is to make a plan, work the plan and then enjoy the fruits of your hard work. If you start planning for retirement early and get bad news, you may not be so bad off. If you start planning early, many deficiencies can be cured or at least mitigated. Young people have the most leeway as they have decades to plan and start saving/investing. The earlier you start, the more money you’ll have in retirement. More money is a good thing right? Let’s look at some numbers. As a 40-year-old male, I may decide to target 75 as retirement age. Remember, 75 is young in today’s world. This means I have 35 years to save. If no one has ever taught you about the power of compounding interest, here is your intro lesson; if I save just $100 per month for the next 35 years and assume a 7 percent rate of return, I’ll have $180,105 towards retirement. Now, what if I started planning later, say 55, just 10 years later. What is my penalty? The same $100 per month now only gets me $52,093 – which is a $128,012 penalty! There are plenty of these scenarios, contact your financial advisor to learn more. Health care is on everyone’s mind these days. The undecided fate of the Affordable Care Act, skyrocketing health care costs and a population living longer makes providing for your health care in retirement a major concern and a major cost, including the dreaded prospects of needing long-term care. Did you know you might be able to shift some of that risk to an insurance company via a long-term care insurance plan? Many people are familiar with the month-to-month payment plans just like any other insurance – but have you heard of the fixed deposit plans? This is where you deposit a one-time sum of money with an insurance company and that amount “buys” you either long-term care (the amount is based on the amount of the deposit) or a death benefit payable to your beneficiaries. If you don’t use the long-term care benefits your family still receives a lump sum at your death. Uh, aren’t you an attorney, why are you talking about financial planning and long-term care? They are all related. A poorly-executed estate plan can drastically and negatively affect your retirement plan. When retirement calculations are done, they don’t include unexpected attorney’s fees, court costs or other nasty little fees that can creep up without a plan. So, yes, a well-drafted estate plan is still part of a healthy and well thought out retirement plan. Coordinating your life insurance with your estate planning documents can help your family keep more of what you planned for. Having an estate plan can give your family access to all this money you’ve saved and invested – can you imagine going through all this work only to have this money kept away from your loved ones while they fight with the court over access? Don’t get me started on how income and/or estate taxes can decimate a plan when not accounted for properly. Bottom line, start planning now. Talk to an attorney, talk to an accountant and to a financial advisor. Don’t make the same mistakes your neighbors are making – address your retirement head on and give yourself time to build the retirement that’s best for you, before it’s too late!  
Continue Story...
Marijuana battlefield in Glen Ellen Marijuana battlefield in Glen Ellen

By Jonah Raskin | Special to The Sun Now that autumn’s here, marijuana growers are harvesting their... Continue

120th Anniversary Party: The 2017 Vintage Festival 120th Anniversary Party: The 2017 Vintage Festival

Since 1897 the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival has been celebrating Sonoma Valley community, spirit... Continue

• No-cost mammogram program at SV Hospital
• Big change at Sonoma Market
• Springs community clean-up on 9/23
• Disguised suspect robs Sonoma bank, disappears
• Free DACA renewal services at La Luz
• Hospital, trees on next Springs Community Alliance agenda
• ‘Active Aging’ series returns to Vintage House
• When Detroit ruled the world
• Sonoma Raceway’s road ‘Warrior’
• Chipping in for Houston
Letters & Opinion
more >>
Sonoma’s planning system is broken

Despite the aspirations of its General Plan, the policies and measures of its Development Code, its Planning... Continue

