Social Security is an important part of your retirement puzzle, but do you know how to get the most out of it? Since it’s such a complicated and ever-changing program, this month’s podcast features sought-after Social Security Speaker Tim Kiesling who will provide you with some helpful tips to maximize your Social Security benefit!
If retirement is going to be a reality to you in the near future, it’s important to make sure you spend the year leading up to retirement effectively. After working so hard to plan and save for the retirement you want, make sure you use your final year to ensure you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here’s a primer on what you need to do:
Determine if you retire when you think you can.
Everyone has an age in mind, but it’s important to make sure your dream matches up to reality. Analyze your spending habits and compare them to what you expect to receive annually from your various income sources — be sure to include Social Security, pensions, and annuities. What does that analysis tell you? How do you need to adjust based on the results?
Figure out how to handle your 401(k) or other retirement accounts.
Upon retirement, you generally have three options with an employer-sponsored plan. You can transfer the money into an IRA, leave your savings where they are, or cash out the account. Each option comes with associated pros, cons, and, in some cases, penalties. Make sure you understand the implications of each option.
Decide what to do with employer stock
Much like your retirement accounts, you will have options when it comes to employer stock. Again, each option has parameters, so it’s essential to fully understand each one.
Plan how to avoid penalties on early withdrawals.
Early withdrawals (typically considered before age 59 1/2) often carry a 10% tax penalty. But did you know there may be exceptions to this penalty? For example, if you leave a job after age 55 (or 50 for certain types of public employees), you can withdraw from that employer’s plan without penalty. This is just one example of the scenarios that may help you avoid early withdrawal penalties.
Decide on how your pension benefits will be paid.
Pensions can usually be paid out in one lump sum or as annuity payments (i.e., a regular sum of money on a regular basis that lasts your lifetime as well as the lifetime of your spouse). Understanding the tax implications of both options and exploring how the pension money might be used can help guide your decision.
Decide on when to start Social Security
Typically, you can begin receiving Social Security any time between the ages of 62 and 70. But it’s important to understand how your age affects your monthly income. You can walk through various scenarios on the Social Security website.
Line up health insurance
Your age will likely affect the health insurance options available to you — so it’s best to sit down and determine your health insurance scenario well in advance of retirement.
These are just a few of the key steps you should take in the 1-2 years leading up to your retirement. Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, which is why the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team is here to help. Contact us today so we can be sure you’re on the path to a happy and fulfilling retirement.
When you think of your most valuable assets you probably consider big ticket items such as your home or vehicles, but have you considered that Life Insurance could be on the list? Life Insurance is so much more than a death benefit, and 40-year Insurance Industry Veteran John Wheeler is here to show you just how valuable it is in our latest monthly podcast!
August marks the start of college for many young people across the country —and as we talked about in this month’s blog post, having a child start college is a milestone that may affect your own retirement planning.
Paying for college involves more than just tuition, which is why our resource this month is geared towards helping families and college students understand the many factors that go into paying for an education. From transportation to credit cards, this resource will help you understand what college means for you and your family’s financial future.
Planning for retirement isn’t a one-time event. Like going to the gym, eating right, or anything else we do to take care of ourselves, retirement planning is a process. At every step of the way, it’s vital to evaluate your goals, track your progress, and make the adjustments you need to secure your financial future. Making a plan once and then assuming everything will work out once it’s time to retire may bring you some unpleasant surprises. In fact, recent research from Legg Mason indicates that “baby boomers between the ages of 53 and 71…are falling short on their retirement savings goals due to an overly conservative investment approach.” Regular reviews of your retirement plan
At the same time, you don’t want to adjust your retirement planning tactics just for the sake of change. It’s important to find a balance between being nimble enough to adapt to change and stable enough to allow time for your strategies to show results.
