- Your Financial Future
- Retirement Planning
Planning ahead for retirement means setting long- and short-term financial goals while determining how to meet them within the framework of a changing picture. As your golden years approach, start positioning yourself to enjoy your retirement years.
Regardless of your age, you should maximize contributions to your retirement plan, Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other retirement savings vehicle.
If you're looking for an efficient and low-cost way to set up and manage your investment portfolio, Sentinel Group has you covered.
Take a Hard Look at Your Lifestyle
Some people assume they will be able to afford the same lifestyle they had during their working years. Since it’s not unusual now to spend 25 to 30 years in retirement, plan to ensure your retirement assets will be sufficient to last decades beyond the normal retirement age.
Regardless of when you plan to retire, be sure your financial goals and expectations are realistic. Reviewing your retirement savings and your objectives with a qualified financial professional can help determine if you’re on track for your financial future.
The sudden change from employee to retiree can be a difficult one. Some employers have begun offering "phased retirement" plans, allowing you to continue working part time. Some phased retirement plans offer access to all or part of your pension benefit while you work.
If you continue to work, make sure you understand the consequences. Some plans base your retirement benefit on your final average pay. If you work part time, your pension benefit may be reduced because your pay went down.
Understand Your Distribution Options
Our Financial Planners can help make your tough decisions easier.
Most pension plans pay benefits in the form of an annuity. If you're married, you generally choose between a higher retirement benefit paid over your lifetime or a smaller benefit that continues to your spouse after your death.
401(k)s typically don't pay benefits as annuities, so you may have limited distribution options. If you're trying to stretch your retirement savings, you'll want to withdraw money from your retirement accounts as slowly as possible to conserve the principal balance.
You may want to roll your employer retirement account into a traditional IRA, which typically has very flexible withdrawal options. Keep in mind that you must generally begin taking minimum distributions from employer retirement plans and traditional IRAs when you reach age 70½, whether you need them or not.
If you own a Roth IRA, you aren't required to take any distributions during your lifetime. Your funds can continue to have tax-deferred growth potential, and qualified distributions will be tax free.
Five Questions as You Consider Retiring
You might be thinking about retiring, but how do you know when you are mentally and financially ready? Answer these five questions to find out how, when and if you should retire:
When you retire, those you hang out with while working may disappear from your life. This isn’t a good or bad thing, it just is. Will you make the effort to try new activities where you can meet others and plan activities to maintain your existing relationships?
Do you know how much you need for living expenses when you retire? Where does your monthly retirement income come from? Is it enough? If you’re concerned about whether you can afford to retire, you might also want to think about working during retirement, potentially in a part-time job that matches your interest.
You might not be able to work when you are older and less healthy, which means you need savings to help you get through those years. Do you have an emergency plan and money to pay for health care expenses?
Before taking the leap, make sure you don’t have seller’s remorse – when you get rid of something, you want it again. Spend some time thinking about whether retirement is right for you.
Many people retire only to find that they’re bored. You might want to think about what you always wanted to do but either couldn’t afford or didn’t have the time.
Meet Your Planners
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Speak with a Financial Planner today! We can help you prepare for retirement:
- Create a financial plan
- Life insurance and Long-Term care planning
- Health care planning strategies
- And other major financial considerations