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New Tool Helps Members Make the Most of Retirement Savings

Apr. 22, 2018

Portico is now in the process of inviting eligible ELCA Retirement Plan members no longer sponsored and nearing or in retirement to begin using a powerful new online tool designed to help them manage retirement income with more confidence. Because this topic can be complex, Portico is encouraging members to work with a Portico Financial Planner, at least initially, and complete the tool together.

This is the second of two online retirement planning tools introduced to ELCA members over the last 18 months. In early 2017, Portico introduced a tool designed to help sponsored members put and keep their retirement savings on track.

The latest tool is designed specifically to help members no longer sponsored and nearing or in retirement draw income intentionally from all their household assets. After pre-populating ELCA account information, the tool prompts them to enter:

  • Other household income sources — balances from other retirement savings, Social Security, spousal income, annuities, etc.
  • Budgeted and projected expenses
  • Other variables — planning horizon, investing style, and legacy preference

Based on this information, the tool then projects an income gap or surplus for the selected time horizon, and recommends a withdrawal amount and asset allocation.

“We all know how important it is to save and plan for retirement,” says Rev. Jeff Thiemann, president and CEO of Portico Benefit Services. “But less talked about is the importance of managing our money during retirement. This new tool helps you create a picture of all your money and what you want to do with it — for the rest of your life. Over time, you can use the tool to adjust your asset allocation and withdrawals. And when something new comes up, like taking a big trip or selling your home earlier than expected, the tool can forecast how these changes might affect your financial picture — before you make a final decision.”

Pastor Rolf Olson of Falcon Heights, Minnesota, used the tool and consulted with a Portico Financial Planner earlier this year. He chose to share his experience with Portico so that other ELCA members could benefit from his experience:

I was amazed at how easy the tool was to use. It encompassed my wife’s teacher pension, our IRAs, and my ELCA retirement account investments. It also provided an easy way to establish a monthly expense plan, and accounted for annual large expenses like a car purchase, house repairs, and travel. I even budgeted potential nursing home care for our waning years. To get a more comprehensive picture, I had a conversation with a Portico Financial Planner who helped us feel more confident about the tool’s recommended asset allocations and our retirement plan. I could not be more pleased with the process.

Because managing retirement income involves a number of variables that can change over time, Portico encourages members to actually co-browse the tool together with a Portico Financial Planner. These in-house credentialed planners understand ELCA investment and distribution options inside and out, and can walk you through the tool, screen by screen, to help you maximize all the tool has to offer — at no out-of-pocket cost. Even those working with another financial planner are encouraged to call a Portico planner for help using the tool.

Over time, Portico will continue looking for ways to support members as they prepare for and journey into retirement. “Our goal is to put effective resources into our members’ hands so they can make financial decisions with confidence,” says Thiemann. “It’s true for all of us. Less distracted by financial concerns, we’re better able to embrace the joys of service and retirement.”


About Portico Benefit Services
Neither Portico Benefit Services nor the funds it manages funds are subject to registration, regulation, or reporting under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or state securities laws. Accordingly, members are not afforded the protections of the provisions of those laws and related regulations. Carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of any fund before investing in it. All funds are subject to risk. Past performance cannot be used to predict future performance. See the ELCA Investment Fund Descriptions for additional information.

For more information, contact Portico Financial Planning at 800.922.4896.