Sound guidance for those nearing or living in retirement


 

Congratulations. You're here because you know the person that matters most in your retirement planning is you. And no matter what stage you're in – early in your career, actively contemplating retirement or already retired – we're here to help.

Use these resources and tools to learn more about the risks and concerns you'll face – as well as the opportunities – as you make your retirement plans. Simply click on the button above that best represents where you are in your retirement planning process and follow the steps.

Benefits of starting early

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, retirement may seem too distant to think much about. However, some basic retirement planning now can significantly simplify your life later.

Learn more about ensuring your assets are on target to generate the income you'll need to cover your expenses and achieve your goals in retirement.

Two easy ways to begin investing for retirement are focusing on compounding interest and taking full advantage of qualified retirement plans, such as employer-sponsored savings plans and individual retirement arrangements (IRAs).

Compounding interest allows you to earn interest on both the principal you invest and the interest you earn – potentially enabling you to turn a small sum into a substantial one over time.

Employer-sponsored plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, are a great way to kick off your retirement program. In some cases, employers will match all or part of your contributions to these plans. If you do not qualify for an employer-sponsored plan, then one of the many types of IRAs available may be appropriate for your needs.

Contact us for help in optimizing your employer-sponsored plan, selecting the right IRA or other assistance in addressing both your short- and long-term goals.

Managing risk

Regardless of your age or your financial situation, every investment decision entails some sort of risk. We will work with you to identify the factors and risks most relevant to your situation and plan for them, including:

Longevity

Longer life expectancy means your assets have to last longer. You have to consider the possibility of living 20 or 30 years after you retire.

Inflation

For example, health insurance premiums and prescription costs are rapidly increasing. If you are retired, this would increase your cost of living, erode the value of your savings and reduce your purchasing power.

Spending and Withdrawals

Overspending, living beyond your means or withdrawing more than the recommended percentage from your retirement funds can adversely affect how long your assets last.

Market Risks

Market declines and the timing of these declines pose risks. How and where your assets are allocated across different asset classes plays a key role in managing this risk.

Unknown Risks

Major health events, disability, long-term care needs and other unexpected occurrences can complicate a retirement plan.

Contact us for more information on how we'll work together to help address these risks by applying a comprehensive process to plan your retirement.

Managing Life Changes

Whether you’re changing careers, buying a new house or starting a family, we can help you live the life you choose today, while still prudently planning for the future.

Wherever your work or life leads you, we can assist you in managing your cash flow and allocating your resources, helping you reach both your short- and intermediate-term goals without endangering your long-term plans.

Please contact us so we help you determine an appropriate course of action for your retirement plan.

If you're planning to buy a new home, we can help you allocate an appropriate portion of your holdings to investments designed to facilitate that purchase. We can also assist with managing the funds needed for your changing lifestyle, including mortgage, property taxes and related expenses.

If you’ve recently started a family – or are contemplating doing so – we can help you optimize your investments, meet the expenses you will incur over the next several years and help make sure your life goals are achievable and realistic.

As you change employers – or go to work for yourself – you typically have several options for dealing with the funds you’ve accumulated in your former employer’s retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b). The option you choose could have significant tax implications or alter your existing retirement plan.

Learn more about allocating your assets to meet your needs and wants in retirement.

Retirement video icon

Assessing Your Current Situation

Do you know how much income you need your assets to generate once you retire?

Chances are you should reevaluate your retirement plan. Your financial circumstances, personal situation or retirement goals may have changed since the last time you reviewed your plan. Market turbulence may also have adversely affected your portfolio, making a fresh look important.

As you revisit your plan with us, we will take a look at factors such as:

  • Your income sources
  • Your assets and anticipated expenses
  • The rate at which you’ll be able to spend in retirement

You’ll also want to consider what appropriate adjustments may entail for you, for example:

  • Paring non-essential spending
  • Reallocating your investment assets
  • Reevaluate your retirement priorities and discuss tradeoffs

Contact us for help with reviewing your retirement plan and making the necessary adjustments to put you on the path to a comfortable retirement.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Learn more about ensuring your assets are on target to generate the income you'll need to cover your expenses and achieve your goals in retirement.

It's time to get started. Accurately determining the income your investments can generate and building in a buffer to preserve your retirement under difficult conditions takes considerable time and work.

