Take Care of Your Future Self
It is never too late to start thinking and planning for your future. We often live in the here and now, and what challenges we face today. But a prudent individual will also consider their future and plan accordingly. It is time to start planning and taking care of your future self as well as your loved ones, financially speaking.
Whether you have been saving for decades, or you have just started putting money aside for your golden years, you will want to make some financial adjustments and choices as you near retirement. Focus on your financial plan to ensure your future self does not run out of money in retirement.
The first step toward proactively preparing for retirement is to determine the cost of your monthly expenses, plan for the unexpected expenses, and plan for how much will need to save to reach those goals. You can use free retirement calculators to get an idea of what you need to save. Or, you can work with a financial professional who can assist you in calculating the numbers and help you game plan your retirement and savings.
For those whose savings are on track, it is wise to keep in mind that there may still be the equally critical task of working with a financial professional and advisor to put a sound retirement income plan in place; you want to ensure that those hard-earned savings last as long as you do.
Financial choices to consider along the way:
1. Bolster Your Savings:
One of the best ways to HAVE more money for your retirement is to SAVE more money for retirement. There are a few ways to accomplish this; put savings into your 401(k) account at work, as a pre-tax contribution, and with tax-deferred growth. This year, you can invest up to $20,500.00 in your 401(k) account, and those age 50 and older can put in an additional $6,500.
To keep in mind, if you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, you may want to consider putting money into a health savings plan. Cash invested in an HSA has even more tax benefits than a 401(k), since it goes into the account tax-free, grows tax-free, and can be withdrawn tax-free for medical expenses, now or in the future.
Once you have accomplished reaching critical savings levels, and are closer to those retirement years, there is a whole new set of products that you and your financial professional can use to help stabilize value or provide a buffer to protect against market volatility coming at the wrong time.
2. Delaying Retirement:
If you have not reached your savings target and you are approaching your time to retire, consider postponing your retirement, a year or two could make an impactful difference to your retirement savings plan. Another benefit to postponing your retirement is that you delay drawing down your retirement savings. Further, a delay in tapping into your Social Security while you continue to work might maximize your social security income.
3. Build a Pension-Like Retirement Plan
Another way to ensure that you never run out of your retirement savings is to have a source of protected income. Past generations typically relied on pensions to provide this type of security, however traditional employer-provided defined benefit plans have become increasingly rare. Speak with your financial professional about creating a pension-like retirement income plan into your own hands, which will stream revenue that can help you protect the outcomes that matter most.
To consider, if you have reached your mark on your savings accumulation stages, bear in mind that the days of relying on the old “4% rule” of systematic withdrawals from your investment portfolio as a safe way to ensure your money lasts are no longer accurate or relevant. As more and more Americans seek to ensure that their savings will fuel their longer, healthier lives, they are realizing that this so-called “safe withdrawal” rate is anything but safe.
There is a whole new set of protected income solutions that are born of the sound financial management practices employed by the traditional pension plans of the past. Those can include index-linked investment strategies which offer you income with levels of protection and opportunities for growth, even after income begins; along with insured lifetime income if account values go to zero or fixed products that can provide guaranteed daily growth of future income regardless of market performance, without sacrificing the flexibility to adapt as your needs change.
There are more options available now more than ever to find the right solutions that will enable you to put a portion of your retirement savings to work, and that which will add greater security and confidence knowing that your retirement income will be there for as long as you need it.
4. Be Flexible
Having a retirement plan in place is prudent to safeguard your savings account so that your funds do not dwindle or run out of money while you enjoy your golden years. Periodically revisiting and adjusting your retirement plan as needed and taking a proactive approach to preparing for life after work may financially secure your future to withstand any uncertainties and unpredictable outcomes to the market, life, etc. Building some flexibility into your retirement plan is a smart financial move to ensure that you’re financially prepared for the next stage of your life.
Take care of your future self, so that your future self may thank you later.
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