Four Drawbacks that Can Sidetrack Women on the Path to Retirement

Despite being more educated and financially empowered than in past generations, many women still feel insecure when it comes to retirement strategies and their financial future.

While more and more women are responsible for handling their family finances, it can be overwhelming for anyone to weigh all of the options and make the decisions that are required when planning for retirement income and for leaving a legacy.

It’s not just women, of course, that feel insecure about their strategy for retirement. But women do face some special challenges when they are preparing for their financial futures. First, women are living longer than ever before — thanks in part to preventive healthcare becoming a larger focus for women of all ages1.

Women, like many pre-retirees, tend to have retirement strategies that don’t reflect the increase in life expectancy2. Men have that same problem, but it can be more problematic for women because with an even longer life expectancy, women face an even greater scale of retirement income shortfall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women tend to live almost five years longer than men1. That’s a lot of retirement income that will be needed and if, like some women, they have not taken an active role in their retirement preparation, they may be forced to live with the financial decisions made by their husband even after he’s gone.

 Many financial services professionals have female clients who have reported facing a retirement strategy dilemma at one point in their life. It’s very common, and some of the same drawbacks plague women as they prepare for, and then live in retirement.

Let’s look at four of the most common drawbacks, and consider how a financial services professional can help you navigate them.

 1. Not understanding the source of your advice.

 It is crucial to know where you are getting your financial advice and understand the motives behind the person giving the advice. Trust and respect are important factors in deciding what professional they choose. By educating yourself on the options available, you can ensure you find a true financial professional partner in life.

 2. Failing to allocate your assets appropriately.

 One of the important factors in retirement strategy is allocating assets appropriate to risk tolerance, income needs and legacy desires — yet many people overlook changes that should be made as you near retirement age.

Strategic allocation ensures diversification based on your unique risk tolerance. Diversification is the key to risk management and is a critical component to your overall financial strategy. The simple way of putting this is: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It is important to note that diversification cannot guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.

 3. Failing to take advantage of stretch options, which provide a greater legacy to your loved ones.

 With the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Congress passed a law that allows multi-generational distributions for Individual Retirement Account (IRA) assets3.

Non-spousal beneficiaries must generally take distributions from their inherited IRAs, whether transferred or not, within five years after the death of the IRA owner. But an exception to this rule applies if the beneficiary elects to take distributions over his or her lifetime, often referred to as “stretching” the IRA. You can stretch IRA distributions throughout yours, your children’s and your grandchildren’s lifetimes.

  1. Failing to prepare for legacy planning.

When planning your legacy, some good questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are your beneficiary forms up to date?
  • Do you know where your important documents are located?
  • Do you have primary and contingent beneficiaries?
  • Do you know what benefits are available to you from the Social Security Administration?
  • Have you initiated important estate planning documents?
  • Does it allow the multi-generational payout?

If there is one rule more important than any other when it comes to legacy planning, it is this: Your beneficiary designation forms control how your assets are distributed, so you need to keep those forms up to date. This is true for retirement plans, annuities, life insurance, and other non-probate assets. You need to review the beneficiary designations at least every couple of years or when there is a major life event.

Everyone can benefit from avoiding the drawbacks that can sidetrack you on the path to retirement. But for women, whose life expectancies generally mean they’ll be in retirement loner than men, it’s even more important.

Contact your financial services professional to discuss how you can prepare for retirement and its many twists in turns.

1 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db328.htm

2https://www.forbes.com/sites/jbrewer/2018/08/21/use-planning-to-overcome-the-risks-to-womens-retirement/#16acab9f3bba

3 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/taxreformact1986.asp

FOUR RETIREMENT MYTHS, DEBUNKED

Myth #1: You can wait a few more years until you start saving for retirement.

When you’re in your 20’s, it’s easy to push retirement planning off until later to start saving. Your money could be spent on things like getting a new car, paying off loans from college, or saving up for a house. None of which are good reasons to put off saving for retirement.

You see, the earlier you can get into the habit of saving for retirement, the better of you will be in the future, because your money has had more time to compound and grow.

For some people, the plan is to first pay of their mortgage, then help the kids with college costs, and then, finally save for retirement. While Life expectancies are longer today than in the past, you may end up with a bigger nest egg to last from retirement through the rest of your life if you start early.

The longer that you wait to start saving, the more you will have to make up for down the road, which could make reaching your goal significantly harder. Ultimately, it can help to start building your retirement early, even though it may be harder to save.