Put California-grown products first
More Letters...
Title IX policy needs overhaul
More Letters...
Sonoma should allow medical cannabis dispensary
More Letters...
Letter: Use school bond money for academics, not athletics
More Letters...
‘Big Brother’ on the farm
More Letters...
Taxpayers pay for lobbying in Sacramento
More Letters...
Whistleblower questions Sonoma finances, motives
More Letters...
Comments on Brown Act were cynical, unfair
More Letters...
Want to improve housing affordability? Increase the homeowners exemption
More Letters...
Busting the myth that Prop 13 eviscerated local tax revenue
More Letters...
Hospital board chair on south lot proposals, executive salaries
More Letters...
Hotel EIR is well flacked, but flawed
More Letters...
Who runs things in the Valley?
More Letters...
‘Corporate behavior’ at Family Resource Center
More Letters...
Too late to save ‘quality of life?’
More Letters...
Common view of education ignores unjust, racist concepts
More Letters...
Hospital land sale would be short-sighted choice
More Letters...
Appalled by ‘Indian’ parade entry
More Letters...
Ken Brown: support legal medicinal cannabis facility in Sonoma
More Letters...
State budget is full of tricks, questions
More Letters...
Local Movie Trailers and Videos of Interest - more >>
SUN Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Public Citizen - Larry Barnett
Before It's Too Late - Eric Gullotta
The Sonoma Garden - Karen Boness
Progressive Majority Coalition - Ben Boyce
Snark Infested Waters - Bob Edwards
Board Walk - Susan Gorin
Nonprofit Matters - Dr. B.J. Bischoff
What's Up With That? - Katy Byrne
Connecting the Dots - Fred Allebach
Voices of the New Majority - Loretta Carpio Carr
Creative Arts - Sonoma Valley Sun
Sun In-Depth Report - Sonoma Valley Sun
Under the Sun: Interviews -
Rude Awakenings - Catherine Sevenau
Taxpertise - Bonnie Lee
The Green Tara - Serialized Novel - Nora Parks
Reality Check - Logan Harvey
Find What You're looking For


Events & Entertainment
15462323_11_The-cast-of-The Spitfire-Grill-800
Last call at ‘The Spitfire Grill’
Sign up for our free daily email with the latest news, events and opinion.
What We're Following
Stories of interest from around the Web
Via Alexa, talking bird places Amazon order
> - September 20th, 2017
The official guide to Whine and Cheese
> McSweeny's - September 20th, 2017
Illegal immigration into Caliornia drops as border crossings shift to Texas
> Sacramento Bee - September 20th, 2017
He once owned Napa Valley’s hottest wine. Now he’s in federal prison
> Wine-Searcher - September 15th, 2017
CA ranks #1 in poverty; high cost of housing is major factor 
> Southern California Public Radio - September 13th, 2017
Relatives of undocumented children caught up in ICE dragnet
> ProPublica - September 12th, 2017
The future of the American shopping mall
> Smithsonian Magazine - September 12th, 2017
27 things to blame Millennials for
> Sacramento Bee - September 12th, 2017
Instant drive-through window: Car crashes into Windsor restaurant
> Sonoma County Sheriff's Office - September 11th, 2017
Board of Supes will hear appeal of Kenwood’s Resort at Sonoma Country Inn project
> Kenwood Press - September 6th, 2017
An environmental group claims Napa Valley fails to follow CEQA when it approves new wineries
> Napa Valley Register - September 5th, 2017
Governor Brown is headed to Russia to talk climate
> KQED - September 5th, 2017
Should going to college in California be free?
> Sacramento Bee - September 5th, 2017
Trump recinds DACA program; will wind down over six month
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat - September 5th, 2017
Is California seeing the first real effects of climate change?
> New York Times - September 5th, 2017
$400 juicer company shuts down as founder frolics at Burning Man
> Eater - September 4th, 2017
Sheriff’s report: Santa Rosa family of 3 arrested in shooting death of mom’s boyfriend 
> Sonoma County Sheriff - September 4th, 2017
Sonoma cop wins foot chase with armed suspect
> Sonoma County Sheriff's Office - September 4th, 2017
Remember the Free Speech Movement of the 60s? It’s deja vu all over again
> SF Gate - September 1st, 2017
Will California approve new funding for housing? We’ll see
> Marin IJ - September 1st, 2017
More Following Stories...
Live Traffic
Link to Live Crime Map