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Planning to Retire Soon? Here are 3 Steps for Greater Financial Security in the New Year

 3 steps to greater financial security in new year

If anything, the new year tends to be a time of reinvention. From resolutions of healthier eating or more frequent exercise to more diligence with household finances, there is no shortage of areas for self-improvement.

For people aged 50 and over, it’s another year closer to retirement. You have spent a long time preparing and setting aside money to be able to retire when and how you want to. After many years of careful preparation and personal sacrifices, this milestone can seem close and yet far away.

If your retirement date is within the next five years, now is a great time to refocus on your retirement planning goals. Here are a few steps you might need to take now for enjoying greater financial confidence in your golden years.

3 Steps for More Retirement Financial Confidence

Establish your retirement goals and priorities. Every plan begins with clearly outlined goals and objectives. Before changing any of your financial strategies, think about your “retirement vision.” Consider these future decision-points:

  • What will be you and your partner’s retirement goals?
  • Where will you live?
  • What activities will you pursue on a day-to-day basis?
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What are the timelines for your goals and objectives?

Most people don’t swing into a 100% work-free lifestyle after they depart from a career or a business. In fact, continuing with part-time work, volunteering, or indulging in personal hobbies are a few ways that many retired Americans stay engaged. You may envision this sort of lifestyle for yourself. Or it may involve activities more like reading and spending quality time on the green. Ask yourself, what will it take to sustain your future lifestyle preferences?

Start planning for those goals. Once you understand your overall retirement picture, then it is time for data-crunching. Develop a current-state financial snapshot and review the financial strategies you have in place. At this point, working with a qualified retirement planning firm firm will go a long way toward creating a personalized plan for your future and peace of mind.

If you don’t have one already, now is the stage to develop a long-term retirement income plan. This should include budget projections for what you will need for fixed-income on a month-to-month basis. On the whole, a retirement income plan will focus on:

  • Retirement spending and expenses
  • Retirement withdrawals
  • Your retirement assets and how they will generate the income you need for long-term, monthly budgetary needs

As you get closer to your retirement date, your need to access your retirement funds will grow. If your current strategies aim toward wealth accumulation and net worth growth, it may be riskier than you would like now. You can work with a professional who understands retirement income planning and examine safe strategies to preserve your money so it’s ready when you need it. As you get closer and closer to your retirement date, you may want to consider shifting your savings into more risk-adverse vehicles so they stay intact.

Start thinking about important retirement milestones. Social Security benefits and Medicare are important decision-points. When you claim your Social Security benefits is likely to be one of the biggest financial decisions you make in your lifetime. You have the ability to claim at age 62. But delaying until you are 70 will increase your benefits by 76% in real dollars (inflation-adjusted) per month. However, you may not be in a position to afford waiting.

With hundreds of claiming possibilities, consulting with a retirement planning strategist to determine what’s best for you may be optimal. As for Medicare, be sure you understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. For instance, Medicare Part A only covers hospitalization, not expenditures falling under general physician appointments or prescription medication. Also, no part of Medicare covers long-term care expenses, such as assisted living costs or in-home personal care services. You will need to review your personal medical history, your family history, and determine what financial resources you may require for future medical needs.

Ready to Get Started on Your Financial Retirement Plan?

With the new year before us, now is a great time to start getting your financial house in order. Get in touch with an independent retirement income strategist at SafeMoney.com to determine the best income and wealth protection strategies for you. And should you have any questions, please call us at 877.476.9723.

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