Retirement planning FAQs

Learn answers to the most common questions about retirement.


Retirement planning

People retire at various ages. The question is, do you have enough to maintain the lifestyle you want for a retirement that could last 30 years or more? Your income in retirement may include your retirement savings plus income from guaranteed sources like Social Security benefits, a pension and annuities – the latter which can provide you guaranteed income for your lifetime. Find out more about the benefits of annuities from your advisor.

Savings needed for retirement varies from person to person. To estimate a set amount, you may want to consider:

  • The rate of inflation
  • Your current salary
  • Salary increases in the future
  • What you’ve already saved and what you can save before you retire
  • The lifestyle you want to live in retirement (this includes your expenses such as health care, housing and travel and entertainment)
  • Taxes

Ask your Ameriprise advisor to help determine how much you’ll need.

Your retirement income can come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans, like a 401(k) and 403(b)
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) which can include traditional and Roth IRAs
  • Employer-provided pension plans
  • Social Security benefits
  • Annuities
  • Life insurance that builds cash value
  • Investments
  • Personal savings
  • Continued employment

Planning for retirement can help you prepare financially for the costs of daily living and unexpected expenses, as well as the lifestyle you want to live when you don’t have to work. A professional Ameriprise advisor can help review your retirement plans and start a savings strategy.

When you retire, you don’t want to worry about running out of money. You will be most likely be living on your retirement savings, a pension – if you have one – and your Social Security benefits.

One way to avoid outliving your savings is with an annuity. This type of investment solution can provide both protection and growth opportunities, along with knowing your income is guaranteed to last a lifetime, no matter what happens in the market. RiverSource offers several annuity options including a RiverSource® RAVA 5® variable annuity. Let your advisor help determine how much you need to save and provide you with financial solution options. Set up a consultation today.

Having a guaranteed stream of income in retirement can help you feel more confident as you plan to enjoy retirement on your terms. An annuity can give you a steady, reliable source of income that provides security.

Life insurance is a way to leave an income tax-free death benefit to those you love and/or the organizations you want to support after you are gone. It can also provide the opportunity to build cash value through a fixed interest rate or participation in the market. Learn your life insurance options from your Ameriprise advisor.

Life insurance options

You probably don’t want to think of when you may need help taking care of yourself. But if you do need help, you may appreciate a way to cover long-term care expenses. Certain life insurance policies with long-term care riders can protect you from the financial impact of depleting your retirement savings to help cover specific medical and non-medical long-term care costs. It can also protect those you love from the burden of caregiving. If you have a chronic illness or a disability and need home health care visits, nursing home care or adult day care services, insurance may assist with qualified costs; regular health care may not. Discuss the option of long-term care with your advisor today.

You want to make sure you can leave a legacy to family and support the causes you hold near and dear to your heart, now and in the future. Optional death benefits available with RiverSource® variable annuities can help you take control of the legacy you want to leave to the people and causes that mean the most to you.

Life is full of surprises, so having your advisor assist in setting up an estate plan and determining the financial solutions you need can be critical. Start now by contacting your advisor.

A comprehensive estate plan (generally created with an attorney) can document which heirs receive what after you are gone. Life insurance with an income tax-free death benefit can help pass your savings onto loved ones. Optional death benefits available with RiverSource® variable annuities can help you take control of the legacy you want to leave to the people and causes that mean the most to you. Discuss your beneficiaries and assets with an advisor who can help guide you in taking financial care of those you love. 

An inherited nonqualified stretch annuity offers beneficiaries the option to exchange the annuity you inherited for a new annuity. At RiverSource, the RAVA 5 Access® variable annuity has been specifically designed to meet this need. With this option, a required distribution is sent to you each year allowing you to “stretch” the payments over your lifetime instead of receiving the entire amount all at once. The required distributions from this type of annuity spread out any taxable gains on earnings. And the amount that remains in the annuity can take advantage of the growth potential of the markets and continue to grow tax deferred.

