Saving for retirement in today’s economy can be a monumental challenge. This is especially true if you’ve just finished paying for your children’s college education. But you can control your financial future by identifying your retirement needs, setting up a retirement savings goal, and making wise investment decisions now.
Many believe American households will retire on less than half of the annual income they’ll need to live comfortably in those golden years. An often-used rule of thumb projects that you will need at least 70%- 80% of your pre-retirement income in order to maintain your lifestyle. So, now is the time to start planning. Recognize that there is still a promise of success if you use the following strategies to make up a retirement shortfall.
- Make sure your assets are performing effectively. Identify your lowest-performing assets by listing them in order of last year’s rate of return. Consider improving the return on your portfolio by repositioning those at the bottom of the list. Conservative investments like CDs (certificates of deposit) and savings accounts provide safe, reliable sources of income, but probably will not keep up with inflation. Bear in mind, however, that with increased returns come greater risks. You will have to determine how much (if any) risk you can afford and are willing to take at this time in your life.
- Review your retirement budget, but don’t compromise your retirement standard of living. Estimate your future expenses by asking yourself key questions regarding meeting medical expenses, housing costs, and, of course, travel and entertainment.
- Move to a more affordable location. You may free up additional retirement capital by lowering your housing, utility, and insurance costs.
- Do not overlook other resources on your balance sheet. Among these untapped sources could be:
• Highly appreciated non-income-producing assets such as stock or real estate. Careful planning may convert these assets to be income-producing.
• Your valuable collectibles. Specialty items such as antiques, dolls, stamps, or a coin collection can be converted to cash, but only if you feel you can part with them. Evaluate what their worth may be in your retirement years.
• Your home equity. If you own your home free and clear, a reverse mortgage could provide you with access of up to 80% of your home value.
- Consider delaying retirement. Each year you wait reduces that shortfall and gives you the chance to increase savings.
There are always actions you can take to deal with a shortfall. You need to determine what is the best plan of attack for your situation and put it into effect. If you start now (it’s never too soon), the road to retirement will be smoother and any shortfall will be smaller or even nonexistent.
Our HFP STAR Strategy will show you how to protect your retirement from the risks of unexpected market swings, tax changes, and health care expenses using a mathematically tested strategy to create lifetime income allowing you to stop worrying about outliving your money and get on with enjoying the rest of your life.
While other financial companies may cover one or two of these very important aspects, we at Heritage Financial Planning, believe our clients need to have a well-rounded and complete financial plan and in order to do that, we feel it is essential to cover all five of these very important areas.
You’ve worked so hard to get you where you are today, and with all the changes taking place in our world these days, let your next step be your best step in preparing for the rest of your financial life. Get your custom-designed S.T.A.R. Strategy Plan now. Give us a call at our office at (574) 606-4406.
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