By Bruce Eisenhauer, Financial Advisor
I’ve recently met with people who are contemplating retirement within the next few months – some by choice and design and some who are facing retirement (or the prospect of starting a new career) because their jobs were outsourced. And though these people have very different retirement circumstances, the questions, concerns and stress they encounter are all very similar.
Stressful careers deserve stress-free retirements.
One of the many things that I love about my job is helping people who have had stressful careers have as much of a stress-free retirement as possible. We cannot mitigate every possible scenario, but we can mitigate those common stresses in retirement with a comprehensive financial plan that can lay the foundation for your retirement.
We talk about it being a “living and breathing” plan that changes and reroutes as your situation changes and potential obstacles appear. It gives us a solid track to run on that makes many aspects of your retirement route clear, concise and predictable.
Most people fear running out of money in retirement.
Running out of money is probably the most common worry that I hear on a regular basis.
The fix: We have software that allows us to run projections on all sources of your retirement income and when it flows in or runs out based on different ages of availability. We look at:
- 401(k)s or the like
- Social Security income
- Rental, or other passive income
- Non-qualified assets, such as joint savings, brokerage accounts, or any other assets that you pay tax on as you go.
The more buckets of income you can pull from the better, especially when we look at the tax planning and ramifications of the different assets. The other factor that comes in here is your expenses. How close to being debt free are you and what is your current budget? Is that budget realistic in retirement? These are questions that we can run projections for and make sure that you are within your means and your budget.
Many people worry about healthcare costs in retirement.
Healthcare is a legitimate concern for retirement.
The fix: We will address all your options. Can you continue with your current healthcare plan? Is it covered in your retirement, and if not, can you keep it and pay out of pocket? Group plans usually have better premium options than trying to just get insurance for yourself or you and your spouse.
Do you qualify for Medicare? We will walk you through these options and advise you on the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision.
People wonder when to take Social Security.
The next question to address is when to take Social Security. The answer depends on your response to these questions:
- When is your full retirement age?
- When is your spouse’s?
- Is it better for your spouse to claim off yours or theirs – which is greater?
There can be lots of factors that play a role in making the best choice for you and your family when it comes to Social Security. Again, we can present you with all your options and you can make an informed decision.
Estate planning is a big concern.
Estate planning may feel like too big a task for some people.
The fix: This is another area we will address and help you make an informed decision for you and your family.
Inflation in retirement can cause stress.
Another concern that has come up over the last couple of years is Inflation.
The fix: When we run income, budget, and projected rates of return projections, we can run inflation numbers as well. As inflation rates change, we can rerun the projections based on current inflation rates to help you stay on top of it.
What if kids move back home?
So-called “boomerang children” have increased recently as adult children move back in with parents to try to save some money.
The fix: Perhaps your children must move back home for an extended period of time, or you must take in grandchildren to raise? We can also run projections to help with these concerns.
Retirees worry about what they’ll do with their time.
Retirees are transitioning from a planned 40 or more hours a week of working, making important decisions, managing employees or peers, having lots of responsibilities, and the pressures and stresses that come with that to days that aren’t as regimented or planned.
The fix: Personally, the people that I see transition the best into retirement are the ones who have a plan, a purpose and a new mission in their lives. It could be watching grandchildren or helping with the carpools to school, coaching, volunteering somewhere that brings you joy, diving deeper into some established hobbies or perhaps starting a whole new hobby. I have some clients who have gone back to school to pursue a degree, a different degree, or just to take classes that interest them or help with one of their hobbies.
Stress is normal, but it can be lowered!
At Meikle Financial Group, we want to help eliminate as much of the stress of retirement as possible. We feel that you have worked a stressful job for most of your life and now it is time to reduce those stresses and enjoy life. We have over 50 years of experience in guiding families into retirement and would love the opportunity to help you and your family bridge that crossover.