If a beneficiary chooses to receive the entire amount in a lump sum, the taxable gains on earnings must be paid right away. This choice may put the beneficiary into a higher tax bracket which may mean paying substantially higher income taxes.

Losing a loved one is already stressful enough without having to come up with a large tax payment. With an inherited nonqualified stretch annuity, the taxable gains on earnings are distributed to you over time instead of all at once, leaving you with more money and the potential to grow.

Key person protection can help protect a business against the financial consequences of losing an executive or other key person, such as:

  • Loss of management skills and experience
  • Disruption in sales or production
  • Decreased credit availability
  • Cost of hiring and training a replacement

Key person insurance works like this: the business purchases insurance policies on each key employee, pays the premiums, then acts as an owner/beneficiary of the policies. An experienced Ameriprise advisor can help you determine what your business’ key person insurance needs are and help you feel more confident about your business’s future. Call your advisor today. 

Establishing a buy-sell agreement creates a legally binding contract for the future sale of a business. It can establish a plan to transfer an interest in the business, determine the value of the business, create funding to facilitate transfer, preserve your equity, and provide cash flow in the event of an owner’s illness or injury.

To determine steps for your business continuation, please contact your experienced advisor. To read more about how to protect your business, consider this Protect My Business brochure, then speak with your advisor.

Having a plan to effectively transfer your business if needed and having a strategy for your business and your personal financial assets upon your death can be key planning areas for business owners.

Your business continuation and estate plan goals may include these considerations:

  • Determine the value of the business
  • Create funding to facilitate the transfer of the business
  • Receive a fair market price for business at transition
  • Provide continued family income from the business
  • Ensure sufficient cash to pay business debt
  • Treat family members fairly, in light of future business ownership
  • Availability of liquid assets to meet expenses of taxes and estate administration

Life insurance can provide solutions to key challenges as it:

  • Can create liquidity to address estate settlement expenses
  • Can be used to help ensure fair treatment of heirs
  • Helps survivors meet outstanding business debts and/or taxes, providing income and capital during an uncertain period

RiverSource solutions can offer growth potential, income and protection to help offer a lifetime of financial opportunity and security for both you and your business. Contact your advisor for guidance on a business continuation and estate plan today.

RiverSource Business Overhead Expense (BOE) protection can help cover eligible business expenses while you’re ill or injured so that your business can remain viable. BOE protection can help your business:

  • Remain viable - Keep the business running with reimbursements for eligible expenses such as rent, a mortgage, employee salaries, benefits and utilities.
  • Provide assurance - Continuing business operations helps assure customers, creditors and employees as well as your dependents.
  • Maintain value - Insuring the viability of your business helps maintain its value for when you return; or, should you be unable to or choose not to return, for when you sell it


Help protect your business with RiverSource® Business Overhead Expense insurance – ask your advisor today.

RiverSource business overhead expense insurance has exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage, ask your financial advisor.

Have enough money to retire

If you become injured or ill and can’t work, disability insurance can help you ensure a healthy income and protect your retirement savings. Talk to your advisor about your options.

A comprehensive financial plan can include a way to provide guaranteed lifetime income for retirement with an annuity. Talk to your Ameriprise financial advisor to determine what’s right for you.

RiverSource offers solutions that can help cover your essential expenses in retirement. Talk to an Ameriprise financial advisor to discuss the best options for you.

Grow my money

You worked hard to build your retirement savings. You want it to continue growing to make sure your loved ones are taken care of now and in the future. Permanent insurance pays out a death benefit and allows accumulation of cash value. Policy options or hybrid policies can help cover long-term care costs too, so you can protect your retirement savings. To find out more, discuss RiverSource solutions with your Ameriprise financial advisor.

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent insurance that provides a death benefit and allows for cash value growth accumulation. This two-benefit protection can provide security for those you love while it helps build cash value for retirement and other goals. Learn more about this type of insurance by talking to your advisor.

