Many people approaching retirement or are already retired often wonder: “How can I have more income in retirement?” When we work, there are raises, promotions or opportunities to change jobs for a higher income. Why can’t you have that in retirement? Let us complete a “Retirement Income Performance Review” for you and your family. You deserve a raise and we can help you get it.
No matter how well we plan for retirement, managing risk should always be a consideration. After saving all those years and watching your investments grow, the focus in retirement planning evolves from “asset accumulation” to “asset preservation.” Here are some issues you will want to address as you get five to 10 years away from retirement:
Income: You made it to retirement. Now you have to create a paycheck without a job. It’s easy if you have $10 million set aside; just put it in Treasuries. The return is low but the money is safe. Safety is the key here. The goal is to protect your assets and create a sustainable income as efficiently as possible. Living to 90 or older is common now and many haven’t planned for 30 years of retirement income. There are strategies that can utilize a portion of your portfolio to create an income stream that will never run out. These products can also provide other advantages and benefits in retirement, such as long-term care expenses should you need long-term care.
Emergency Fund: It’s standard practice to recommend setting aside the equivalent of six month’s living expenses while you’re working to cover emergencies. The same is also true in retirement. It’s necessary to have the funds available outside of your retirement accounts to cover the unexpected.
Downsize: The cost of maintaining a house is usually your biggest expense. Saving money by selling your home and moving into a smaller dwelling can have a profound effect on expenses. Along with the windfall you may receive from the sale of the home, you may also cut down on property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs, HOA fees and more.
Portfolio Review: If you’ve enjoyed the bull market of the past 12+ years, it may be time to rebalance your investments. Most likely your risk tolerance has changed and the goal is to protect everything you’ve saved. Your advisor can tell if you are overexposed in stocks and determine a strategy. You can’t afford to have your portfolio drop 40% from a major market correction like the one in 2008.
Healthcare: Maintaining your health gets more expensive as you age. The average couple age 65+ can expect to pay $300K or more to cover healthcare expenses during retirement according to Fidelity. This is another reason to have an emergency fund, because contrary to popular belief, Medicare only covers a portion of healthcare costs. Not only that, but since living longer is the new norm, the need for long-term care at some point is almost a certainty for most.
Taxes: Taking distributions from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s requires that income taxes be paid, while capital gains taxes are required on other investments. Depending on your provisional income, even a portion of your Social Security can be taxed! Good planning will maximize your income and reduce taxes as much as possible. Make an appointment with your accountant and your financial advisor who can work in tandem to mitigate taxation in retirement.
The big message…the retirement income planning process done in advance can help you navigate the retirement challenges that lie ahead.