Myth #2: Your company or the government will take care of your retirement.

 In the past, retirement income was commonly compared to a three-legged stool1 — one part came from Social Security, another part came from company pensions, and a third part was from personal retirement savings.

Today, the same cannot be said. Pensions are less common than they were in the past, having been replaced by a hybrid of pensions and savings called defined contribution plans. At the same time, the funds for the Social Security program have been steadily dwindling2.What was a three- legged stool for previous generations is now a somewhat wobbly two-legged stool.

In fact, in 2034, just 15 short years away, the Social Security trust fund is expected to be depleted, according to the Social Security Administration’s summary of the 2018 annual reports2. That means that in order to work toward the retirement of your dreams, you may have to be sure that your other assets make up for the less-than-ideal benefit you may receive from Social Security.

Your Social Security benefit may be a nice supplement to have, but it maybe should not be counted on as the only piece of your retirement income.

Myth #3: Medicare will meet all your healthcare needs.

Medicare may likely be one part of your healthcare coverage, and for some people it may meet the majority of their needs. But many older retirees may suffer from serious medical conditions, and Medicare may not provide the comprehensive coverage you think it does.

For instance, you may have to pick up some prescription costs on your own; pay premiums and coinsurance expenses; and pay out-of-pocket for care that isn’t covered, such as long-term care in a nursing home. You may need additional funds for healthcare, which could come in the form of long-term-care insurance or a health savings account.

Each of these options — and even Medicare itself — may come at a cost to you. You should consult with a certified Medicare broker with questions about the costs that may lie ahead for you and to help you enroll in Medicare.

Myth #4: Retirement means you no longer have to work.

While it may be your goal to stop working altogether in retirement, that may not end up being the case. Retirement has changed and it doesn’t always follow the model many of us envision: Traditional full-time work immediately becomes full-time leisure.

In order to make up for their retirement income gap, some retirees are choosing to do a few things:

  • Phase their retirement, or gradually leave the workforce
  • Choose second careers
  • Do part-time work to make money on the side

That’s not the only reason retirees are returning to the work force, either. With longer life expectancies, some retirees are even finding that they may spend nearly as much time in retirement as they did in their career. For some of them, retirement is best while striking a balance between work and leisure.

These are just a few of the myths that can misguide you about what to expect in retirement. Working with a financial services professional can help ensure you have the information you need to make informed decisions on your path to retirement.

If you have questions about Retirement Planning or would like a complimentary consultation, please call us today at 775-675-2223.

SWITCHING JOBS DOESN’T MEAN LOSING YOUR 401(K)

One of the realities of working in today’s world is that most people will switch jobs. Not once, not twice, but multiple times.

Employees in past generations often found a job and stuck with it for decades, or even until they retired. That is not the case today. When it comes to job hopping, millennials often get a bad rap, but the numbers show that job-switching isn’t exclusive to younger generations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in their first 30 -plus years of adulthood, young baby boomers averaged 11.9 different jobs.

It’s truly a remarkable statistic. Between the ages of 18 and 50, that population had nearly 12 jobs. And while it’s difficult to imagine, you might be surprised if you do the math in your head. Think about where you’ve worked over the years. Some jobs may have been temporary; some may have been seasonal; and some, of course, were more permanent. Whatever the case may be, in the end, the average person does a lot of job switching over the years.

Every job is different, so it makes sense that the process when you leave every job is different, too.When we look back at Bureau of Labor Statistics’ study group of people who were born between 1957 and 1964, it’s unlikely that they had retirement savings plans at every one of their 11.9 (on average) jobs. But it’s less of a stretch to think that they might have a handful of retirement plans, like a 401(k).

What do you do when you leave a job with a retirement plan? Do you have options for your 401(k)? The good news is: you do.

For this article, we borrowed some inspiration from an April 2018 CNBC.com article entitled, “Here’s what to do with your 401(k) when you change jobs.” Handy, right? The article breaks down some of your options when changing jobs. It’s always good to consult with a financial services professional in a situation like this, too, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re alone.

Keep in mind that when you leave a job, your 401(k) is your money! Employers often have different vesting schedules for their contributions, but if you’ve contributed to a 401(k), you should keep in mind that it comes with you. Just like you wouldn’t leave your wallet at your old job, you may not want to leave your 401(k) there.

Your money should be working for you in the most productive way possible. With that in mind, let’s review your options.

