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Five Ways to Improve Your Retirement

Five Ways to Improve Your Retirement

May 22, 2023

For those of you seriously considering retirement, here’s some advice.

FIRST – Think About Your Goals.

  • Do you want out of your current job?
  • Do you want to stop making money?
  • Do you want more time for non-work activities?
  • Do you want to have resources to support a specific lifestyle?

SECOND – Think About The Process. Retirement Is a Process And Not An Event.

  • First is a shift out of a high-pressure, high-compensation job. Maybe into another job, that’s more fun but still pays some money.
  • Second is an increase in work and activities that give you joy and fulfillment.
  • Third is scaling back across the board as your physical abilities change.

Every family is different. Especially today, no two retirement journeys are the same. Think about what’s right for you. And, if you want to talk with somebody who has helped a couple dozen families retire and who is experienced, well trained, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, I would be honored. As a fiduciary financial planner, I’m always an advocate for my clients. I love talking with new people. Just follow this LINK to find a time that works for you.

Meanwhile, here are Five Ways You Can Improve Your Retirement, no matter what specific goals you have.

1.) Know Your Cash Flow

As you think about retirement, you need to understand what money your NEED each month AND what money you will want to spend as you transition through retirement. The clearer your picture of your income and expenses, the easier it will be to plan for success. If you would like a little structure just follow this LINK to a helpful guide that will make things a little easier.

2.) Don’t Sleep on Inflation

We have all been hearing about inflation non-stop for the last few months. The cost of living has grown faster in recent months than it has since I was in college more than 40 years ago. But, even with inflation currently running high, it’s easy to be surprised by what a difference inflation can make in your retirement lifestyle plans.

Just looking back over the last 30 years, when inflation was relatively low, we see that a $4,000 monthly budget in 1992 now requires $8,345 to cover the same needs. If you would like to run your own calculations, follow this LINK to a calculator that uses historical inflation rates.

3.) Be Realistic About Medical Expenses

One of the most important factors in retirement is your health. If you are generally healthy:

  • You will likely be retired for longer, so your lifetime retirement need is greater.
  • You will likely do more during retirement, more work, more consulting, more adventure and so your retirement income could be more, or your expenses could be higher, depending on the choices you make.
  • You will spend less on health care costs, maybe.

Remember, that when you reach age 65, most people qualify for Medicare. Note that Medicare does not cover all services. Most people will need to spend several hundred dollars each month on health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs to supplement Medicare. Helpful information can be found at these links:

https://www.dunncreekadvisors.com/blog/do-i-need-to-review-my-medicare-plan

https://www.dunncreekadvisors.com/resource-center/retirement/healthcare-costs-in-retirement

https://www.dunncreekadvisors.com/resource-center/retirement/why-medicare-should-be-part-of-your-retirement-strategy

Medicare details

4.) Don’t Overlook Social Security Benefits

For most families, Social Security Income benefits are an important part of a retirement income plan. The benefit is truly valuable because it is:

  • Guaranteed by the U.S. government which is quite unusual.
  • A lifetime benefit that you CANNOT outlive.
  • Includes an annual review and adjustment for Cost-of-Living increases.

So, it’s important to think carefully about how to maximize this resource for your family. You may find this ARTICLE helpful. I routinely analyze social security benefits and work with my clients to create a Social Security maximization plan. If you are interested in talking with somebody who is experienced, well-trained, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, I would be honored. As a fiduciary financial planner, I’m always an advocate for my clients. I love talking with new people. Just follow this LINK to find a time that works for you.

5.) Don’t Stop Earning Too Soon

Most Americans will live longer than they think. If you are male and are currently age 60, you can expect to live another 20 years on average. Your mileage may vary. If you are planning for a couple, the odds that one of you will make it to 95 are about 50-50.

Longevity tells us two things:

  • Earn some money for as long as you are able. Every dollar that you earn is another dollar you don’t have to remove from your savings.
  • Think about retirement income planning all the way through your likely life expectancy. You don’t want to run out of money because you live too long.

Plan for longevity

Of course, the details of your situation are unique. So, if you want to talk in specifics about how to maximize your retirement gameplan, I would be honored to visit with you. As a fiduciary financial planner, I’m always an advocate for my clients. I love talking with new people. Reach out and we can have a get-acquainted visit. Just follow this LINK to find a time that works for you.

Yes, I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.

If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at rdunn@dunncreekadvisors.com. I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.