Retirement income is not a one size fits all calculation as wants and needs vary significantly from one person to the next. Several factors such as life expectancy inflation, and balances do play a huge part but considering your retirement expectations for the "golden years" will help in the planning process to make the most of your retirement.
Remember your first payday? How excited were you to get that hard-earned cash in your hands? You opened the envelope and found all sorts of deductions from your pay, federal taxes, social security, and healthcare expenses. You officially started paying bills and contributing to your retirement years with that first paycheck. You continued to work hard and grew in your career, you were given opportunities for employee stock purchase plans, profit sharing, and retirement plans, including pensions and 401Ks. You on your way and building your nest egg.
As you get closer to the retirement years, you need to start making plans. Whether it be traveling, a summer home purchase, or just relaxing with family, your plans are important to your retirement income needs. Some people retire right at 62 when they can collect social security benefits. Did you know if you continue to work till 66 you will receive the full benefit payout? And if you work till 70, you will receive a 32% bonus!
Sadly, but understandably, many new retirees worry they haven’t saved enough. Sometimes life happens and plans become changed. You may hesitate and not do the things you looked forward to during your working years due to fear of over spending or running out of money. When this happens, retirees often realize they had enough funds for their plans when it’s too late. Their health deteriorated, and that can make it hard for us to enjoy the things we were looking most forward to in our retirement years.
How can we prevent emotions from controlling our spending? By planning. Part of your retirement plan should include setting an amount for your retirement paycheck. Much like the paycheck received from work, a retirement paycheck is an amount you set to cover all monthly expenses and include the costs of your retirement activities, like traveling or moving.
It’s generally safe to assume you will need 80% of your current salary. This should serve as a good starting point. Then, you can look at your plans. Is there a big wedding or healthcare costs that may incur a large payment? Where will you be living? Many retirees may move into a retirement community while others may just downsize their home or stay put where they are.
As you look at your plans, be flexible but realistic. Your income needs may vary from year to year. You may buy a new car ever 5 years or so and vacations may be every other year. Some people will continue to work after retiring. Adjust accordingly. There is no need to take more money than out of your retirement vehicles than required. Allow those long-term savings to grow until it’s necessary to retrieve them. You will find confidence in knowing you have a steady income stream with consistent retirement paychecks to meet your spending needs.
If you’re looking for planning help, we are here to guide you to and through your retirement years.