BY ROY JAMES
There’s no better time than the present to take a fresh look at your financial future — including how to plan for retirement.
If you are one of the vast members of baby boomers approaching retirement age, preparing for the golden years may mean making several important decisions while still in the workforce to help ensure you will have enough money to live in retirement. As retirement looms closer, the overwhelming possibilities leave many people uncertain about where to start.
Here are six important financial considerations to think about before retiring:
- Define your retirement — Your vision will drive your plan. You may decide to work part-time, launch a completely new career, or perhaps go back to school, volunteer or develop new hobbies. Consider if you need to downsize, relocate or remain in your current residence.
- Know where you stand financially — Take inventory of your assets and possible income sources, and understand how your retirement plan will help provide you with income during your retirement years. Save as much as possible while still working.
- Estimate your expenses in retirement, especially for healthcare — Healthcare can be a significant expense category during your retirement years, so understanding what your healthcare plan covers in retirement is critical. Consider long-term care insurance to cover expenses that may fall outside of your health insurance if the need arises.
- Manage asset allocation — Regularly monitor and review your investments to ensure they support your goals and to determine if you should change how assets are allocated among different investment types; consider professionally managed investments products.
- Plan for your beneficiaries — Create a will, choose a guardian if needed, and select who will manage your estate. Transferring wealth is a critical part of retirement planning. Estate planning, in particular, can be an efficient way to distribute the maximum amount possible to your beneficiaries at the time of your death. Added benefits like reducing estate taxes enhance the value of incorporating life insurance into your overall planning for retirement.
- Explore options to create a retirement income — Research product strategies that can help generate a guaranteed retirement-income stream, including the new generation of variable annuities that can provide guaranteed streams of income for life while still affording degrees of flexibility and control. It may be advantageous to purchase these products while you are still working.