  1. You can leave the money in your old 401(k) plan Most companies will allow you to leave your money where it is. There can be pros or cons to choosing this option. You might want to leave your 401(k) plan where it is if the plan has especially good investment options, low costs or contains company stock. Or, you may want to move it if you won’t have easy access to information once you’re outside the company, or having multiple 401(k) plans becomes difficult to manage.
  2. You can roll over your 401(k) to your new employer’s plan If your new company accepts rollovers, this could be a good option if the investment choices and fees match your goals and risk tolerance. If you aren’t happy with the investment options offered by the new plan, or the fees are too high, you have a third option.
  3. You can roll over your 401(k) to an individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA If an IRA or Roth IRA has lower fees and more investment choices, you may want to consider rolling over your 401(k). With a traditional IRA, you contribute any pre- or post-tax dollars and let that money grow tax-deferred over time. You’ll pay taxes on any pre-tax contributions (and investment gains) only when you withdraw the money, which you can do starting at age 59 ½. If you withdraw before then, you’ll likely have to pay a penalty.While you have options when it comes to your 401(k), you should be sure to consider what’s off limits, too. For most people, that means not withdrawing the balance of your 401(k). Cashing out before age 59 ½ may lead to a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. Plus, you’d be reducing your own retirement stash.

    A financial professional will be able to walk you through more of the ramifications of an account withdrawal and other alternatives that could be less damaging to your retirement.

PLAN YOUR RETIREMENT LIVING

When planning for retirement, many people think about how much time they’ll spend with their grandkids, which destinations they will cross off their bucket list and how many rounds of golf they will play each week.

Let’s be clear — those are amazing and important reasons to be excited about retirement. But they’re not the only things you need to be thinking about. Retirement changes the rules when it comes to finances, and it’s important to make sure you plan accordingly.

When you were working, you were earning a regular paycheck, paying bills every month and saving for the future. As a retiree, you may no longer have that steady paycheck, but the bills still keep coming. That means to pay them, it’s likely you’ll have to tap into your savings. Knowing how much income you’ll receive during your retirement could greatly affect your retirement living. That’s why it’s so important to make a retirement plan when you are healthy and independent, and can make well-informed decisions.

It helps to start by asking a couple of questions:

How much money do you need? The exact amount you need is specific to you and is based on how you want to live in retirement. Once you figure out the amount you need, the next step is to find beneficial investment strategies and tools to help you achieve your income goals.

When do you need your money? Determining when you will retire can help you determine when you will need your money. The key is to match your income needs with the correct investment strategies to satisfy those needs. Strategies will be different for everyone, and a way to find the one that’s right for you is by working with a retirement professional you can trust.

As you develop a retirement strategy, it is important to organize your money in ways that provide both immediate and future retirement income. To do this successfully, it requires a balance of what we call “Know So Money” and “Hope So Money.” What do we mean by that?

“Know So Money” consists of lower-risk assets, allowing you to reasonably depend on them to be there when you need them. For example, two of your biggest “Know So Money” retirement streams may be your pension and Social Security benefit.

Other examples of “Know So Money” include savings and checking accounts, and government-backed bonds. With these bonds, it is important to note that if you decide to cash in your bond before it matures, you could make or lose money depending on prevailing interest rates.

On the other hand, “Hope So Money” is more exposed to risk, but also offers greater return potential. Some common examples include mutual funds,variable annuities and real estate investment trust.

A retirement professional can also help you craft a financial strategy that helps ensure your “Know So Money” and “Hope So Money” are well-balanced. Balancing these two types of money is important to making sure that your retirement income can potentially last as long as you do.

It is important to organize your finances, because simply saving is rarely enough. Even the most frugal and diligent of savers may struggle to create a nest-egg large enough to support their retirement. By crafting a retirement strategy that balances your need for asset preservation and retirement income, but still has some growth potential, you may be able to effectively bridge any income shortfalls you have in retirement.

Creating the retirement income you need may have less to do with how much money you have, and more to do with when you have it. Essentially, to bridge your income shortfalls you will need strategic and purposeful retirement planning.

To take the next step in your retirement plan, contact Nevada Senior Advisors at 775-674-2223 today.

ADDRESSING SOME OF YOUR RETIREMENT CONCERNS

addressing some of your retirement concerns

An important part of the role that we serve is helping to alleviate some of the concerns that our clients have surrounding retirement. Everyday, we work with people who are planning for an important phase of their life. It’s natural that people have concerns, and often they are the same from person to person.

