Retirement planning is complicated. Between multiple streams of retirement income and planning for the unknowable, there are myriad factors to consider. If you are nearing or planning for retirement, the best time to review your retirement plans is the present.
Take this true-or-false retirement quiz to discover if you’re on the path to a comfortable-for-you retirement.
True or false?
If you answered most statements with “true," you’re on your way to a well-planned retirement. If you had more “false” answers, it’s time to start exploring your retirement options and come up with an actionable plan to get you on track.
While a financial professional can help ensure you’re prepared, here are some steps to get started.
The closer you get to retirement, the more concrete your plans should be. That may mean taking a hard, realistic look at your circumstances. At what age are you financially able to retire? Would it be beneficial to extend that timeframe to grow your retirement savings?
You’ll also want to reassess your spending plans in retirement to see if you can make reasonable adjustments without greatly affecting your anticipated lifestyle.
Consider other aspects of retired life, like where you’ll be living, how often you’ll be using your vehicle and how you plan to spend your time and money. A plan that extends beyond your financials can help you get the most enjoyment out of retired life.
You can’t always control the events that affect your financial life, so be sure to review your retirement plan at least annually and be prepared to make changes that will help you feel confident about your long-term financial security.
While you can expect to receive some financing through Social Security, be prepared to rely on other sources of income. In fact, Social Security is designed to cover just 40% of your income. To supplement the remainder of your income, you’ll need to have other funding in place, such as a 401(k) or pension plan. You could also reconsider your Social Security start date. If you can delay receiving Social Security until age 70, your benefits could be up to 32% higher than at full retirement age.1
Another step you can take to increase your retirement income is to boost contributions now as much as possible. If you’re 50 and older, you can put aside significantly more catch-up contributions in workplace savings plans and IRAs than you could previously. Even if you only have a few years left before retirement, a boost now can make a difference later.
As you age, you can expect to visit your doctors more often. In fact, the average 65-year-old couple retiring now can expect to pay over $650,000 in healthcare costs throughout retirement, not including long-term care.2
Interested in learning more? Take this quiz to see if you’re prepared to pay for healthcare in retirement.
By the time you retire, you should have enough in savings to cover all your spending needs for 30 years or more. In 2021, a 65-year-old can expect to live just over 20 years longer.3 Overshooting on your budget gives you a healthy buffer in case of an unexpected event.
Even if you’re years away from retirement, updating and balancing your portfolio is an essential part of financial health. Regularly review your asset mix and risk tolerance, rebalancing any overweighted assets as necessary.
Even the best-laid plans for retirement can drift off course, often through no fault of your own. If you find yourself in a position where your targeted amount of retirement savings is not what you expected it to be, it may be time to adjust your strategy. This could involve continuing to work so you can generate income for longer, which will help you avoid tapping your savings for an extended period and provide the opportunity to accumulate more in your account.