If we’ve learned any lessons in recent years, it’s that every plan must account for the unexpected. Retirement is no exception. As you transition to this next phase of life, a carefully constructed plan can help minimize risk and secure the financial wealth you’ve built throughout your working years.
There are many factors to consider when determining whether to roll your retirement plan savings into an IRA. Oftentimes this decision is triggered by a change in employment status or an impending retirement. When deciding what to do with your retirement assets, it’s important to be aware that IRAs are subject to different rules and restrictions than employer plans such as 401(k)s.
In many cases, typical retirement planning advice does not apply to government employees. Benefits for government employees can get quite confusing based on whether you are employed at the federal, state, county or municipal level.
As you’re nearing retirement, there are many important factors to consider. Pre-retirees wrestle with questions related to how much to save. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you have already retired, you might wonder whether you’re adequately prepared to withstand health issues that might impact changes in housing, or the need for long-term care.
No matter what stage of retirement you are in, it’s important to schedule reviews of your savings goals on an annual basis, as well as when life events occur. These check-ups ensure that your plan reflects your changing circumstances and accounts for fluctuating market and economic conditions. Incorporate the following practices within your routine to remain on pace to sustain your retirement goals:
Calculate your anticipated monthly income need, assessing it alongside your estimated monthly Social Security benefit, income from retirement savings, and any pension or other income. This exercise can help identify your monthly income need and guide you on developing a plan to bridge gaps.
Build up your savings whenever possible by looking for financial opportunities—whether they are in the form of a tax refund, unexpected windfall, etc.
Retirement does not necessarily equate to travel, golf and restaurants. Happiness can be achieved from everyday experiences such as socializing, reading a good book, taking a scenic drive, and playing with grandchildren. Manage your expectations.
While setting goals is important, don’t let those goals become overwhelming. Set your intentions, schedule regular reviews, increase savings whenever possible and take heart in knowing that you’re doing your best to prepare for your future.