Understanding Financial Planning During the Retirement Years

Here are some ideas to help you make sure that you are ready in retirement – 60s and beyond.

In our retirement years, we need to be well-prepared. We no longer have jobs, and we are now living with a fixed income. This applies whether we have money coming in monthly or if we are drawing money out of a lump sum in an investment account.

At age 70 ½, the government begins requiring mandatory distributions from all tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA. There are penalties for not withdrawing the money, even if we don’t feel that we need to use it. Our custodians can let us know how much is required to be withdrawn each year.

We should invest retirement money in conservative, and somewhat stable, vehicles. This is the only way to ensure that the money will last as long as we do. This does not mean that we switch all of our money to money markets, CDs, or bonds. The growth offered by those vehicles will not be sufficient to keep up with inflation, and we are very likely to outlive our money.

Nevertheless, we do need to understand, based on the growth of the funds in the account, how much we can take out regularly without depleting the account too soon.

The best way to curb any potential mistakes is to create a budget. Many people look at budgets as a bad thing, but a budget is the key to maximizing your income.

This is also a great time to review all insurance to make sure that we are covered in every area.

Before retiring, we should find out what type of medical coverage we will have upon termination of our employment. Some employers offer full medical coverage after an employee works a certain number of years. Some people retire just short of the time they needed to get full medical benefits in retirement.

If our employer’s plan does not offer full coverage, we should find out what we need to do to get supplemental coverage.

Now is also the time to look into long term care insurance. There is a high possibility of needing long term care at some point during our lifetime. As health care costs continue to increase, the out-of-pocket cost of long term care can greatly reduce any retirement savings we’ve accumulated.

There are several options available in a long term care insurance policy. We should review the options and choose what works best for our family.

We should also update all estate planning documents. These include our living trust, advance health care directive and power of attorney.

Someone should be assigned to handle our affairs in the event that we are incapable of doing so. If we don’t take care of this critical issue, the courts can assign someone to handle it for us.

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