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Are You in DROP? Now What?


BRADENTON -- Florida's Deferred Retirement Option Program provides a unique opportunity for the state's public sector employees. But what is the best way to utilize its advantages? That answer can vary depending on the retiree's specific personal, financial and familial situation. One local financial advisor is conducting free seminars geared specifically at FRS members who are currently in, or are considering enrolling in the DROP program.

The world for retirees has changed. Increased volatility, higher inflation, a plethora of products, and lower interest rates than a generation before. Many have worked diligently to accumulate a bucket of cash for retirement and planned to use this in conjunction with their pension payments and social security to fully enjoy the golden years.

DROP provides an incentive for retirement eligible FRS workers to take retirement, by allowing them to accumulate benefits for five years, so long as they retire at the end of that period, paving the way for younger and presumably less expensive employees to ascend. For many, the biggest question is what to do with that accumulated benefit when it's paid out.

Evan Guido with Baird Financial Services, is a local financial adivsor whose primary business is focused around those in retirement or about to retire. Guido says that the most valuable service he offers is the creation of income plans for retirees. In his seminars, he showcases where the money will come from, how long it may last, and the tools available to help ensure your success.

Evan's clients consist of successful entrepreneurs, government employees and executives, but he says he's seen a rise in FRS participants who have questions about how to best convert their DROP payouts to monthly income.

"It is not as easy as buying bonds and collecting interest anymore," explains Guido. "Retirees will need higher rates of return and sources of income that can grow overtime."

Evans meetings are small groups in the form of casual, roundtable discussions.

"The coffee is good, the view is incredible, and the advice will be worth your time," Guido promises.

Evan's seminars are held at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and 3 p.m. Thursdays at his downtown Sarasota offices, located at 2 North Tamiami Trail -Penthouse, Sarasota, FL 34236. You can email Evan to reserve a seat, or ask other questions.


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