How do we allocate our money? This year, I plan to allocate my money as follows: 1/3 in long-term savings, 1/3 in short term and 1/3 to create experiences with family, love ones and the community I live. I will allocate my time to create more income and build relationships. At 50plus, we all should save at least 20% of our earnings for retirement as we live long, have health threats or a retirement crisis. For the self motivated 40plus, we are hiring part time financial planners (in 50 US states), with a life/health insurance license , as non-captive agents where you can take your clients with you when you move to another brokerage.
A typical job lasts for about five years, according to Forbes magazine. The average marriage lasts about eight years, according to the Census Bureau. But figures from the Social Security Administration show that the average American is retired for over 20 years.
Deciding when and where to retire is one of the most important decisions of our lives, and everyone should do their homework before taking this big step. If you’re already retired, you should continue to reassess your situation and be ready to adapt to changing conditions as well as your changing aspirations. You will probably want to look deeper into certain issues. But this checklist is a good place to start.
1. Figure out what you want to do in retirement. If you approach retirement like an extended vacation, you’ll probably be disappointed. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do more gardening or play more golf. But most satisfied retirees also look beyond themselves to set real-life goals, whether it’s starting their own business, writing a family history, traveling to all seven continents or taking care of their grandchildren.
2. Are you going to work? According to one survey, three quarters of today’s workers expect to work part time after they retire. But only about one quarter of retirees actually do. Why the difference? Many people believe their old employer will hire them back as a consultant, or they think they can land an interesting new job. But expectations often don’t match reality. If you plan to work after retirement, scope out your opportunities ahead of time.
3. Decide where you’re going to live. The typical retirement dream involves riding off into the sunbelt, golf clubs and beach umbrella in hand. Many retirees do take that route and are happy for it. Others decide to move near their grandchildren or retire overseas. But the majority of retirees never leave home. They may downsize, but they stay close to friends and relatives.
4. Figure out your health insurance. For most people this means signing up for Medicare at age 65, along with a supplemental insurance plan. Most of us might not retire before age 65 like my mom who worked till she is 78 to support her 12 grandchildren who are in college.
At 65, we really need a health insurance. Many people can keep coverage from an old employer, or get insurance through a professional association. The Affordable Care Act also now brings new options to early retirees. Whatever your situation, make sure your health insurance doesn’t lapse.
5. Take inventory of your assets. The main difference between working and retirement is that you no longer get a paycheck in retirement. Many experts insist you need $1 million in assets to support a comfortable retirement. Some say less; others say more. You should take a realistic picture of your financial assets, including pensions, retirement accounts and all other resources (don’t forget to factor in your debts) to see if you have the resources to support yourself for 20 or 30 years.
6. Determine where your retirement income will come from. You must turn your assets into the stream of income you’ll need to pay your bills. Add up your monthly income from pensions, Social Security and any other sources. Then figure out how you’re going to produce income from your retirement accounts and personal savings. It can be a complicated process, so consult a professional if you need help.
7. Decide when to sign up for Social Security. Conventional wisdom says you receive full benefits once you hit full retirement age, which is 66 for most of us. The better way to look at it: you’re eligible to begin benefits anytime between age 62 and 70, on a sliding scale. The longer you wait, the bigger your check.
8. Account for unexpected expenses. Consider how you’ll handle non-routine expenses in retirement such as a large medical expense or major home repair. Will you have to help support a grandchild? Do you want to leave an inheritance for children or a favorite charity? Also, consider the effects of inflation over time and the risk of outliving your assets.
9. Consult your spouse. Retirement planning is nothing but a pipe dream if you haven’t talked it over with your significant other. The sooner you start talking, the better your planning will be. Also, share your hopes and aspirations with your children and close friends so they know where you’re headed.
10. Make a plan. Now that you’ve collected your thoughts and analyzed your situation, don’t just sit there. Make your retirement plan. Dream big. Think outside the box. Share your thoughts. Then get ready to enjoy the retirement of your dreams.
