Mark Ahlers

Jan 26 2015

Who’s Quarterbacking Your Retirement?

Who is quarterbacking your retirement?

As Wealth Management professionals, we provide comprehensive retirement and financial planning guidance for individuals and couples. Our customers often see retirement as the “end zone.” They believe they will score a touchdown if they save and invest enough for retirement. However, before you spike the football, keep in mind that while retirement is a huge financial achievement, it is not the end. It is not uncommon for retirement to last well over 25 years. Therefore, investment planning needs to continue even after you have stopped working.

What is Your Game Plan?
If you are healthy and active, you may have plans to travel extensively or buy a second home. In fact, you may need more income once you stop working than you did during your years of employment. The Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management Group can help you create a financial game plan for your retirement. First, you’ll want to think about how you plan to spend your retirement years. The next step will be to determine how much you will need each year to live on. This may be difficult because your interests and activities may change over time, so your income needs also may fluctuate. However, it is helpful to begin with a plan, and then revisit with your financial advisor as your goals change.

In the Huddle
As part of the planning process, you need to review your sources of income—investments, retirement plans, Social Security, and savings—to determine where your retirement “paycheck” will come from and how much it will be. You may want to tap after-tax sources before you tap funds in tax-deferred accounts. The Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management Group can help you determine the best strategy for taking your retirement plan payouts and the best time to begin drawing your Social Security benefits.

The Fourth Quarter
After retirement, investing requires a different strategy from the one used before you stopped working. During this period, your goal may be to invest for potential long-term growth to offset the impact of inflation while holding enough in fixed-income securities to provide you with a stable source of income. If you have too much of your portfolio committed to fixed-income investments, you could risk depleting your nest egg. On the other hand, if you have too much invested in stocks, you may be taking on more risk than you should. Successful retirement and financial planning strikes the right balance between growth and income potential. At Hills Bank, our Trust and Wealth Management Group can help you strike that balance.

Call the Play
Once your goals and objectives have been identified and prioritized, the Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management Group can help you determine an appropriate asset allocation for your retirement and investment accounts taking into consideration your needs and risk tolerance. Diversification will continue to be an important strategy for managing risk. And you’ll need to hold some cash and cash equivalent investments (such as FDIC insured CDs) to maintain liquidity.

Teamwork is the Winning Strategy
Once you retire, the investment rules may change but you’re still in the game. With the help of the Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management Group, you will be able to score the victory of a sound financial plan for your retirement. You have worked hard for retirement. Make sure your investments are working hard for you.

Make our Trust and Wealth Management Group part of your winning team! In addition to retirement and financial planning, our customers rely on us for a broad range of advice, including professional investment management for IRAs, including rollovers from 401(k) Plans and TIAA-CREF account(s), and personal investment accounts. We also assist with Estate and Trust administration and wealth transfer.

The Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management Group assets exceed $1.2 billion, with Trust and Wealth Management Officers located in both Johnson and Linn counties. We invite you to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced Trust and Wealth Management Officers by calling 1-800-899-8858 or visiting us online at We look forward to serving as your trusted advisor.

Investment products are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, carry no bank guarantee, and may go down in value. Hills Bank and Trust Company is not sponsored by, affiliated with, or in any way related to TIAA, CREF, or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries (collectively, “TIAA-CREF”). TIAA-CREF has not reviewed and is not responsible for any of Hills Bank and Trust Company’s content. Any TIAA-CREF materials or TIAA-CREF information linked or provided by Hills Bank and Trust Company are based on sources TIAA-CREF believes to be reliable, but TIAA-CREF does not guarantee that such materials or information are accurate or complete. Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc. and TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Members FINRA/SIPC, distribute securities products.
Mark Ahlers

About Mark Ahlers

Mark Ahlers is Vice President, Trust Officer at Hills Bank’s Marion location on 7th Ave. Mark’s area of concentration and expertise includes administering portfolios for non-profit organizations (foundations and endowments) and personal trust, as well as financial and retirement planning for individuals. Mark also administers employer-sponsored retirement plans. Mark is a graduate of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. Prior to joining the bank in 2006, Mark worked in the Trust and Wealth Management Division of a Midwest-based bank. Mark can be reached at

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