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A critical component of any successful retirement is maintaining the financial independence you enjoyed during your working years, and add to that your vision of a retirement lifestyle you so long have dreamed about — whether that includes traveling the world or staying put by the lake and enjoying the grandkids. No matter your goals, the ability to collect post-retirement income from your savings, pensions, Social Security, and other assets (such as rental property) is what helps you achieve that successful retirement, however you define it.
If you’re one of the many Americans that has an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan, then understanding the intricacies around the rules related to contributions, withdrawals, & investments is paramount to maximizing the value this benefit can provide to you and your family. Here are some common questions about workplace retirement accounts every soon-to-be-retiree should be seeking answers to:
Back in the good ol’ days, pensions were offered by many employers as retirement plans for their dedicated and hardworking employees. Not all pensions are created equal. And each plan has specific rules and payout guidelines. So, here’s what you should know about retirement pension plans and how they are often calculated.
Social Security is the most common source of retirement income that exists in America, yet many people seem to vastly underestimate its impact on their long-term financial health. Most have a hard time understanding the nuances of how to best file for Social Security in a way that maximizes lifetime income.
You may be familiar with the “rule of thumb” that says most people will need between 70% and 80% of their pre-retirement income each year after they retire. However, this estimate is overly simplistic and should only be considered a general guideline. Many of my clients’ real needs are much more complex. In fact, as Americans continue to live longer and lead more active lives, many are finding they need as much as 100% of their pre-retirement income to continue supporting their lifestyle, particularly in the earlier years of life after work.
Transitioning from a lifetime of work to a lifestyle without work is certainly a significant milestone. And it’s important to understand that your retirement years may be dramatically more complex and last even longer than the years you spent working. That fact alone—that you may spend more time retired than you spend working and saving for retirement—makes it critical to have a well-prepared plan in place before deciding when to retire.
I began my career as a financial advisor at an extraordinary time, riding the coattails of the “Goldilocks Economy” of the 1990s. This was a protracted period of low inflation, low unemployment, relatively small federal debt, government surpluses and financial deregulation.