Retirement is something most of us strive to reach, and yet thousands of people face financial uncertainty as their retirement dates approach.
This is even more prevalent among the baby-boomer generation: those born between 1946 and 1964. By some estimates, 4.6 million people fall into the uncertainty category.Consider these three factors when planning for retirement:
Make sure your money lasts
A study conducted by GoBankingRates shows nearly half of boomers have saved some money for retirement. The predicament for many, however, is ensuring those funds last. Since men and women who are turning 65 during 2017 are expected to live to the ages of 84.3 and 86.6, respectively, it is more important now than ever to have a plan for dealing with income and expenses during retirement.
Here are some steps you can take:Evaluate your income: Look at your current investment portfolio and determine if it is possible to turn some of your investments into guaranteed income. This is particularly important, since statistics show that the average income from Social Security is $1,300 per month, meaning it may be necessary to have supplemental income to maintain your lifestyle.Evaluate your expenses: Review your spending to see where you may be able to cut corners. Consider paying off your credit cards, and determine where else you can lower payments. The less debt you have going into retirement, the more financially secure you will be in the long run.Evaluate your insurance: People who have employer-based health insurance often find it challenging to obtain private insurance. Do not wait until you retire to explore your options. You should also consider long-term care insurance: it could be helpful later. Remember, the older you are, the more difficult purchasing health insurance will become.Evaluate Social Security benefits: The longer you put off retirement, the greater your benefits potential will become. It is vital you obtain your benefits report and, if necessary, work with a professional to evaluate what it means and what steps you can take to maximize your benefits.
The importance of investments
While it is important to consider whether you can move your investments around to generate additional income in retirement, there are other steps you should take that may be helpful both before and during retirement.
Proper planning for retirement income begins with the allocation of your assets. Review your investment portfolio on a regular basis to ensure the current allocation is appropriate, based on your goals.For retirement, you also need to consider safer investments for your 401(k) and other plans. Remember, you can more easily weather investment risks while you are working: You should minimize them when you retire. You should also take a close look at any pension plans you are invested in, and review your options.
Considering living options
Seniors must take a hard look at their housing choices. Those approaching retirement should evaluate the current size of their homes and determine whether a retirement community is a better option.
Jeffrey E. Bush is the managing partner and chief operating officer of Informed Family Financial Services Inc., Pottstown. See more at www.informedfamily.com.