It might help you to know that just as you are not alone in your retirement preparation, you’re likely not alone in the concerns you’re having.There are three concerns in particular that nearly all retirees and pre-retirees share: running out of income in retirement, finding affordable and reliable healthcare plans, and navigating a volatile market. Fortunately, there are ways to help you fee like you’re doing something to make sure those concerns don’t become a reality.

Concern #1: “I’m nervous that I’m going to run out of money in retirement.”

Among the three, the number one concern that many people have is outliving their money. They want to be sure that they will have income for life.

Many people find some relief in having a retirement strategy that helps provide income for life. Part of the retirement strategy is setting a target amount for how much you’ll need, a target date for when you’ll need it, and adjusting your lifestyle to help you get there. Even though everyone’s income needs are different, the general rule of thumb is that a retiree will require 70 to 80 percent of their pre-retirement income to maintain their current lifestyle.

Once you figure out your target amount, the next step is to explore beneficial financial strategies, options, and tools to help you achieve your income goals. There are a handful of ways to get there, and Social Security is one of the most well-known. It plays an important role in many Americans’ retirement strategies, and it is beneficial for them to know how to properly manage it in order to maximize their benefit.

There are also a number of other tools that your financial services professional can review with you.

Concern #2: “I’m worried that I won’t be able to afford the medical care I’ll need in the future.”

Your retirement strategy should address your healthcare needs and concerns. Having a comprehensive and affordable health insurance strategy is more than just a critical component in your retirement strategy; it’s a critical component to ensure your quality of life. There are various

ways to accomplish this but for many retirees Medicare is the most important. Medicare guarantees health insurance for people older than 65, with certain disabilities or with certain diseases. It is similar to Social Security in that it’s a federal social insurance program that you have contributed into over the course of your career. It is important to understand your Medicare coverage so that you can get the most out of it, and create a strategy to insulate your retirement savings so that it doesn’t run them dry.

The majority of Medicare recipients also purchase a supplement to ensure their coverage level matches their healthcare needs.

Concern #3: “I’m uncomfortable with the potential ups and downs of the market.”

When dealing with a volatile market, the most difficult challenge can sometimes be managing your emotions. Investing for retirement can be a difficult process. You want to make sure you have all the necessary information you need to make an educated decision. One that will benefit you and your loved ones in the long run.

Understanding why you have certain holdings and assets provides you with the knowledge of how to properly handle your retirement strategy. For example, if the market becomes unstable, you can have the confidence to make well-informed decisions, rather than making a panicked decision to compensate for the unexpected change.

No two retirees are alike. It is important to understand your needs and goals for retirement and have a retirement strategy tailored to your objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon. Working with your financial services professional can help you get there.

If you have questions about Retirement Planning or would like a complementary consultation, please call us today at 775-675-2223.

Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance refers to various types of specialized coverage you can buy to insure yourself against the many risks you face as a traveler. You can purchase this insurance from insurance companies, travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines, rental companies,or travel assistance companies. Coverage, cost, and terms vary widely.

There are many different types of travel insurance:

Trip cancellation or interruption insurance protects you if your trip is canceled or interrupted because of some unforeseen event, such as the financial failure of the cruise line, airline, or travel agency; bad weather; illness; or death.

Temporary health policies provide short-term supplemental health insurance coverage. This type of coverage may be helpful when you’re traveling abroad, since some health insurance providers do not cover you while traveling overseas, or they may provide only limited coverage.

Baggage insurance reimburses you if your personal belongings are permanently or temporarily lost, stolen, or damaged while you are traveling.

Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance compensates you if you lose a limb or an eye, or compensates your beneficiary if you die in an accident. You can purchase this coverage as a separate policy, as a ride to an existing policy, or as part of a travel insurance policy.

You  may want to consider purchasing some form of travel insurance if the financial benefit and peace of mind outweight the premium cost. For instance, if your trip were canceled or the tour operator went out of business, could you afford to lose the money you paid for the trip? If you got sick while vacationing in a foreign country, would your health insurance cover you? If not, could you afford to pay for your medical expenses? If your luggage were lost, could you afford to purchase everything you would need to continue your trip? These are important questions to consider when deciding whether or not to purchase travel insurance.

