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Building a successful retirement plan

Woitalla has a passion for helping people reach their retirement goals

Having the retirement that you want does not happen by itself. A strong plan with safeguards to protect that plan can help you retire comfortably and on time.

Tara Hemsing Woitalla is a financial advisor with Thrivent Financial in Baxter. Contributed photo

Tara Hemsing Woitalla, CLTC, FIC, is an experienced financial representative with Thrivent Financial in Baxter, Minn, who works diligently to help people create a customized plan that can be used as a road map to a successful retirement.

“I have a real passion for what I do and I can assist people who are thinking about retirement and those who are already in retirement,” said Woitalla.

Woitalla specializes in pre-retirement and retirement planning and is also a certified long-term care professional. She encourages people to start talking with her about their retirement plans “sooner rather than later” so that they can start working toward meeting their specific goals.

The journey to a successful retirement starts with the financial numbers and an honest conversation, said Woitalla. She has deep conversations with her clients about how retirement might look for each individual and they talk about possible risks, successes, and what brings them joy.

“A key factor that makes these discussions productive is trust and honesty,” said Woitalla. “For me, it is about building trust and having a relationship with the client instead of just looking at the numbers.”

Woitalla believes that her greatest strength is being able to listen to and understand her clients as well as to explain things in a clear and easy to understand way.

“People often tell me that I am easy to talk to and that they feel comfortable asking questions,” she said.

Woitalla takes what she learns about her clients and their financial picture to start forming a plan based on client preferences. Her planning takes into consideration such things as trends of investment growth, life expectancy, tax laws, goals, minimum distribution requirements, Social Security benefits, estate plans and much more.

Woitalla stated that she is not here to tell people what to do but to talk through the risks and benefits and create a solid plan for her clients as they transition into a journey called retirement.

Woitalla said she tailors each plan to each individual or couple and that there is no cookie cutter plan that works for everyone.

“Every client’s situation is unique and different and this individualized planning is fun and exciting as people see how they can reach their goals,” she said. “And sometimes the plan can reveal an opportunity to retire earlier than expected.”

Woitalla said that some people have a retirement date or age in mind and find that they can retire a few years earlier by just having a good plan in place. Some will jump at an earlier retirement and see it as an opportunity while others stay with the same retirement date and then have a bit more flexibility when they do retire.

Woitalla can also help build a customized long-term care plan that protects the client(s) and their family when the unexpected happens.

“Having a plan is key,” she said. Woitalla reminds people that whether it is purchasing insurance, self-insuring, or relying on family, it is a conversation that needs to be had. For couples, the discussion will also include what life will look like after the death of a spouse. It is important to plan for how the survivor is going to manage. What is the situation going to be like for the survivor? It is an uncomfortable conversation but a very important one, she said.

“Sometimes, this is the first time a couple has had this discussion” said Woitalla “and they may not realize the true importance of it until years later. When a spouse dies and the surviving spouse is dealing with a lot of stress it is comforting for the surviving spouse, as well as me, to know that financial stress isn’t part of their worries.”

Woitalla also discusses charitable giving and transferring of assets after death with her clients.

“I ask clients if they want to leave a legacy or live a legacy” said Woitalla. “For estate planning, we ask questions like, how do our assets transfer? Are they taxable? Are they tax free? What about your kids? Your grandkids? Charitable intentions? I also encourage my clients to have a will or trust and other legal documents in place, including power of attorney and an advance directive.”

Woitalla offers several educational seminars throughout the year. She believes that these seminars are a great way for people to get basic knowledge and to help them start thinking about important factors for a successful retirement.

“The seminars give people the opportunity to get to know me as I educate them,” she said. “Most people do not know where to begin and I can help them with that. It is important that people are educated on what options they have with their money.”

Thrivent Financial office is located at 14410 Golf Course Drive, Suite 105, in Baxter. Contributed photo

Woitalla said her real passion is coming alongside people and helping them to create a plan that reflects their goals, needs, wants and wishes for retirement.

Woitalla’s upcoming seminars include: “Keeping the Farm in the Family” and “Income Taxes and Retirement” to be held in Little Falls on Nov. 19. “Financial Conversations for Women” will be held on Nov. 23 in Brainerd. More details on these seminars are listed in the box on the left side of this page.

Woitalla has been in the financial industry since 2001. Prior to working as a financial advisor, she had a background in banking, mortgages and accounting. In 2011, Woitalla partnered with Thrivent Financial and opened a branch office in Baxter.

“Thrivent is a great fit for me,” she said. “They are a Fortune 500 company and a Christian organization of generous community-minded members. Thrivent is a strong and stable company that continues to win awards and Thrivent allows me the tools needed to create plans that include everything from insurance to investments.”

Choosing the right financial advisor is an important part of the financial planning process and Woitalla encourages everyone to find the right fit for them.

“Find out what they charge for their services and what services they can provide to you,” said Woitalla.

Woitalla’s office is located at 14410 Golf Course Drive Suite 105 in Baxter and can be reached at 218-454-TARA (8272).

Woitalla and her husband, Tony, live south of Brainerd with their four children. She enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, being outdoors and assisting with charitable events.

Tara welcomes your call and the opportunity to provide a complimentary visit so you can get to know each other and to learn what is important to you in planning for your future.

“Together we can create a financial plan that will meet your needs now and your hopes and dreams for the future,” she aid.

Upcoming Seminars offered by Tara Hemsing Woitalla

Keeping the Farm in the Family

You worked hard for your family farm, ranch or cabin. This workshop will help attendees gain a basic understanding of how to identify and overcome transition obstacles, protect assets, and develop a strategy to smoothly transition their cherished place to maintain family harmony. Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 at 2 p.m. in Little Falls

Income Taxes & Retirement

With the recent changes, taxes seem to be on everyone’s mind. This workshop helps attendees to see how the decisions they make in preparing for retirement can affect their income taxes. Attendees will learn about the financial impacts they may face and how to make decisions that are right for them. Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 at 5:30pm in Little Falls

Financial Conversations for Women

Come together with other women for a guided discussion that examines why women’s financial issues are often different than men’s. The topics are designed to help participants determine whether their retirement strategy is on track. By engaging with other women, participants will gain insights, ideas and strategies. Grab your girlfriends and join us for a mimosa bar and brunch! Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at 10 a.m. in Brainerd

RSVP to any of these seminars by calling 218-454-8272

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