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Secure Your Financial Future

Secure Your Financial Future

So we’ve discussed how staying on top of your finances pays off. It certainly helps with attaining a higher quality of life. But the benefit isn’t limited to just this alone. It also brings clarity to life goals and peace of mind.

Now put this in the context of retirement. The retirement years are a distinct part of someone’s financial life. According to Pew Research, each day 10,000 additional baby boomers turn 65 years old – the “traditional” age for retirement. When you move into this life stage, things are different. You have different needs, different goals, and different means to achieve them.

For one, healthcare and long-term care needs become more pressing. Moreover, retirement is hardly a static period. Over time, life priorities and objectives evolve and change. Plus factors such as estate planning come into play.

To maintain financial well-being, it’s important to be prepared for this juncture. Here are some critical factors to consider if you’re approaching retirement – or if you’re already retired and looking for ways to strengthen your financial security.

Important Factors to Consider

• Evaluating retirement goals and needs – The first step toward achieving retirement security is having a benchmark for it. Take some time to evaluate and determine your retirement needs, goals, and objectives accordingly. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. At what age do you plan to retire? Your partner?
  2. What lifestyle do you desire in retirement?
  3. Based on current health, will you or your partner have advanced care needs?
  4. Is your health status or your partner’s health status likely to change in the future?
  5. What will your or your partner’s long-term care needs be, if any?
  6. Will vacations, road trips, or other getaways be a priority?
  7. Will you have an active lifestyle in retirement?
  8. What are some other post-retirement goals and objectives?
  9. Will you be assisting loved ones or friends financially (for example, helping relatives pay for a college education)?
  10. What kind of legacy do you want to leave to your loved ones?

Determining future costs – Once there’s a semblance of what retirement will look like, it’s important to have cost projections. Think about present circumstances – income, expenses, assets, and debts. Then consider these in the context of the future. For instance, will you be allocating money toward your debts so you have less debt obligations in retirement?

To calculate future living expenses, you can take current living costs and incorporate an assumed inflation rate of 3-5% to get an idea of what they may be. If you’ll be changing where you live – say to living with a relative, in an apartment, or in a retirement center – incorporate cost projections for these living circumstances as well.

Determining vehicles for income – What vehicles will you be using for income? Social Security, a defined-benefit plan, retirement savings, and a financial portfolio are the four primary retirement sources for many Americans. If you’re utilizing retirement vehicles such as a 401(k), Roth IRA, stock plans, or annuities, it’s important to understand their inner-workings.

That includes how they can be subjected to taxation or other factors, such as penalty taxes for early withdrawals. You should also consider how you allocate your assets in any retirement vehicles according to your risk tolerance. A solid axiom here is the “Rule of 100.” Take your age and subtract it from 100 to determine what percentage of your assets should be in investments with higher risk potential (or the potential to decline in value due to a market downturn). You may want to consider financial vehicles like annuities, which offer contractual guarantees, for greater income certainty and safety in your retirement plan.

Being prepared for readjustments – A solid retirement plan will do more than just be customized to unique life circumstances, needs, and goals. It should offer the flexibility to make readjustments if needed. After all, unexpected events do happen – family emergencies or unanticipated medical events, to name a few. This can shift financial priorities.

Or say your investments take a hit. It may be time to consider reallocating them so they’re not as vulnerable to future declines in value. Once again, a financial professional can help you evaluate this area.

Have Questions?

These are just a few things to consider for lasting retirement security. At SafeMoney.com, we recognize the process of securing your financial future can be a challenging one. That’s why we have teamed up with the Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA) – to offer helpful, actionable resources and guidance during National Financial Literacy Month.

If you are ready for personal guidance or have questions about your retirement future, SafeMoney.com can help you. Use our Find a Licensed Advisor section to connect directly with an independent financial professional, and to request a personal strategy session to discuss your needs and goals. And should you have any questions or concerns, call 877.476.9723.

Author: Super User

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