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Retirement fears prevalent in North Texas

Going broke in retirement, once almost unheard of in the days of to-the-grave company pension plans, is a real concern in today's economy, and North Texas is no exception.

According to the Dallas Business Journal, citing a study conducted by Merrill Edge, 58 percent of North Texas' more affluent workers are concerned about going broke in retirement. The study included residents who held $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets.

Of course, small-business owners are not immune to those fears - and entrepreneurs are especially susceptible to being caught up in the vagaries of the economy. At our firm, we're especially concerned about small-business owners because many of them don't have a savings plan to fall back on, so come talk to us about ways we can help you protect what you have in retirement.

Saving for that rainy day

In contrast to their fears about the economy, only 33 percent were scared of losing their jobs; 26 were afraid of public speaking; and 26 percent were worried about gaining weight.

And despite their fears about going broke, the survey found that North Texas workers are likely to take steps to prevent it from happening. A full 91 percent of those people surveyed had retirement savings, and on average they began saving at age 32, many with a company-offered 401(k) plans.

Because Americans today are living longer than past generations, more money is needed for a retirement that might last 20 or 30 years - or more.

Setting aside money for retirement shows that North Texans have their priorities in the right order, Merrill Edge's Will Smayda told the Dallas Business Journal. He said that people in North Texas are longer-thinking and more likely to save rather than spend now at the expense of their later years.

Win some ...

The jobs outlook in North Texas is perking up with Toyota announcing in April that it will bring around 4,000 jobs to the area, relocating them from California, Kentucky and New York. According to a story in the Dallas Morning News, the automaker is going to consolidate its now-separate North American headquarters for sales, marketing and manufacturing in a state-of-the-art headquarters in Plano.

Toyota also said it is moving its finance division headquarters, and Dallas real estate officials say it's going to be in the Legacy business park near state Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway. Small groups of workers began arriving this past summer.

Business and real estate officials say Toyota is leaving California because the cost of doing business is much higher on the West Coast that it is in Texas.

Toyota isn't the only company bringing jobs to the area.

Earlier this year, insurance giant State Farm broke ground on a new complex in Richardson that will boost its Dallas-area employment to 8,000 workers, said the Dallas Morning News. The tallest high-rise on the campus will be 21 stories, with 1.5 million square feet of office space and parking for 7,000 cars.

State Farm isn't hiring 8,000 new North Texas workers, instead bringing in some from offices around the country. In March, the company held a job fair to recruit 500 to 600 employees, and all total it plans to hire 700 in the Dallas area before it's through.

Finally, online retail giant Amazon signed a lease for more than 88,000 square feet of office space in North Dallas' Galleria Tower II. Specific job figures haven't been released.

With large employers adding jobs, it opens the door for small businesses to spring up around them, whether in service or support capacities.

... Lose some

Those new jobs are welcome news to North Texas workers because layoffs at four big firms in June put 1,400 people out of work, the Dallas Business Journal reported. Job cuts by Motorola Mobility and Bank of America in Fort Worth, Colgate-Palmolive in Dallas and Express Scripts in Fort Worth and Irving were the companies affected.

Express Scripts cut the largest number of jobs, laying off more than 560 employees, the Journal reported, including 150 pharmacists. A company spokesman says Express Scripts is closing operations in both Fort Worth and Irving.

It's of little comfort to the workers who lost their jobs, but layoffs are part of the natural employment cycle, said Jim Thompson, president and CEO of The InSource Group, a Dallas-based staffing and placement company, in a Journal interview.

Despite those 1,400 jobs lost, Thompson said, on an either/or scale, he'd rather be on the side of Amazon, Toyota and State Farm.

If you have questions about this topic or related issues, contact our office for a consultation.

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