Part of building a retirement plan is articulating your priorities and goals for life in retirement. By working with us, we'll identify these factors and discuss others that play a key role in a successful retirement plan, such as:

  • Your income sources
  • Your assets and anticipated expenses
  • The rate at which you'll be able to spend in retirement

Having a plan and continuing to adjust it over time can help put you on the path to a potentially comfortable retirement. Please contact us to get started on formulating a plan to help meet your specific goals and objectives.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Learn more about ensuring your assets are on target to generate the income you'll need to cover your expenses and achieve your goals in retirement.

Making a plan

Putting together an effective retirement plan consists of ensuring you have the professional support you need to develop a sound strategy and guiding you through its implementation and management. In addition to us, that support may include a CPA, estate attorney, insurance and trust professionals, and potentially family members. We can help you manage these relationships so your "team" works together effectively.

The first step we will take is establishing your priorities. We can assist you with understanding factors that will impact your retirement plan, such as retirement lifestyle, risk tolerance, retirement date, unknown risks and your desire to support your family members or a favorite charity.

Developing an effective retirement plan requires a thorough understanding of your situation. We can assist you in putting your retirement into perspective by taking a financial inventory, which includes identifying your income sources and assets and distinguishing between your needs and wants.

We can then help you align your assets and holdings with your investment time horizon and the level of risk with which you're comfortable. We can help you regularly review and reassess your retirement plan so it remains aligned with your situation, goals and aspirations.

Retirement Income Chart

Learn more about ensuring your assets are on target to generate the income you'll need to cover your expenses and achieve your goals in retirement.

Contact us to start building a retirement plan that specifically addresses the details of your personal circumstances and helps you allocate your investments appropriately.

Assessing Your Retirement Income

Although many individuals nearing retirement have at least one 401(k), IRA or defined benefit plan, rarely will those income sources meet the full range of retirement expenses.

By working with us, we can help determine how much you will need to withdraw from your retirement portfolio to live comfortably in retirement. The less you withdraw, the better your chance for preserving income throughout the duration of your retirement. The general rule of thumb is a maximum withdrawal of 6% per year, but you may need to withdraw more or less depending on your specific circumstances.

You may need to adjust your rate of withdrawal based on future market performance. The sustainable rate of withdrawal is historical and will fluctuate. If your rate of withdrawal is greater than the growth of your assets, you may exhaust your principal.

Learn more about funding your needs and wants in retirement.

Social Security benefits are another important aspect of your retirement plan. A variety of factors, such as your age, spouse's earnings and other sources of income, can affect when you may need to begin receiving your benefits.

Contact us to gain the insight you need to help determine the most appropriate course for you.

Snapshot of Life in Retirement

Today, many individuals view retirement as an opportunity to reshape their lives, begin new careers, adopt new interests, and take advantage of additional freedom and time. While many may work because they need to, a significant number work because they want to.

Learn more about how we can help you prioritize healthcare as a need in retirement.

Regardless of the shape and timing of your retirement, your portfolio will need to account for factors such as inflation, rising healthcare costs, and your changing goals and objectives, such as continuing to work in order to sustain your current lifestyle in retirement. We would be happy to discuss your vision of retirement and help you understand how close you may be to meeting your retirement needs and achieving your goals. Contact us today.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.


Managing risk

Regardless of your age or your financial situation, every investment decision entails some sort of risk. We will work with you to identify the factors and risks most relevant to your situation and plan for them, including:

Longevity

Longer life expectancy means your assets have to last longer. You have to consider the possibility of living 20 or 30 years after you retire.

Inflation

For example, health insurance premiums and prescription costs are rapidly increasing. If you are retired, this would increase your cost of living, erode the value of your savings and reduce your purchasing power.

Spending and Withdrawals

Overspending, living beyond your means or withdrawing more than the recommended percentage from your retirement funds can adversely affect how long your assets last.

Market Risks

Market declines and the timing of these declines pose risks. How and where your assets are allocated across different asset classes plays a key role in managing this risk.

Unknown Risks

Major health events, disability, long-term care needs and other unexpected occurrences can complicate a retirement plan.

Contact us for more information on how we'll work together to help address these risks by applying a comprehensive process to plan your retirement.

Healthcare Considerations

One of the most significant risks to ensuring an adequate income stream throughout your lifetime is the rising cost of healthcare.