Source: Broadridge Investor Communication Solultions, Inc. Copyright, 2018

If you have questions about Retirement Planning or would like a complementary consultation, please call us today at 775-675-2223.

HOW MEDICARE FITS INTO YOUR RETIREMENT

The hallmark of a successful retirement is developing a financial plan that can help ensure your money will last as long as you do. During this new and unique period in your life, how you allocate your money can often matter more than how much of it you have, or how diligent you’ve been in saving it. Having a comprehensive and affordable health insurance strategy is more than just a critical component in your retirement plan; it’s a critical component in your quality of life and well being in your later years.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but for many retirees, Medicare is the most important to learn how to utilize. Medicare guarantees health insurance for people older than 65 who have  certain disabilities or diseases. It is similar to Social Security in that it’s a federal social insurance program that you have contributed to over the course of your

Medicare Advantage Plans include: health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, private fee-for-service plans,  special needs plans, and Medicare medical savings account plans.

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan:

– Most Medicare services are covered through the plan

– Medicare services aren’t paid for by Original Medicare

– Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.

Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage adds coverage to:

original Medicare, some Medicare cost plans, some Medicare private-fee-for-service plans, and Medicare medical savings account plans. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.

Healthcare costs are often the biggest expense in retirement and should be viewed as a major factor when estimating your retirement costs. Having a plan in place to help insulate your savings from healthcare costs may mean the difference between being able to leave a lasting financial legacy for generations to come, and having your life savings drained down completely.

https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/your-medicare-coverage-choices/whats-medicare

If you have questions about Retirement Planning or would like a complementary consultation, please call us today at 775-675-2223.

WILL YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN BE GOOD ENOUGH?

How much thought have you given to your retirement plan? For many of us, probably not quite enough. Retiring in today’s financial environment requires more planning than it did for generations past. We live in a more complex world, not only financially, but technologically as well. Extended life spans, increased costs of living, and reduced employer benefits, are just a few factors making it more difficult for Americans to secure their futures. A man reaching 65 today can expect to live, on average, until 84.3. A woman turning 65 today can expect to live, on average, until 86.6. Additionally, about one out of every four 65-year-olds will live past 90, and one out of ten 65-year-olds will live past 95.

 The good news here is that people are living longer due to healthier life styles, improved diets, and advances in medical technology. The bad news? Longer life expectancies require a reliable income stream to draw from for potentially 30 years or more. Whatever your retirement dream, the last thing you want to worry about is outliving your money. The fact that people are living longer should call for a fundamental shift in the way they plan for their retirement.

Arguably one of the most difficult things to do in both retirement and life, is to project future expenses – especially into your final years of life. Many Americans have a blind spot when it comes to planning for long-term care costs. Long-term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)2. Forbes reports that the average American underestimates the cost of in-home long-term care by almost 50 percent. Meanwhile, a semi-private room in a nursing home can be as expensive as $82,125 – that means an average American is underestimating long-term care costs by around $40,000! Even if you’ve got a healthy nest egg stashed away for yourself, when illness strikes, many need someone they trust to enact the plan they’ve laid out for themselves.

In addition to planning for long-term care costs in retirement, prospective retirees need to be sure they’re taking measures to maximize their Social Security benefit. Most people’s Social Security benefit acts as the foundation of their retirement plan and is usually capable of supporting the rest of their financial plan. The best way to do this is by understanding how it works and what different options may be available to you. In the past, collecting Social Security was mostly a matter of triggering your benefit. Today, however, this is really only one piece of the puzzle: in order to get the most out of your Social Security benefit you need to file in the right way and at the right time.

Before you choose to begin receiving payments or selecting the type of benefit you should file for, you should first know how your Social Security benefit will be calculated. The primary insurance amount (PIA), is decided by your earnings history and how many years you worked. It only becomes available to you at your full retirement age (FRA), which is set according to your birth year. It is not necessary to wait until you reach your full retirement age before you begin taking benefits.

You can elect to file for Social Security as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Delaying when you file for Social Security may have a profound impact not only on your benefit amount but also on the future of your retirement. Many people don’t realize their monthly benefit could have been much higher if they had delayed filing for Social Security, even by a few years. It is extremely important to consult with a financial professional to decide when the right time is for you to claim your Social Security benefit.

