Gone are the days when employees stayed with one company for their entire working life and then retired with a nice pension. When it comes to having a secure retirement, you may be pretty much on your own.
What will your retirement be like? A lot depends on your ability to recognize and overcome the potential financial challenges. Consider some of the challenges you might face in the years ahead.
Keeping Tabs on Expenses
Your retirement budget may be a lot different from your budget while working. By the time you retire, you may have paid off your mortgage and eliminated most of your other debt, such as credit card balances and car loans. And you won’t have commuting and other work-related expenses. But if you plan to travel or pursue hobbies, the costs of those activities may be significant, at least in your early retirement years.
Retirees may see their expenses decrease in mid-retirement when they may be less active, only to rise again later on as health care costs increase. Keep in mind that health care may represent a substantial portion of your retirement spending, so plan accordingly. Longer life expectancies can make budgeting for health care costs one of your biggest challenges.
Balancing Investment Risk
You want to be confident that your savings will last throughout your lifetime. But investing too aggressively in retirement can be risky. Falling stock prices could cause your portfolio to suddenly lose value, leaving you with far less savings than you anticipated. On the other hand, investing too conservatively could prevent your investments from earning returns that stay ahead of inflation. Finding the right balance between risk and potential return will be another challenge as you get ready to enter your new stage of life.
The Social Security Dilemma
The decision of when to begin receiving Social Security benefits can make a big difference in your retirement income. You can claim reduced benefits starting at age 62. Delaying benefits until your full retirement age (FRA) increases your benefit significantly. For each year after your FRA that you wait to collect, up to age 70, your annual benefit increases by 8%. Your financial professional can help you determine the claiming strategy that is the most advantageous for you.
You’ve spent your working years building your assets so that when you retire, you’ll have enough money. But choosing a withdrawal strategy that preserves your nest egg isn’t always easy. If you don’t manage their impact, market fluctuations and income taxes can take their toll on your portfolio. Holding several years’ worth of living expenses in a low-risk account is one strategy to consider.
Retirement planning has its challenges. Preparing to meet them can put you in a better position to enjoy your retirement years.
To learn more about retirement planning and investment strategies, contact a Lumin Financial advisor.
Disclosure: Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific investment, or investment strategy. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed. Information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, but cannot be represented as accurate or complete. Before investing, you should consult your investment, tax, or legal advisor.