Conventional medical insurance, including Medicare, leaves uncovered many of the expenses related to nursing home and in-home health costs. Although long-term care insurance fills a number of gaps, if you do not already have a policy in place, you may need to consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs of coverage – which rise with age.

If available, the right policy may be well worth the cost. It can help preserve your assets, minimize your dependence on family members, and enable you to determine how and where you receive long-term care services.

Learn more about on how to categorize healthcare as a need in retirement.

Contact us, for help in determining whether long-term care insurance is appropriate for you, assist in identifying the policy that best suits your needs and work with you to explore all options.

Business Succession

If you’re a small business owner and haven’t already determined your exit strategy, don’t wait any longer. Among many other decisions, you’ll need to determine the most appropriate structure for divesting your business and tapping into the value it represents.

Your business may be an important asset to fund your retirement plan. See the Retirement Income Framework for more details.

The checklist below shows some of the key options you could consider when thinking through this part of your planning:

  • Sell it to a competitor
  • Sell it to one or more key employees
  • Keep it in the family

Positioning yourself to reap the benefits of the work, time and effort you’ve put into your business requires time, thought and skill. Feel free to contact us to discuss in more depth how these options may fit into your specific situation.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Please note, changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as financial advisors of Raymond James we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Open retirement video

Give Your Plan a Check Up

Once you've retired, managing your money is more important than ever. During your retirement years, your personal goals and situation — as well as the economic environment — are likely to shift. These changes require careful scrutiny, perhaps resulting in adjustments related to your goals, your portfolio or both. The framework below can assist in visualizing how your income sources and retirement assets fund your needs and wants in retirement.

Retirement Income Chart

We can work with you to regularly review and reassess your portfolio to give you confidence that your portfolio is appropriately balanced between growth-oriented investments and income-focused assets. Contact us today.

Healthcare Considerations

One of the most significant risks to ensuring an adequate income stream throughout your lifetime is the rising cost of healthcare.

Conventional medical insurance, including Medicare, leaves uncovered many of the expenses related to nursing home and in-home health costs. Although long-term care insurance fills a number of gaps, if you do not already have a policy in place, you may need to consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs of coverage – which rise with age.

If available, the right policy may be well worth the cost. It can help preserve your assets, minimize your dependence on family members, and enable you to determine how and where you receive long-term care services.

Learn more about on how to categorize healthcare as a need in retirement.

Contact us, for help in determining whether long-term care insurance is appropriate for you, assist in identifying the policy that best suits your needs and work with you to explore all options.

Legacy Planning

Depending on your financial situation, you may be confident you can fund a comfortable retirement and still allocate funds to leave an inheritance for family members or to donate to a favorite charity. The first priority should be ensuring your expenses can be met before you leave a monetary legacy behind.

We can assist you with your estate and legacy planning, including helping you to optimize your assets, potentially minimize tax implications, and determine the course most appropriate to your situation. In addition, we can help you select effective vehicles to implement your plans.

Keep in mind that money isn't everything. Passing on ideals, such as ethics, morals, faith and religious beliefs, is 10 times more important to both baby boomers and their parents than the financial aspects of inheritance, according to the 2006 Allianz American Legacies Study.

Contact us to learn how we can help you to optimize your assets, potentially minimize tax implications, and determine the course most appropriate to your situation, including the selection of effective vehicles to implement your plans.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Please note, changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of Raymond James we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Withdrawals and Tax Implications

In addition to Social Security benefits, you probably have at least one IRA, 401(k) or pension plan, as well as other assets, you're counting on to help finance your retirement years. At this stage you should work with us to reassess your retirement strategy to maximize the benefits you receive from any withdrawals you are making or plan to make.

Consider how much you need to withdraw during retirement with the Retirement Income Framework.

Below are some common retirement investments and key considerations for withdrawing your money:

Investments

Considerations*

Taxable Accounts

(i.e., brokerage, savings and checking accounts)
Withdrawing from these accounts first allows more time for tax-free and tax-deferred accounts to grow.

Tax-Free

(i.e., Roth IRA) and Tax-Deferred (i.e., traditional IRA) Plans
You are required to begin withdrawing money at age 70½, but may consider reinvesting proceeds elsewhere if you do not need the immediate income.

