Everyone's lifestyle, and everyone's retirement, looks different. Maybe you'd like to retire to some sunny locale outside of the United States, or maybe you'd like to move closer to your grandchildren, because family is important to you and you want to be an active part of your grandchildren's lives. Or, perhaps you've always wanted to travel the world during your retirement, never staying in a single place for longer than a few weeks.
There's no RIGHT answer for what your goals are in retirement, that's unique to every single person. But there is the right way to PLAN for your retirement once you know what your primary goal is.
What does your future look like? Here are some questions you should ask yourself as you enter what we like to call "The Retirement Redzone" - that time in your life when you hope to be within 10 years of your retirement date, but are able to make adjustments to your retirement planning situation if needed.
Do You Have Enough Money to Retire?
Most people will always first ask themselves (or us) "Do I have enough money to retire?" And that question is a lot more complex than it initially seems. Whether you have enough depends largely on your retirement goals, and your retirement goals may be informed by the amount that you have.
What is certain is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people may only need about 60% of their pre-retirement income after they retire, and that's what they have to plan for. Others, well they may realize that they need 160% of their current pre-retirement income, and will need to make adjusts BEFORE they retire to achieve that primary retirement goal. You need to determine what you want from your life before you determine whether you have enough to retire.
Are You Growing Your Portfolio Aggressively Enough?
Has your portfolio been properly balanced regarding when you plan to retire? If you haven't looked at your portfolio in a while, it may not be balanced to your current goals. If you've pushed back your retirement date, you may be able to pick up higher risk investments.
Do You Need a Consistent Stream of Income?
If you need a consistent stream of income in retirement, you may want to do your research on different types of financial investments (such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and fixed-index annuities). Sometimes it's not the raw amount of money that you invest, sometimes it's how you're invested, and which financial vehicles you're using. Take a look at the amount of income that you're likely to need, both now and moving into the future.
Will You Be Making a Massive Shift in Lifestyle?
Again, some people spend much less during retirement, and some people spend much more. You need to consider whether your lifestyle is going to shift. Are you downsizing to a smaller place? Are you moving to a more expensive location? What is the cost of living for the area in which you're going to retire? Remember, in retirement, "every day is a Saturday".
Will you be living simply, or ostentatiously? There's no right or wrong answer, just the answer that is right for you.
Have You Planned for Medical Expenses and Long-Term Care?
Medical expenses and long-term care tend to be some of the most significant expenses that people run into during their retirement. Insurance can be used for both medical expenses and long-term care, but you should still plan ahead in the event that these expenses become more considerable than you expected. Talk with your financial planner about relevant contingencies.
What About Your Family and Your Legacy?
How much do you want to leave to your family? This is going to become a critical part of your planning. Sometimes we have clients who want to create trust accounts for their children and grandchildren, and there are others who want to set aside a specific property. Your retirement planning needs to balance your own personal needs as well as what you want to give to family and/or charity.
What Do You Still Want to Achieve?
It's time for that "bucket list." For some people, retirement is when their real life begins. If there are monumental things that you still want to achieve, you need to start planning for that now, in terms of your financial situation. A vacation once a year may not be a big deal. Purchasing your own private plane and learning to fly it might be a little larger.
Addressing Your Major Retirement Concerns
Once you know what your goals are, your primary concerns are likely going to be that you aren't going to meet them in time. Often, retirement concerns can be addressed in two major ways:
- Adjusting your retirement account to compensate for your goals.
- Adjusting your retirement date to allow your retirement account to grow.
Simply adjusting your retirement date by a few years can change the situation substantially. But if you want to retire earlier rather than later, it becomes even more important to address your concerns quickly.
Have a list of questions around your finances? Thinking about your retirement situation?
Whether you’re asking questions about when you can retire, how to manage your investments, or if you have enough to leave the impact you want for your family and community, we’re here to help. Use the calendar below to schedule a 15 minute introductory call directly with either Sam, John, or Ryan - we'll use this time to get to know you and your needs and talk about the retirement planning obstacles you may be facing.