Retirement Strategy: How Much Should I Save?
"Will I outlive my retirement money?" This is one of the top fears for people who are starting to prepare for their retirement years.
Determining how much money you need in retirement is a process, and it shouldn't be a number you pull out of thin air.
The process should include looking at your current financial situation and developing an approach based on your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The process should consider all your potential sources of retirement income and project what your income would look like each year in retirement.
We all have our "blue sky" visions of how retirement should be, yet our futures may unfold in ways we do not predict. So, as you think about your "second act," you may want to consider some life and financial factors that can suddenly arise.
Reviewing your situation with a financial advisor and creating a financial plan can help shed additional light on your case with potential strategies to help ensure that retirement goes as smoothly as possible.
You may see retirement as an extension of the present rather than the future.
This is only natural, as we all live in the present, but the future will arrive. The costs you have to shoulder later in retirement may exceed those at the start of retirement. As you may be retired for 20 or 30 years, it is wise to take a long-term view of things.
You may have a health insurance gap.
If you retire before age 65, what do you do about health coverage? You may shoulder 100% of the cost.
Suppose you become disabled or seriously ill, and working is out of the question. How will you make ends meet?
Age may catch up to you sooner rather than later.
You may stay fit, active, and mentally sharp for decades to come, but if you become mentally or physically infirm, you need to find people you can trust to manage your finances.
You could be alone one day.
As anyone who has lived alone realizes, a single person does not simply live on 50% of a couple's income. Keeping up a house or even a condo can be challenging when you are elderly, and driving can also be a concern. If your spouse or partner is absent, will someone be available to help you in the future?
These are some of the blind spots that can surprise us in retirement.
They may quickly affect our money and quality of life. If your age with an awareness of them, you can manage the outcome better.
Your workplace retirement account can be critical to your overall retirement strategy. However, some people have gone further with such accounts than others, especially recently.
Much has been written about the classic financial mistakes that plague start-ups, family businesses, corporations, and charities. Aside from these blunders, some classic financial missteps plague retirees.
Calling them "mistakes" may be a bit harsh, as not all of them represent errors in judgment. However, we must be aware of whether they result from ignorance or fate as we prepare for and enter retirement.
Timing Social Security.
As Social Security benefits rise about 8% yearly, you delay receiving them. Waiting a few years to apply for benefits can position you for a higher retirement income. Filing for your monthly benefits before you reach Social Security's Full Retirement Age (FRA) can mean comparatively smaller monthly payments.
Managing medical bills.
Medicare will not pay for everything. Unless there's a change in how the program works, you may have several out-of-pocket costs, including dental and vision care.
Actuaries at the Social Security Administration project that around a third of today's 65-year-olds will live to age 90, with about one in seven living 95 years or longer. The prospect of a 20- or 30-year retirement is not unreasonable, yet there is still a lingering cultural assumption that our retirements might duplicate the relatively brief ones of our parents.
You may have heard of the "4% rule," a guideline stating that you should take out only about 4% of your retirement savings annually. Some retirees try to abide by it, but others withdraw 7% or 8% yearly. Why is this? In the first phase of retirement, people tend to live it up, and more free time naturally promotes new ventures and adventures and an inclination to live more lavishly.
Talking About Taxes.
Planning can help to reduce taxes in retirement. It can help to have various taxable and tax-advantaged accounts to locate assets in the most appropriate places and minimize taxes when making withdrawals.
Retiring with debts.
Some find it harder to preserve (or accumulate) wealth when you are handing portions of it to creditors.
Putting college costs before retirement costs.
There is no "financial aid" program for retirement and no "retirement loans." Your children have their whole financial lives ahead of them.
Retiring with no investment strategy.
Expect that retirement will have a few surprises; the absence of a strategy can leave you without guidance when those surprises happen.
These are some of the classic retirement mistakes. To help you avoid them, take some time to review and refine your retirement strategy with the help of a trusted financial professional.
This content was developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used to avoid any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.