Understanding your financial challenges ... first-hand
Beginning a retirement income strategy often starts with what the vision is for your retirement, and what the cost of that lifestyle will most likely be. It is important to establish your priorities and understanding the value of each priority to you. That can result in something of a balancing act for your emotional as well as financial life. There is no one-size-fits all retirement, and so there is also no ‘one size fits all’ retirement strategy.
Set Realistic and Achievable Goals:
Whether you anticipate a “life transition” retirement, plan for Medicare age (65), or desire any other specific age for a traditional retirement, you will need help mapping out a complete strategy that includes paying off debt, taking some calculated risks, and increasing your savings. While tracking your progress, it is essential the plan be monitored with benchmarks that allow you to make necessary adjustments along the way. It is very important to use realistic expectations and assumptions in your planning, such as a challenging inflation rate, and an attainable rate of return on your money.
Track Your Spending Now:
It is very important to know your specific income requirements to determine whether your available capital will meet your needs over your lifetime. If you aren’t already, you should be tracking your spending now so you will have enough time to adjust it as you approach retirement. With the many easy-to-use software budgeting tools, such asﾠMint.comﾠ(free online) and Quicken,ﾠthere is no excuse for not knowing where every dollar is going or how to manage your cash flow with better results. The initial setup for these programs can be somewhat involved because you will be recording all of the information about your existing accounts, creating a budget, and setting goals. But, once done, you will be able to manage your finances like a pro in less than five minutes a day. Because the programs work with your online bank and credit card accounts, your cash flow data is automatically providing you with a real-time snap shot of your finances. The boring personal finance tasks such as bill paying and account reconciliation are automated and tax preparation is much easier.
Start Living like a Retiree
Out of necessity and security, many people envision their new retirement including having fewer vehicles, driving fewer miles, living in a smaller home, entertaining less and taking vacations closer to home or even at home. For many retirees the focus becomes ‘quality of life’ rather than ‘quantity of life’. You can have an excellent quality of life while living with less ‘life style’. Why not begin to make that a focus now, before you retire? Why not begin making the transition to retirement while you’re still in your greatest earning years?
By possibly downsizing your home and committing to lifestyle changes that you can see yourself maintaining. Pay off any debt you have, including car payments and house payments over the next couple of years. Look at the most expensive costs you could have during retirement related to your home: HVAC system, washer/dryer, roof, refrigerator, etc…if you can get those items replaced before you retire you have a better chance of protecting your cash-flow and lump-sum savings once you retire. In addition, you’ll also find the transition into actual retirement to be much smoother.
It might be a mistake to succumb to standard formulas or a generalized approach to retirement planning, regardless of your planning approach. At this time, your retirement vision, shaped by your own needs, wants, attitudes and beliefs, rests completely in your mind. Certainly, planning will change as your outlook and priorities change, but you may always base your income requirements on realistic assumptions.
Mohlman Financial offers independent annuity and life insurance product information to the public, and is not a licensed insurance agent or agency. Nothing on this website is a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity or life insurance product. All website content is for educational purposes only. No product companies have endorsed the reviews on this site, nor is Mohlman Financial compensated for reviews. Mohlman Financial does not rate or endorse any specific product, insurance agent or agency and does not warrant any information on this web site. Mohlman Financial does not provide tax, legal, accounting, fiscal, or investment advice. Mohlman Financial claims no liability for any actions or advice given or decisions made in conjunction with this website or the agents on this website. It is your responsibility to research and consult with a licensed financial service professional about your personal situation before making any financial decisions. The strategies found on this website have been provided for an independent network of licensed insurance agents. We hold no liability for any actions or advice given by these independent licensed insurance agents or decisions made by any client in conjunction with this website or agents on this website.