Social Security Benefits

The longer you wait to tap these funds, the larger your monthly benefit will be when you do decide to take it.
You are required to begin taking benefits at age 70.

We can help you develop a withdrawal strategy that takes all of these considerations into account. Contact us today.

* Investors should consult with a tax advisor to determine the tax implications of the withdrawal strategies.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Please note, changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of Raymond James we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Tapping Social Security

Although you’re entitled to take early Social Security benefits beginning at age 62, tapping into your benefits before full retirement age reduces your benefits. In general, if you wait until age 70, you’ll receive on average 5% to 7% more per year than if you take the benefits sooner. When to start taking Social Security benefits depends in large part on your income needs and your health.

Depending on your timing, working during retirement may affect your Social Security payments. However, once you are beyond full retirement age, your Social Security benefits will lock in and won’t change regardless of how much you earn.

For example, if you start taking benefits before your full retirement age and continue to work, you may see the following effects on your benefits:

  • Monthly payments may be reduced
  • Benefits will be cut by $1 for every $2 you earn above $14,160 per year

Thus, if you work beyond age 62 and earn significantly more than $14,160, you’re likely better off waiting to take Social Security benefits until you reach your full retirement age.

Learn how Social Security is a source of reliable income for your retirement plan.

Contact us so we can help you choose the strategy most appropriate for you.

Coping With the Unexpected

Widespread economic weakness and market fluctuations have taken a toll on many investors. If you are at all concerned your retirement plan may no longer be sufficient to meet your needs, dont delay taking action. While there are no magic fixes, a number of effective strategies do exist for potentially minimizing losses, generating additional income and planning for growth, including:

  • Planning for long-term care needs not covered by Medicare or other insurance
  • Paring your spending and rethinking non-essential goals
  • Allocating a portion — or a greater portion — of your portfolio to undervalued, growth-oriented investments
  • Preserving income with financial products, such as annuities
  • Hedging income against rising inflation with investment options that adjust to changes in the inflation rate, such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS),
  • Returning to work on either a full-time or part-time basis

We can help you look at your retirement plan comprehensively, determine if you have any gaps, and help you identify ways to potentially minimize losses in order to stay on track in retirement. Contact us today to get started.

Note: Growth-oriented investments generally involve greater risks and may not be appropriate for every investor.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Please note, changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of Raymond James we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Tools
 

Developing an effective retirement plan requires a thorough understanding of your situation. The first step is to put your retirement into perspective by taking a financial inventory:

  • List reliable sources of income, such as Social Security benefits and pension payments.
  • Take inventory of your financial assets (401[k], IRAs, brokerage accounts, etc.), as well as other assets (your home, business, collectibles, etc.).
  • Determine your needs (expenses you must meet in order to live in retirement).
  • Identify your wants (expenses that are non-essential, but ideal to live comfortably).

By working with us, you will gain a clear understanding of your total financial picture and understand the income sources you will need to retire comfortably.

Retirement Income Chart

DEFINING THE KEY ELEMENTS

Reliable Income
This represents sources of reliable, consistent income you receive monthly or annually that will be used to cover your expenses in retirement. Examples include Social Security, pension payments and income from employment.

Retirement Assets
The next element represents an inventory of your financial assets, particularly those that you designate to fund your retirement. Income from these assets would supplement your reliable income. Examples include 401(k) plans, IRAs, Roth IRAs, checking accounts, bank savings/deposits, CDs, brokerage accounts and annuities.

Needs
Needs are defined as essential expenses you must meet. You should categorize “needs” based on your own values and priorities. For example, some people view donating to a charity a necessity, while others might not. Examples of needs include mortgage or rent payments, groceries, household utilities, auto maintenance and fuel, health insurance premiums, and prescription expenses.

Wants
Wants are expenses that are non-essential, but ideal in retirement. Your “wants” are based on your vision of retirement. For example, travelling to visit family may be a necessity; while the additional expense of taking an annual trip to Europe might be a want. Other examples might include dining out, entertainment, recreation and gifts.

We will also consider other factors that may impact your retirement and therefore require making decisions as we progress through the planning process.

Risk Management

  • Cash reserve
  • Life insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Long-term care

Other Assets

  • Business
  • Property
  • Home

Benefiting Others

  • Supporting others
  • Charitable
  • Education
  • Legacy
The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

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