Preparing for Retirement

Greetings! I hope that this finds you well and in good spirits!

There is an enormous amount of research that points to the fact that we all have a chance to live longer in retirement than we anticipated. I saw a statistic recently that reported that all known medical information doubles every seven years. We need to be aware of and about examining ways that we can enhance our quality of life for a likely longer life span.

Make sure you maximize Social Security. It’s quite possible to leave a lot of money on the table over a lifetime. Unless you have obvious health issues, the most important strategy is to delay taking it until age 70 when maximum benefits are available. That decision may well provide maximum survivor benefits for your spouse as well.

Create and secure a base level of consistent income. Studies show that retirees who do this tend to live the most stress free when it comes to managing finances. Social Security or a pension will provide this but it may not be enough to meet your monthly living expenses. There are several methods to provide an income. One example is to liquidate a set amount from a diversified portfolio each month. Experts suggest that it is prudent to take no more than 3% adjusted for inflation. Another method is to deposit a portion of your nest egg into an income annuity for the guaranteed income they provide.

In some cases working longer is real good idea. Studies show that a typical 60 year old couple who stay on the job to 70 rather than retiring at age 62, experience about double their monthly income. That type of mindset goes a long way toward eliminating the threat of realizing after you retire that you don’t have enough and having to reenter the work force. Working even a few years longer allows for more savings as well as delays having to start spending it. My observation in working with retirees is that for some continuing to work full time or part time for some, benefits them in ways aside from the nest egg.

Be deliberate in looking for ways to add meaning and purpose to your life. Get involved in helping somebody or something as a volunteer or resource. There is plenty to pick from that is of interest and will complement who you are. Quality in this area of life lends a lot to quantity of years.

Plan for health care cost. It involves the fact that they’re keeping us alive longer. Common tools to assist with it are Medicare supplements like Medigap and Medicare advantage policies. Long term care insurance is another way to handle health care cost as we age.

Make sure your home takes care of you as you age. By modifying it and making it senior friendly as per safety, ease of comfort and reliability; you may well be able to avoid or put off assisted living or long term care until absolutely necessary. Everybody wants to stay in their home as long as they can. Be proactive about making sure that you can.

Retirement is a radically different era than working years. By examining and implementing practical strategies you can do a lot to enhance the quality of it. If you have questions or feel that we can help in any way don’t hesitate to call.

Best Regards.

Jeff Christian CFP, CRPC

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