Another large piece of the retirement puzzle is your risk tolerance. Your ability to bear risk could potentially impact the income plan you design for your retirement. Consequently, determining your risk tolerance is a critical component of the planning process. Determining the amount of risk that is right for you depends on your specific situation, which means every person’s risk tolerance is unique. Every investor can fall in one of a number of categories, from extremely conservative to extremely risky, although their position will most likely fluctuate throughout their life as their financial needs and goals evolve.

It is important to note that there are many factors to take into consideration when determining if your retirement plan is good enough to meet your needs and goals in retirement. Planning for retirement is not something that you do a few years before you stop working. Rather, it’s a process that may encompass the better part of your life. Throughout our working years, most of us experience major life events such as engagement, marriage, birth of children, purchasing a home, changing jobs and finally retirement. As you trek through this journey, your finances will undoubtedly continue to evolve, but it’s important to keep your retirement vision at the forefront of your mind and never let it out of your sight.

  • https://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html
  • https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/what-is-long-term-care.html

Will Debt Consolidation Hurt or Help My Credit Rating?

Debt consolidation can lead to an improvement in your credit rating by making your debt easier to manage. Sometimes, debt consolidation means taking a loan at a lower interest rate to pay off several smaller loans at higher interest rates. Making one payment instead of many may help you keep your debt under better control, make it easier for you to make timely payments, and thus improve your credit rating.

 

Although managing your debt will improve your credit record in the long run, consolidation can have a more immediate impact. For example, if you have 10 accounts in default on your credit report, your lenders will consider you a bad credit risk. But if you can pay off those accounts with a consolidation loan, you have eliminated the problem. Your new credit report will now show that you cured the defaults and retired the debts. And you have only one open account–your consolidation loan. As long as you stay current on the consolidation loan payments, your credit rating will be viewed more favorably than before.

 

Remember, your goal is to manage your debt by making your payments more affordable. You can do this by lowering your interest rate or increasing the number of months you have to pay off the debt. There is no point in consolidating if you don’t achieve one or both of these goals–you’ll want to be sure you can afford the consolidation loan and make the payments. Otherwise, you’ll end up back where you started.

 

Although debt consolidation has its advantages, you must recognize that by extending the time to pay off your debt, you will ultimately be paying more in interest charges. Also, once you get a consolidation loan, you should consider closing some of your credit card accounts so that you can’t simply run up your bills again.

Source: Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright, 2018

A RETIREMENT YOU CAN BE PROUD OF

Changes in society and the economy may affect your personal life and the ways you interact in your everyday happenings – and retirement is no different. Each generation faces its own unique set of financial circumstances and challenges to overcome, which are ever-evolving. For instance, baby boomers grew up in the tumultuous Cold War times, members of Gen X shouldered the brunt of the recession and millennials have more student debt than any generation in history. Things like technology, health care and older Americans working longer than ever continue to reshape our current retirement landscape.

 In many areas, technology may help make retirement easier – from shopping online to easily having access to your accounts, but like anything, it has its downsides. Technology has added to complexity in retirement planning, with more specialized products and more and more levels of savvy needed to properly manage your own retirement funds.

Additionally, health care has also dramatically changed – particularly the costs associated with it. The ever-increasing costs of insurance premiums and prescription drugs are likely one of the more stress-inducing trends facing retirees in the very near term. More retirees are also working longer into their golden years. For many people, work will remain a part of their lifestyle throughout retirement. All of these changes are constantly altering the way we view retirement in today’s day and age.

It’s difficult to talk about retirement planning without also talking about Social Security. The importance of maximizing your Social Security benefit really cannot be overstated. Remember that every dollar you get from your Social Security benefit is one less dollar that has to be pulled from your personal accounts. So, your decision as to when you will receive your Social Security benefit can either positively or negatively affect your benefit. It is important to understand your benefit to help determine when the best time for you to begin collecting would be.

It’s important to remember that each retiree is different and facing unique challenges, just as each generation is different. Maintaining stream of income, while also having a plan for the possibility of needing long-term care as you get into your latter years or life. Many retirees may also pride themselves on leaving a little something behind for their heirs as a legacy.

As you approach your retirement, it’s important to view it as a major life event that will affect both your financial life and your personal life. Carefully planning the lifestyle you want to live, like how much you’ll travel, how long you’ll work and adding any new hobbies will help you keep the financial aspects of your retirement in clear focus. Last but not least, it’s best to not hesitate in crafting your plan, as you want to do so when you are healthy, independent and are able to execute well-informed decision making.

If you have questions about Retirement Planning or would like a complementary consultation, please call us today at 775-675-2223.