Retirement planning doesn't end when you retire. You've worked hard and now it's time to enjoy the benefits. But you may still have questions about your savings and spending or other to-do items on your planning list.
Review your income sources
When you're retired, one of your goals should be to maximize and help protect your income sources so you can live comfortably and confidently.
You may consider leaving a portion of your investments in a higher-risk, or aggressive, allocation adjusted for a longer timeline. In addition, you might consider placing two to three years of expenses in a liquid account—such as an interest-bearing savings, checking or money market account—to help safeguard against market downturns.
If you haven't already, you also need to decide when you want to begin receiving Social Security benefits. You can start drawing benefits as early as age 62, but you'll receive more money each month if you wait until your U.S. government-deemed full retirement age, and your benefits will continue to increase until age 70.
If you haven't yet filed for benefits, you can easily estimate how much you can expect from Social Security. Knowing your approximate benefit amount is essential if you're planning to rely on it for retirement income.
Regardless of when you plan to begin drawing Social Security benefits, or what your full retirement age is, you must apply for Medicare during the seven month period beginning three months before your 65th birthday to avoid delay in the start of your Medicare Part B coverage. Keep in mind that you may also need a supplement plan to cover the gaps where Medicare falls short, as well as a prescription drug plan.
You can estimate how long your retirement savings will last by visiting our convenient calculator.
How much money should I spend?
Now is the time to start enjoying your retirement, but you'll want to be careful not to withdraw too much money during the first few years of retirement. Even if you think you've saved enough to generate the suggested 70 to 80 percent of your previous yearly income, you certainly don't want to overspend and risk running out of cash.
A 2015 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 31.5% of Gen Xers are at risk of running out of money in retirement. Single females are by far the demographic most likely to have a retirement shortfall. Individuals younger than Baby Boomers are also facing a larger deficit due to the lack of pensions available and other factors.
You don't want to make that mistake!
Find other income sources
Retirement can be expensive. These days, more and more retirees are seeking jobs, either because they need the money to make ends meet or miss the structure a job provides. You may want to consider consulting or finding a part-time position in a new field to generate additional income.
If you start collecting Social Security early, your benefits will be reduced $1 for every $2 you earn over the current earning limit until you reach your full retirement age. Fortunately though, once you reach that age, your benefits are recalculated, taking into account the months that benefits were withheld. Then you can work as much as you want, with no earning limits.
Your future doesn't end at retirement. Estate planning will help ensure you've protected your family's interests as well as your own.
An estate plan involves the creation, conservation, and distribution of your assets. Your estate plan may be a last will and testament, or it might also include life insurance, trusts, business continuation plans or charitable arrangements. Regardless, you should consider creating an estate plan that provides your dependent family members with income after you're gone, distributes your assets to family members and other heirs with the least amount of loss possible, and pays estate expenses if necessary (including federal estate tax).
Estate planning is an ongoing process. Review your estate planning documents once a year, or when life changes necessitate it. Remove outdated and irrelevant documents as you go to avoid confusion.
Relax and enjoy
You've earned your retirement through years of hard work and savings. Enjoy this time in your life and remember there are many more good times ahead. We look forward to working with you and helping you get there.
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