Retirement Planning Basics—Learn why you must know what to do to reach your retirement goals
It is important that you understand prior to your retirement that there are things that you must do—if you want to enjoy the lifestyle that you desire during your retirement years.
If you see yourself playing golf, pursuing a topic that has really intrigued you, or volunteering for one of your favorite causes—you must ensure that your retirement accounts are properly funded when you retire—so that you can do what you desire—during your retirement years.
You must do your planning on the front
end—if your goal is to really enjoy your retirement years! Many retirees often underestimate the amount of income they will have available—or underestimate the amount of expenses that they will have in their retirement years.
Be sure to navigate our "credit page" now so that you can avoid that scenario—you can do so effectively—and at no cost to you!
Below we will list areas of retirement that have been a problem for many—and are areas that you must address—prior to your retirement—and then expand on what you can do now—to address those areas appropriately!
You must understand that if you
plan on golfing, providing perks for your kids and grand-kids, traveling
abroad—or any other goal that you may have—it requires that you accurately
calculate the “number” that you need to attain—to do just that!
You can’t depend on traditional benchmarks—it truly depends on your specific goals that you have for yourself and your family!
If you anticipate that you will need $40,000 per year to do what you enjoy doing during your retirement—you must have a real plan of action to get to that number—so that you can have the funds that you need for the time that you expect to be alive after you retire.
If you plan on living for 30 years after you retire—you will need 30 times $40,000 or approximately 1.2 million in your account by the time you retire.
Likewise if you anticipate that you will need $80,000 per year to live at the level that you desire—you will need 30 times $80,000 or approximately 2.4 million in your account by the time you retire.
Keep in mind that both of the above figures would be reduced if you were to receive Social Security or RRB retirement benefits. In that case you would reduce the amount that you would need annually by the amount of Social Security that you would receive annually.
In the first example if you were to receive $10,000 annually from Social Security and you need $40,000 annually to live at the level that you desire—you would now multiply what you needed at retirement as 30 times $30,000 per year and you would therefore only need approximately $900,000 by the time you retire.
In the second example if you were to receive $20,000 annually from Social Security and you needed $80,000 annually to live at the level that you desire—you would now multiply what you needed at retirement as 30 times $60,000 per year and you would therefore only need approximately 1.8 million by the time you retire.
It is important that you realize that health care costs for pre-retirees—and retirees are in many cases at a high level.
Although you may be able to obtain Medicare at age 65—you will still have to pay Part B Medical insurance of over $100 per month plus an annual deductible. In addition dental services are not covered. If you are age 65 and you receive Medicare your out of pocket expenses could still be well over a quarter million dollars!
If you factor LTC (Long-Term Care) insurance
into the calculation—the figure gets even more absurd.
If you retire at age 62 and live to
one-hundred years of age—your health care costs could easily approach a
Be sure you have realistic projections of your health care costs during your retirement years—and be sure you have a plan in place now—to meet those rising costs during your retirement years.
If you withdraw money from a
traditional IRA or 401K or certain other retirement accounts—you would have to
have a plan of action to pay the taxes on them.
If you were to withdraw money from a tax deferred account during your
retirement years—expect to pay taxes at your ordinary income tax rate!
Always realize that you can keep
your retirement money in a tax-deferred retirement account until you hit age
If you have qualified ROTH IRA withdrawals you would pay no tax on withdrawals and earnings—during your retirement years—and there are no mandatory withdrawals.
Therefore, depending on your unique situation—it may be wise to cash in your bond and certificates of deposits or CD's prior to taking the mandatory withdrawals from your retirement accounts.
You can then go and take withdrawals from your taxable investment accounts to take advantage of capital gains and losses to help reduce or offset your taxes (you can deduct $3,000 per year in capital losses against capital gains and carry forward any remaining losses to future years).
If your traditional IRA did not require mandatory withdrawals—you would now do so if you were at the age (70.5) where it was required—and finally if you had to have additional money to live at the level that you desire—you would tap into your Roth IRA (keep in mind that there are no mandatory withdrawals with a Roth IRA so you could continue to build wealth in this account if you had no need for the funds).
Company perks that you once took
for granted may not be available during your retirement years. Your other family members may need you to assist them with their living expenses.
Will you be under-prepared—or over-prepared?
Social Security Taxes may apply to
Depending on your income and filing status—you may owe taxes on your social security and/or retirement earnings…so be sure you have an idea of how your tax situation will affect your spending habits during your retirement years—prior to your retirement years.
You can go to ssa.gov/mystatements/ to get an estimate of your Social Security monthly income that you can expect during retirement!
A critical component to protecting your assets…be sure you have a plan in place to pass down your and your spouse's assets.
Always consider the possible reduction of income due to death or disability.
In addition you must always realize that miscalculations on what is needed for retirement happen on a consistent basis due to consumers not understanding what they need to save—and in many cases not earning enough to save. If that applies to you be sure to start on a path to correct that at the earliest point possible in your "life stage."
Be sure to start early—and avoid starting in your 40's and 50's like so many others do—and be sure that you put you prioritize your retirement needs in the appropriate manner. Your retirement is very important and it should be approached in a serious and consistent manner!
Never Let Retirement Planning Intimidate You
Don't let what appears to be complex (saving for your retirement) intimidate you by the vast number of choices that you have.
Quite simply, start with your 401k or other retirement plan that is offered and contribute at least to the match (you must realize that you may have to contribute more and more (possibly 15% to 20%) to this account depending on what the "retirement number" that you have budgeted for mentioned above is—and your other sources of retirement income).
You must then—reduce or eliminate your debt to an acceptable level—properly establish an emergency fund—save in other tax advantaged accounts after that such as IRA's—and then save outside of your retirement account if you have the discretionary income to do so!
It is really just that simple—however diversification, consistency in approach (you must re-balance at least annually), focus of thought and a real commitment on your part will be necessary.