Prioritizing Retirement Planning

Prioritizing Retirement Planning
July 2, 2024 Katherine Matina

We all have different values, needs and priorities. And in order to engage in successful retirement planning, we need to know what those are.

As you embark upon your retirement planning journey, we recommend you first ask yourself two questions:

(1) What is the purpose of my money? And (2) On my current path, will I have enough money to do all the things that are important to me in retirement?

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement and asking those two questions can put you in a position to do planning that can get you from where you are currently to where you want to go in retirement. Answering these two questions will help both you and your financial professional know what changes you might need to start making today.

If you have a retirement account, you’re already ahead of 45.6% of families, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances.1

That same survey found that the average retirement savings for all families was $333,940 and the median balance was $87,000.1,2 The average retirement savings takes the cumulative total of balances in retirement savings accounts and divides it by the total number of retirement accounts. And the median retirement savings is the amount right in the center of the line between the retirement account with the smallest amount and the account with the largest amount.

Of course, the average and median retirement savings vary within each age group.2

NerdWallet reports the average and median account balances in the different age groups are:

  • Ages 35 to 44: Average household retirement savings, $141,520; median, $45,000

  • Ages 45 to 54: Average household retirement savings, $313,220; median, $115,000

  • Ages 55 to 64: Average household retirement savings, $537,560; median, $185,000

  • Ages 65 to 74: Average household retirement savings, $609,230; median, $200,000

  • Age 75 and older: Average household retirement savings, $462,410; median, $130,000


Most people don’t feel adequately prepared for retirement. According to CNBC, 53 percent of Americans surveyed feel like they’re behind when it comes to retirement saving and planning.3

You don’t need to guess whether you’re prepared or not, you can call us and we can make a plan together!


Stay Safe in Record Heat

Last summer was a scorcher. But this summer is shaping up to be even hotter. Forbes reports that there have already been record high temperatures in Florida, Louisiana, Nevada and Texas.4 Heat exposure can lead to several heat-related illnesses like heat rash, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.5 New research presented at the an American Heart Association conference that exposure to heat can even lower your immune system’s ability to fight viruses and bacteria.6

And last summer, the number of heat-related deaths reached more than 2,300, up from 1,722 in 2022.7

Naturally, as humans, we love to be outside during the summer, but with these rising temperatures, it’s critically important that you take precautions to keep yourself cool and safe.

There are several ways to do this:

  1. Know the risk and danger at your location. Science News reported on a new tool from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where you can input your zip code and find out if the temperatures in your locale are dangerous to your health.8,9 The tool color codes the risk as the following: green, no risk from heat. Yellow, minor risk to people sensitive to heat. Orange, moderate risk that affects most individuals sensitive to heat and can possibly impact some health systems. Red, major and affects anyone without cooling or adequate hydration. Impacts likely in some health systems. Magenta, extreme risk to most people. Magenta level is extreme with little or no overnight relief and can affect most health systems. Check out the tool here:
  2. Stay hydrated. Drink water to stay sufficiently hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 180 pounds, drink 90 ounces of water a day. Maybe add an extra 10 ounces during hotter days for good measure. Also, avoid drinking alcohol, which may lead to dehydration.10
  3. Stay cool. Avoid going outside during peak heat hours. If you like to get in a walk or run outside in the mornings, go before or just as the sun is coming up, or exercise in the evening after it has cooled off. And if you must be outside, seek shade and have a personal cooling fan handy.11
  4. Wear appropriate clothing. Wear lightweight, breathable, and cool clothing.

Note that Healthline reports the body begins to shut down at temperatures above 107 degrees Fahrenheit, so be mindful of how hot it is outside, stay hydrated, and stay inside in the air conditioning during peak heat hours.11


Grilled Chicken Caprese Salad

With the sweltering heat outside, it’s always nice to have a light salad to balance things out. This grilled chicken caprese salad from Skinnytaste will do just the trick.11 Plus, it only takes 15 minutes! This recipe is enough for four servings.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of thinly sliced chicken cutlets. Or regular chicken breasts that you slice thin yourself.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • 5-ounce package of arugula
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Grape tomatoes cut in half
  • Balsamic glaze or, if you’d rather make your own, balsamic vinegar reduction (simmer balsamic vinegar in a saucepan for 10-20 minutes until it has a syrup-like consistency)
  • Fresh basil

How you’ll make it:

  • If you have just regular chicken breasts, slice them thinly and season with dashes of salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and olive oil.
  • Preheat the grill to medium high. If you haven’t yet, clean the grill grates so the chicken doesn’t stick. Then put some olive oil on paper towels and grease the grill grates. If you’d rather pan fry them, you can do that also!
  • Grill the chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and put a piece of mozzarella cheese in each piece of chicken until the cheese is melted.
  • Assemble the salads by dividing the arugula among four plates.
  • Put one cooked chicken breast atop each salad plate.
  • Add grape tomatoes.
  • Drizzle balsamic glaze on top of each salad.
  • Top each salad with some fresh basil leaves.
  • Enjoy!


The Heat Quiz

Do you know the warning signs of various heat illnesses and how you should react in a situation where someone is experiencing them? Let’s find out.

  1. According to the CDC, which of the following is not a symptom of heat stroke?12

a. Confusion, altered mental status

b. Loss of consciousness

c. Cold, damp skin

d. Very high body temperature


  1. What should you do if someone around you is experiencing heat stroke?12

a. Call 911

b. Stay with that person until emergency services arrive

c. Move the person to a cool, shaded area

d. All of the above


  1. Which of the following is a symptom of heat exhaustion, which is the body’s response to excessive loss of water and salt?12

a. Dizziness

b. Increased urine output

c. Low body temperature

d. Excessive calmness


  1. True or false: An average of 1,220 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year.13

a. True

b. False


Quiz Answers:

1) C – Cold, damp skin

2) D – All of the above

3) A – Dizziness

4) True


Best regards,




Securities and Retirement Plan Consulting Program advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Other advisory services and investment advice offered through Dean, Jacobson Financial Services, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor, and separate entity from LPL Financial.

*The views expressed are offered through Dean, Jacobson Financial Services, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the firm or its advisors, nor those of LPL Financial.  These views should not be construed as investment advice.  Please contact advisors at Dean, Jacobson Financial Services for specific questions or explanations on interpreting this information for your personal circumstances.