Want some guidances on when to adjust your retirement plan? Here’s are some tips on good times to make adjustments:
• Write down your retirement plan and set a reminder to review it on a regular basis. As per a 2015 study of Harvard MBA students, writing down goals increases your chance of achieving them. Write down your retirement plan and revisit it at least annually. Set a reminder for yourself on your phone, write it down in your planner — whatever you have to do to make it a regular habit.
• Use major life events as a signal to shift strategies. While an annual review is likely sufficient, there are events that serve as natural times to evaluate where you are and where you’re going. Have you moved recently? Gotten a new job or lost your current job? Had a baby? Gotten married or divorced? Inherited money or assets from a relative? All of these milestones have definitive financial implications, which means they may affect your retirement planning progress. For life events that you have planned, make sure to incorporate a final step to evaluate your retirement picture. For unexpected events, be sure to take time to review your plan after you’ve gotten through the immediate items you need to address.
• Remember that retirement tactics involve more than your employer sponsored plan. A 401(k) is just one piece of the retirement picture. Reviewing your retirement plan also includes reviewing your insurance coverage and regularly updating your will to ensure that everything in your portfolio is supporting your financial goals.
Need a partner in making sure you stay on top of your retirement plan? The Robin S. Weingast & Associate Team is here to make sure you don’t lose track of your goals and that you’re on track for the retirement you want. Contact us today to find out how we can help!
How much time and effort did you spend on planning your last big vacation – days, weeks, months? What about your 30+ year vacation (retirement), how much time have you spent planning that? Tune in to our Podcast of the Month as Financial Professional Eszylfie Taylor shares some great tips on how to pinpoint your retirement goals, and what and who you might need to get there.
The one thing that can have a big impact on our future is our health. While most of us may be prepared to take care of our families in the event of our death, many are not prepared for a future if they become injured or unexpectedly disabled. A disability can affect your ability to work, which will then affect your income. What plans do you have in place?
This month, we’re focusing on preparing for the unexpected, and our resource of the month gives a detailed overview of insurance options if you become disabled.
Want help exploring your options? Contact the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team. We’re here to help make sure you’re ready for the unexpected.
This month’s podcast got us thinking about how we can best advise our clients to prepare for what they don’t know might be coming down the road. While we don’t have a crystal ball, the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team has the next best thing: knowledge and know-how. This month we’ve been catching up with the latest news on some typical events that may throw even the most careful planners for a loop.
This piece from Kiplingers outlines some of the more common issues that may pop up unexpectedly, including the often unconsidered aspects of longer life spans, tax concerns, gaps in healthcare coverage, social security uncertainty, and the best ways to draw from our retirement income sources.
The Motley Fool brings up topics most of us likely aren’t thinking about when we consider the future. While most of us imagine a retirement filled with travel, new hobbies, and relaxation, we are likely not considering how to make sure we know what kind of financial situation those pursuits require.
But beyond budgeting for the “fun” side of retirement, what catches many people off guard is their failure to plan for the logistical costs associated with retirement. Healthcare is a big one, and one that everyone must consider carefully. Another often undiscussed area is how where you will live affects the retirement savings you need. Will you move to be close to your children or family? If so, how does cost of living differ from where you are now, and where will you live? Do you plan to move to an assisted living facility? Costs are high, so it’s vital to have your options discussed well in advance. If you would rather stay in your home, what adjustments might you need to make so that your home is more suitable to your lifestyle when you are older?
While no one can predict every single thing that will happen to them in life, the best way to prepare for the unexpected is to simply prepare. Taking the time to think about every angle of your retirement will save you time and money in the future.
We know it can be daunting to consider the future by yourself. That’s why the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team is here to help. Our job is to make sure your financial plans are in place so that the unexpected events don’t throw you off track. Contact us today to find out how we can help.
You may be healthy today, but what about tomorrow? When Mark’s mother was 84 she seemed perfectly healthy, but that all changed in the blink of an eye. Tune in as Financial Professional Mark Wutt shares the obstacles he faced when handling his mother’s long-term care arrangements, what he wishes he had done differently, and how you can plan for the unexpected.