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gifts, travel goals, potential health
impacts and where you may want to live
(i.e., current home, second home, condo).
Ayers says it's important to evaluate
what your acceptable minimum standard
of living is for your retirement years. The
best way to make sure money doesn't
run out is to ensure accommodations
have been made for worst-case scenarios.
" You can't predict
future events; but
you can take steps
to make sure your
accounts will survive
the events the future
will throw at you,
Ayers says. Determine
how much income
you need each year
to supplement Social
Security benefits and
any other income
sources. Allocate a
portion of assets to
a liquid account to
help pay for periodic
expenses - such
as homeowner's
insurance and
property taxes - as
well as an emergency
fund. "
A possible solution
is to consider the
value of repositioning
a portion of assets to
an annuity to secure
a guaranteed income
stream which would
protect individual
income needs should
the investment
market experience a
prolonged decline.
" Protecting your
retirement monies
means working with
someone who is constantly keeping an
eye on changing tax laws and making
sure you aren't wasting any of your hardearned
savings on unnecessary taxes, "
says Ayers.
Since retirees may be living largely
off their savings, that money should be
protected in case of a recession or market
downturn. Retirees number one concern
usually is not running out of money.
" Being more conservative in retirement
can be beneficial. However, retirement
savings also needs to earn enough gains
to keep up with inflation. A financial
advisor should be able to recommend
the right mix of investments towards
keeping some money safe while allowing
a portion of the portfolio to grow.
" To have a detailed plan as you
approach retirement, one should seek
the advice of an advisor experienced
in retirement preparation, " Ayers says.
" There may be cookie-cutter options
for financial plans, but a retirement
investment plan should be customized to
your individual goals and situation. "
Len Hale, a Financial Services
Professional with New York Life Insurance
Company in Roanoke, advises to start
early and put money away now.
" I'm a diversification freak, " he says.
" I believe in making sure that you have
more than enough guaranteed income
coming in when you retire so you can
maintain your investments in your 401(k)
or your Roth IRAs if your income allows it.
I believe retirement income comes from
multiple sources. You need to integrate it
with Social Security. "
He says the only time people tend to
run into trouble is when they consolidate
all of their money into one asset class.
" The key is making sure you have
enough consistent monthly income, "
he says. " So if you need $3,000 a month
to run your household, I want you to
have at least $3,500 a month coming in
guaranteed. "
He adds to make sure you're aware of
long-term care needs in the future, which
could erode a nest egg.
" If an older couple has an advanced
stroke and they have to go to a nursing
home that can put an unanticipated dent
in a retirement plan, " he says. " Change
happens. You need to be prepared for it. "
John Hall, a financial planner with
Lynchburg Wealth Management, says
the most important thing for individuals
approaching retirement is to know that it
isn't a one-size-fits-all situation.
" It's like a puzzle where there are
multiple pieces and they can fit together
differently for different folks, " he says.
Those pieces include Social Security,
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
TO ASK ADVISORS:
* How much money do I need for
retirement? Will it outlast me and
my spouse?
* Should I take money out of Social
Security now or wait?
* Do I have an income plan that
accounts for inflation and gets me
to at least 95?
* What should I do about long-term
care?
* If there is a stock market
downturn, am I taking on too
much risk?
* When is the optimal time to take
social security?
* Do I have a tax strategy in place
for me and my beneficiaries?
OTHER TIPS:
* Build up adequate cash savings:
In addition to creating a monthly
income, there are going to be
things in life that come up like
heat pumps that need replacing
and cars that need tires, medical
accidents that still might happen.
* It's easy to create a monthly
income that might mimic your
monthly expenses, Hall says, so
it's also important to have some
cash savings to take care of those
one-time items that come up but
don't always come up on a known
schedule.
* Engage with an advisor 10 to
15 years prior to retirement,
Schubert says. There are
opportunities to place money in
other retirement accounts such
as an IRA or Roth IRA and when
those dollars are pulled, they're
also tax-free.
* Don't be surprised by additional
expenses during the first few
years, Schubert says. Retirement
is more expensive in the first
few years because of traveling,
increased dining out and doing
more activities.
RETIRE-VA 2023 / Retire-VA.com / 21
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