When it comes to planning for retirement, the more you save today, the better prepared you will be tomorrow. Planning for this transition should entail detailed discussions with your advisor, as there are many things to think about.
From an investment standpoint, retiring means that you are changing from a contribution phase to a distribution phase of your financial life. This could mean that you may find yourself adjusting to a fixed income that differs from the income you enjoyed while employed. Hence, the need for a review of your budget and personal plans for retirement.
In planning for retirement, the goal is to build up assets that can provide you with the lifestyle you would like to experience after you cease to earn an income. To start, below are a few steps to prepare you for the this, which could make all the difference in reaching your goals:
- Maximize your annual retirement plan and/or IRA contributions. Each type of retirement plan imposes its own contribution limits, depending on various factors such as income level and age. Keep in mind that at age 50, you are eligible to make "catch-up" contributions in addition to the regular contribution limits. Contact us with questions about which retirement saving strategy is most appropriate given your employment and personal circumstances.
- Invest on a regular basis by setting up automatic investments. Making regular monthly contributions to a qualified (retirement) or nonqualified account can add up over time. Treat this expense as one of your most important regular bills, and establish automatic payments to your investment accounts.
- Consolidate IRAs and roll over your 401(k), TSP, and any other qualified accounts from former employers. If you have multiple IRAs at several financial institutions or if you have changed jobs and left your 401(k) with a former employer's plan, then consider transferring them into a single account (or more than one if you already have or maybe should have a qualified Roth account). You will have better control over the management of those assets, more flexibility to access those dollars, and a more complete look at your financial picture. You will also reduce the number of statements and tax forms you receive and potentially reduce fees.
- Meet with your advisor. Our advisors are well versed in working with individuals who are either contemplating retirement, currently experiencing the transition, and with those who have already completed the process. Contact us to review your budgetary concerns, income sources, estate planning issues, and more.
The process of transitioning to retirement may feel overwhelming at first, which is exactly why our advisors are here—our purpose is to protect you and your interests. We know how to help you navigate through the decisions, and we look forward to seeing you enjoy the next great phase of your life—the part that you have been working toward for quite some time.
In terms of the emotional changes that the retirement transition may bring, take a look at the Five Stages of Retirement.