Whether you want to travel, spend time with friends or enjoy your favorite hobby more often, RiverSource offers solutions that can help you maintain the lifestyle you’re accustomed to in retirement. Work with an Ameriprise financial advisor to help you create a retirement income strategy that best meets your needs.

Tax strategies

Strategies using certain types of life insurance can help reduce your taxes. Ask your advisor how you can ensure your loved ones receive as much as possible after you are gone.

Money invested in an annuity accumulates tax deferred until there’s a withdrawal. If you are in a lower tax bracket once you start taking withdrawals, you may pay less taxes. Ask your advisor about adding an annuity to your retirement strategy. Schedule an appointment today.

The last thing you want to discover is that you have less for retirement than you thought, due to the impact of taxes. Cash value life insurance has many advantages, such as helping you pass money to heirs income-tax free. Learn more about cash value life insurance from your Ameriprise financial advisor.

Volatile markets

At RiverSource, we offer ways to help maximize your growth potential with solutions that can also help protect your money from losses. Talk to your Ameriprise financial advisor to learn more.

While no one can predict the markets, the timing of negative returns can impact your portfolio drastically. This is a critical challenge for all retirees. It’s important to find options to protect yourself and help ensure your money will last through retirement, no matter what. Contact your Ameriprise financial advisor to discuss how you can protect your money.

Growing your wealth takes years of hard work. The last thing you want is to have your investments diminished due to a market downturn. You want to optimize savings, grow your assets and protect what you leave to loved ones. Discuss options to help protect your investments with your Ameriprise financial advisor today.

Protect what matters most

A thorough estate plan can document the people and charities you want as beneficiaries and the specifics of what assets they will receive. Your Ameriprise advisor can help you with solutions that can help you plan and build the legacy you want to leave behind.

An estate plan can help ensure your savings are transferred to family and charitable organizations according to your wishes. Life insurance is just one asset that can pay out to these heirs upon death. By working with your tax advisor or attorney and your financial advisor, you can set up a thorough estate plan that achieves the estate planning goals that are most tax- and cost-efficient.

Life insurance provides a death benefit to ease the financial burden for loved ones after you are gone. But certain types of permanent life insurance, also called cash value life insurance, offer living benefits, too. When funded appropriately, income tax-free cash value life insurance can work to help pay for larger purchases, such as starting a business, buying a second home or paying for a college education. Watch this video to learn more.

Protect my business

Business overhead expense protection can help cover the business expenses while you are out, so your company can remain operational. You must have individual or group personal disability insurance to qualify for business overhead expense insurance.

Losing a key employee can have a devastating financial effect on a business. It can be expensive to recruit and train a new leader. Key person insurance provides security and pays benefits to the business to help cover company costs, along with the expense of recruiting the right replacement.

A business continuation plan, e.g. a buy-sell agreement, can minimize the financial impact on your business and your family, should you decide to move on or pass away suddenly. If multiple partners are involved, it legally indicates how the business will proceed when one leaves the company.

Additional life insurance, disability insurance and retirement benefits can help attract and retain talented key employees and executives.

Plan for future expenses

Though Social Security payments can provide an income base for retirement, RiverSource offers solutions that can help cover any gaps with a reliable and secure source of income. Talk to your Ameriprise financial advisor about ways to receive lifetime income in your retirement.

How much money will you need to enjoy retirement to its fullest? The answer is unique to every individual. Your advisor can estimate how much you will need to ensure your essential expenses in retirement are covered.

Making sure you have enough income to last throughout retirement and having long-term care coverage are critical aspects of your retirement. RiverSource offers annuities that can provide a lifetime income stream and insurance solutions that can help pay for long-term care expenses. To learn more about our choice of solutions, contact your Ameriprise financial advisor.

There are several ways to protect your savings so you can take care of what matters most. Estate planning that includes life insurance is one way. To discuss the legacy you want to leave, and how you want to leave it, talk to your Ameriprise financial advisor.


Helping you achieve your goals

Find out how to plan for planned and unplanned expenses in retirement. Contact your advisor and if you don’t have one, we can help.