Having a comfortable nest egg for retirement often takes decades of hard work, tweaking, and planning by the employee and their most trusted financial advisors (their CPA and wealth manager). It is usually important to have your financial team all on the same page so there are no disagreements on your goals for the future.
There are many aspects of your financial life to consider when preparing for retirement such as: How much money will I need to comfortably maintain the lifestyle that I would like? When should I begin collecting social security? How aggressive should I be with my retirement accounts? How can I plan to enjoy the fruits of my labor while still leaving enough to my family? There is a great deal of planning that has to be done!
For many Americans, the retirement account (such as a 401k or 403b) that they fund through their employer(s) will be their main source of income throughout retirement. Over your working career, you contribute thousands of dollars that will hopefully multiply into a significant nest egg to fund your retirement. How you treat this important asset can change your trajectory for decades to come.
It is important to take risks while you are young such as allocating a higher portion to foreign and domestic stocks. If some less than ideal choices were made and you end up with several years of negative return, you will still have a long time to bounce back. In the middle and later years, you should make more conservative investments such as holding positions in mutual funds, blue chips, and bonds. An experienced financial expert should be able to properly guide you through an appropriate mix of assets in any retirement account.
Collecting Social Security
Deciding when to begin collecting Social Security (if it is even still available when you are planning on retiring) can be a stressful time in your retirement. Unfortunately, there is no perfect science to determining when you should collect. However, there are some important questions to answer before you begin collecting.
Should you begin collecting at 62 (the earliest possible time if you are not disabled), full retirement age (generally 67 if you were born after 1960), or wait until 70 (the largest monthly benefit you can receive)? This will be decided by your overall health, the overall health and longevity of your parents and siblings (if your parents lived until 92 and you are in good health, you might want to consider waiting), and how quickly you will need to begin collecting based on your current financial situation. Your trusted financial advisors should be able to discuss this with you on an educated basis.
Leaving a Legacy for Your Family
You worked hard for decades to provide for yourself and your family, and now it is time to sit back and relax. However, you want to leave a legacy for your family to thrive. Maybe you want to make sure your grandchildren can attend college, or pay off your mortgage and debt when you pass away. The best way to leave a lasting impression for your family would be through proper life insurance planning. Your experienced wealth manager can walk you through the ins and outs of different policies to help your family.
Retirement can be a nerve-wracking but exciting time for you and your family. Proper planning with your trusted financial and legal experts can put you on the path to a peaceful and successful retirement. Although nothing is guaranteed, planning for the future can lead to a better chance of success.