The decade before retirement is the most critical time for planning and is a large factor in establishing your retirement success.
This is when you will determine both how much you can spend in your retirement and the likelihood your funds will last your lifetime. Your comprehensive written plan should cover the decisions needed to guide the plan so that everything comes together for a smooth, tax-efficient retirement.
Your financial plan must start with the end clearly in mind. We help you think through all the important details of your new life in retirement. Some retirees may still have a job because they find joy in working. However, they don’t necessarily need to work to get paid. Working could be for a non-profit as a volunteer. We have found that some people who voluntarily continue to work in retirement—even just part-time—are happier than those who don’t work at all. This part of the retirement planning process may be better defined as happiness planning.
We help you identify the resources you have now such as savings, investments, and retirement accounts. Then we quantify future streams of income such as pensions and Social Security benefits. This is also a good time to start consolidating accounts – all that are registered the same can be combined at one custodian. Consolidation can make tracking accounts easier and provides the ability to coordinate investment strategy across all accounts.
We start by taking an inventory of assets to develop a net worth statement. We will help you determine how much you spend now as a template for creating your unique retirement spending plan.
A primary focus will be to save enough money during the next ten years and maximize investment performance. We also want to minimize risk and create diversification by dividing assets among the major classes and sub classes of stocks, bonds, and cash. Our process of allocating investments properly gives you the potential of providing the return needed to reach your goal. We then provide the discipline necessary to maintain the allocation through rebalancing as the markets fluctuate.
Many people make the mistake of focusing only on the amount of savings while overlooking the importance of saving tax-efficiently during this critical ten-year period. We focus on providing the ability to withdraw funds tax efficiently to help extend how long your nest egg lasts in retirement.
Verify the accuracy of Social Security benefits statements
Social Security benefits are an important part of nearly everyone’s retirement plan. We help you review your earnings record regularly to avoid mistakes that could lead to reduced future benefits and can only be corrected for a short time. The same is true for clients who have pensions with a current employer or from a former employer. We are familiar with many pension plans and the rules for drawing benefits. We start by requesting a personal statement of benefits to verify the estimated value of the pension. Then we verify that benefits have been calculated correctly well before it is time to start drawing them.