Connie’s retirement bucket list: A long-term retirement strategy includes: 13% return that does not participate in the downside of the market, based on SP500, tax-free, with health benefits added at no cost during health threats such as cancer, stroke or disability, leaves an estate to the next generation, liquid that can be withdrawn and most of all, if you are still trainable can provide you a par time job as financial planner.
My choice that is not listed below is with a retirement strategy that is tax-free, less admin costs, liquid, safe, grows at 13%, long term savings with health benefits via the retirement plan/college plan with no age limits and better than a Roth IRA, in an IUL policy which I share with others. Call Connie Dello Buono 408-854-1883 ; firstname.lastname@example.org in 50 states , CA Life Lic 0G60621
Plan for retirement
80% of employees who have taken our financial wellness assessment report not being on track for retirement. If your employer offers you a match on your contributions, at least contribute enough to max it out so you don’t leave any of that free money on the table. Beyond that, you’ll want to calculate how much you need to save to reach your retirement goals. But with any calculator, it’s garbage in/garbage out. Be sure to factor in the possibilities of reduced Social Security benefits, lower real investment returns, longer life spans, and higher health care costs in retirement.
Save for education expenses
With rising student loan debt in the news, saving for college is understandably a rising concern. However, make sure that your retirement is on track first because there’s no financial aid for that. In addition, understand that very few people are able to save enough to fully fund all education costs from savings so don’t let those numbers discourage you. You can start by estimating how much you would need to contribute to your child’s education expenses so you can calculate how much to save.
Take advantage of tax shelters
By using tax-sheltered accounts, Uncle Sam can help you save towards various goals. Your company may offer flex spending accounts to put money away tax-free for dependent care and health care expenses but be aware that you may lose whatever you don’t use by the end of the year. If you have a high-deductible health care plan, a health savings account can let you save and accumulate money tax-free for health care expenses (and for anything penalty-free after age 65). Your employer’s retirement plan and IRAs allow you to put money away tax-deferred or invest it to grow tax-free for retirement. Coverdell education savings accounts and 529 college savings plans allow tax-free earnings for education.
Make sure your investments are properly diversified
The biggest factor in determining the risk and return of your investment portfolio is your asset allocation or how your money is divided between basic asset classes like stocks, bonds, and cash. A simple way to a diversified portfolio is to invest in pre-mixed asset allocation fund. Some are based on a fixed level of risk while others reduce automatically reduce the risk level over time as you approach your target date for goals like retirement or education.
If you prefer a more personalized approach, see if your employer or retirement plan provider offers unbiased asset allocation guidance through a financial education company or advice through programs like Financial Engines and GuidedChoice. There are also low cost providers of online investment advice like WealthFront, Future Advisor, and Personal Capital. Finally, if you want your investment advice as part of a more comprehensive financial plan, you can find an unbiased investment adviser through groups like the Garrett Planning Network or the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors.
Minimize your investment costs
Studies have shown that low fees are actually a better predictor of future mutual fund performance than past performance or even Morningstar ratings. To minimize mutual fund fees along with taxes and other trading costs, consider implementing your asset allocation plan with low cost index funds that simply track the market and generally end up outperforming more expensive actively managed funds. You can further minimize taxes on your investment income by keeping tax-inefficient investments like taxable bonds, REITs, commodities, and high turnover funds in your tax-sheltered accounts as much as possible.
Harvest tax losses
Although this year looks like another good year in the stock market, you may have some investments in taxable accounts that have lost value. By selling them at a loss, you can use the losses to offset other taxes. Just don’t repurchase the same investment within 30 days or you won’t be able to deduct the loss.
Treat yourself and those you love
Finally, don’t forget that the ultimate purpose of money is to provide for the needs of you and your family. How you do it is important though. Once your needs are taken care of, meet some of those wants with a vacation or occasional outings that let you spend more time together. Studies show that spending money on experiences creates more and longer lasting happiness than spending on material purchases.