Five Real World Tips for Transitioning into Retirement
So you’re getting ready to retire – congratulations! You’ve dreamed of this day your entire working life I am sure. Yet, now that the time is near, all of those pleasurable thoughts have been replaced with a never-ending pile of stress and uncertainty about the future. Sound familiar?
Relax, and remember that retirement is supposed to be enjoyable! Here are 5 simple tips we hope will make the transition a more enjoyable one:
- Track your expenses – in as much detail as possible – for at least 12 months before retirement. Doing this will give you absolute confidence that your planned income needs (and your retirement plan) are based in reality. This exercise alone can alleviate a LOT of the stress that comes with the uncertainty!
- Get rid of as much debt as possible before you retire. Obviously, this will reduce your ongoing income needs in retirement. Equally important, we have found this to be a HUGE psychological relief for clients as they wrestle with the idea of no more paychecks coming in!
- Make an appointment with the social security office at least 6 months before the big day. You will want to know exactly what ALL of your options are for filing along with updated benefit amounts. This gives you plenty of time to determine whether you should begin benefits immediately – or continue to let them grow for a period of time while using other income sources in the interim.
- Take the time to FULLY understand and manage the amount of risk you are taking on with your investment portfolio. This process should begin at least 5 years before you retire, and becomes more important with each passing day! Pay particular attention to sequence of returns - rather than only returns themselves - when reviewing your portfolio and retirement plans.
- Consider having a separate savings account with at least 6 months of expected income needs. Once you retire, transfer each month’s income needs from the savings to your checking account – then let social security, pension, and investment income replenish the savings as you go. This is a great way to prepare and deal with the “loss of paycheck” fear – especially in the first several months of retirement!
See that? Easy-peasy as my son Logan likes to say. Now just sit back, relax and congratulate yourself on a job well done – you deserve it!!
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all investors, or will yield positive outcomes.