Regardless of your age, it’s never too early—or too late—to plan for your retirement years. Obviously, the sooner you begin to formally plan, the more comfortable and secure your retirement will be. The following is provided to help you identify critical areas of planning. Of course, everyone’s personal financial situation and lifestyle goals will vary, but there are some general guidelines to help you get the most out of your retirement years.
1) Organize your current assets
Organize your current assets – To get started, put together a file of your current net worth. This should include:
Checking and savings accounts
Current life insurance benefits
Real estate equity
Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
Personal retirement savings
Collectibles of value
2) Develop a retirement budget
Itemize the living expenses you anticipate. Food and utilities may increase in costs, but these are expenses that you cannot do without.
3) Review your retirement income options
Do you qualify for Social Security benefits? How much can you count on?
Does your employer provide a retirement pension plan?
Once you retire, will your spouse continue to work?
If you qualify, set up your own personal IRA account.
For many individuals, a tax-deferred annuity offers tax advantages for today and income for tomorrow.
4) Make insurance adjustments
Your insurance needs will certainly change as you enter your retirement years. It is important to identify benefits that you will receive if you qualify for a pension package versus those you are responsible for individually. Your budget must allow for these expenses.
5) Investigate a financial planner
You may want to consider working with a financial planning professional to help you map out a personal investment strategy. A financial planner can help assess your current assets and identify investment opportunities that can help you maximize income potential.
6) Engage in legal planning
If you haven’t already done so, you should meet with an attorney to structure your will and estate distribution plans. This will assure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and taxes are minimized.
7) Plan some retirement activities
To get the most out of your retirement years, try to plan relaxing activities that you enjoy. Many people make the mistake of leaving a lifetime of whirlwind business activities with no leisure plans. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and even health complications. Try to spend time with family and friends to help keep you involved with the real world and to give you activities to look forward to.
8) Consult additional resources
Find an Accountant/CPA who is also a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). A PFS has a core competency in tax, estate, and retirement planning, as well as charitable giving, which enables them to address their clients’ comprehensive financial planning needs.
At Palma Financial Services we are both an Accountant/CPA and a PFS. Please call us if you have any questions regarding your retirement planning.