Budgeting, social security, and risk management are three key areas to review as you prepare for retirement, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Fact Checked byTaylor Hegna, CFP®
According to The New School's Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, roughly 2 million more people than expected have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic.1
That being said, it’s not easy to make the big leap from our working years into the “what’s next” stage of life. While many are looking for a checklist to ensure they cross their t’s and dot their i’s, we wanted to touch on three big considerations to think about before making a decision to retire.
It should be noted that while this blog focuses on the technical aspects of preparing for retirement, our next blog will hit some of the less common but still extremely important areas to consider as well.
That cost how much?!
When was the last time you looked at what a gallon of milk cost? Or how about a gallon of gas? For some people, the transition into retirement can come with a bit of sticker shock. For many, they have not thought about the cost of certain things because of the security of their ongoing paychecks. However, saying goodbye to that employment income and hello to withdrawing from your accounts can cause people to become hyper sensitive to prices and monthly spending.
Bring on the budget
While the word “budget” can send shivers down your spine, it can also bring freedom to your spending. The misconception that a budget creates confinement has been a huge deterrent from people taking the time to notate their expenses.
The truth is that a budget can grant you freedom by helping you know what you have available to spend on experiences and extras that you may desire. It also helps create a consistent withdrawal schedule from your accounts that can help you manage your taxes each year. Check out our budget worksheet to get a jump start on creating your budget.
Double check before you get a check!
Starting social security early or late is the most common question in regards to social security but let's not ignore the hundreds of options and combinations available that can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income in your future. A good starting point might be checking into your earnings record with the social security administration. Since your payment is based off the 35 highest earning years on record, an incorrect year results in an incorrect benefit payment amount. You can review your earnings record with social security prior to filing to make sure the information is correct. If the information is not correct, you can use a Request For Correction of Earnings Record form to update the information.
Revisit your risk…
During our working years the main goal for our investment accounts comes down to growth. Because of our extended timelines, we can handle the ups and downs of the market. If retirement is on the horizon, it’s time to revisit how big those ups and downs may be. This is especially important if you plan to utilize your investments to support your income stream. High amounts of volatility can have a significant impact on the longevity of your accounts if you are selling your investments at a downpoint to provide income for your needs. With that in mind, it could be time for the slow and steady wins the race investment style.
We’re just getting started
Budgeting, social security, and risk management are three key areas to review as you prepare for retirement, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Just below the surface you will find tax planning, income planning, estate planning and more. In our next blog we will look at some of the other areas to consider as you prepare for transitioning into the “what’s next” after working years come to a close.