According to a recent survey, 64% of Americans are not prepared for retirement. We don’t want you to be part of that statistic. Retirement is a major life milestone, and it requires not only financial readiness but emotional preparedness, as well.
Complete the five steps below to retire with confidence:
- Plan for Your Free Time. Many people look forward to having more free time in retirement. Far fewer have a plan for exactly what they’ll do with it. The average retiree watches around 40 hours of television per week—we think ensuring an enjoyable retirement requires a bit more than adding a Disney+ subscription to go along with Netflix. Whether you’re interested in continuing to use your professional expertise as a consultant or devoting more time and money to causes you care about, don’t let this aspect of life become an afterthought.
- Understand Your Social Security Benefits. Social Security is the number-one topic pre-retirees have questions about. Your first step to getting answers is creating an account at www.ssa.gov to get an estimate of what your Social Security benefits will look like. When you choose to begin taking Social Security will impact your income throughout your retirement—claiming it early could cost you thousands; delay a little longer than the standard retirement age and you can reap substantial benefits. For married couples, especially, it can be worthwhile to talk to your adviser about how to strategically maximize your Social Security payments.
- Create a Health Care Strategy. Enrolling in Medicare when you reach age 65 is crucial, but there’s more to health insurance in retirement than that. If you plan on retiring before 65, how will you bridge the gap between employer coverage and Medicare? Will Medicare be sufficient for your needs, or will you need supplemental insurance for items it doesn’t cover? There are many options, but your wealth management team can help you navigate the complexity.
- Top Off Your Emergency Fund. It’s always a wise move to hold three to six months’ worth of expenses in a cash account to meet unexpected needs that pop up, but it’s especially important as you prepare to retire. Yes, you will have your asset base to draw on to meet those expenses. But ideally, you’ll want to keep that money invested, since it may have to last 25 or 30 years once you’ve retired.
- Revisit Your Financial Plan. A well-built financial plan can provide a roadmap to retirement, but it’s important to course-correct as the day draws near. As you decide where and when to retire, you should review your spending needs, estimate your taxes (especially if moving to a new state or selling your home) and consolidate accounts to get the clearest possible picture of your retirement income. It’s also a good idea to review your investment portfolio and make sure it’s allocated to defend your assets as you transition into retirement. Taking time to go over your plan will let you make any necessary adjustments so that you can retire with peace of mind about your finances.
Please contact your wealth management team if you would like to either create or revise your financial plan ahead of your retirement. We believe this is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal in preparing for what comes next, and we are eager to assist.
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