According to a 2021 survey by Gallup, the average age at which Americans planned to retire was 64. As a result, if you are in your 60s, chances are you are nearing retirement or are recently retired. As you prepare to close out one chapter of your life, and usher in the next, take stock of the things you’ve accomplished and ensure that you’re on strong footing for a comfortable retirement.
Revisit Your Financial Plan
First and foremost, it is time to revisit that financial plan you’ve been working so diligently on throughout these past decades. A big part of this is engaging a qualified financial advisor to review how your assets and cash flow align with your ongoing living expenses. If you are nearing retirement, please do this and ensure you have all of your ducks in a row before pulling the plug on your paycheck. If you’re not looking ahead, then you might realize you’re not able to support your current lifestyle at a point when it is no longer feasible to return to the workforce.
Not sure where to find an advisor? NAPFA is a professional association of fee-only financial advisors with high standards for admittance and requirements for continuing education. Use their “Find an Advisor” tool to engage an advisor you can trust.
Plan for Your Free Time
This is one often overlooked, yet extremely important item. The transition from full-time employment to full-time enjoyment is well-earned, but it can be jarring. Plan for this newfound free time. Will you volunteer? Spend more time with family, perhaps kids or grandkids? Is travel on the itinerary? Our careers provide us with consistency, purpose, fulfillment, and often a primary identity. Without deciding what will replace that in retirement, it is easy to become a bit unbalanced.
Understand Your Social Security Benefits
You can start receiving your social security benefits as early as age 62 and are entitled to receive full benefits when you reach your full retirement age (between age 66 and 67, depending on when you were born). Did you know that you receive an 8% increase in your benefit for each year you delay your Social Security benefit beyond your full retirement age until age 70? Are you aware that earning income will reduce your monthly benefits if you are younger than your full retirement age? Unless you anticipate having a shorter life expectancy or need the cash flow, it may be advantageous to wait until age 70 to start drawing on your benefits.
Maintain a Balanced Portfolio
The mental shift from asset accumulation to depletion is monumental. It feels final and, frankly, scary. Don’t let that derail your investment strategy, you still have a lot of life yet to live. Maintaining a well-diversified portfolio with an appropriate mix of stock and bond exposure is critical to long-term financial success. Remember, you may be in your 60s, but your life expectancy is likely somewhere north of your mid-80s. That’s a time horizon of roughly 20 years, which means that you may need a strategy with enough exposure to riskier stock assets to help your portfolio keep pace with inflation and support your ongoing cash needs.
The material provided herein is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice, including, but not limited to tax, legal, insurance, investment, or retirement advice. For your specific planning needs, please seek the advice of Integris Wealth Management, your tax accountant, attorney, insurance agent, or other professional as appropriate. Investing involves the risk of loss.