If you’re like most new retirees, you probably have a wish list of things you look forward to doing in your free time. Travel. Visit with your grandkids. Do more volunteering. It’s a great time in your life, but it’s also a big transition financially, as you move from relying on employment income to living on your retirement savings. With this in mind, we’ve put together another important list for you: four essential retirement tips that can help you ease into your next chapter.
- Set specific goals
As a retiree, you’re no stranger to setting financial goals. And the need doesn’t stop once you’re off the clock either. Why? Because even though many new retirees think they’ll be spending less in retirement, their spending habits will likely remain the same or possibly increase, says Beverly L. Hobbs, AAMS®, an LPL Financial Advisor with Cobalt CU Wealth Management.
“Retirees are spending more time with their hobbies, traveling more and going out to lunch more often with their other retired friends,” she says. Setting specific and attainable goals can help you stay focused. For example, if you’d like to take three vacations a year that will cost around $5,000 each over the next 10 years, you know you’ll need to set aside a minimum $150,000 for travel.
- Plan for future needs
There are other crucial life events that require planning as well, including income for a surviving spouse. You’ll also need to consider income to pay for in-home care, assisted living or nursing home care. “These items should ideally be addressed before retirement to ensure you have the funds available when needed,” Hobbs says. Whether you’ve already considered this or not, revisiting it when you near retirement is a good idea. It’s the perfect time to make sure you’re on track to work toward your future needs.
- Meet with a financial advisor
Sitting down with a financial advisor to have them review your income and expenses is a great way to see your retirement from a different perspective. “We help new retirees on an individual basis with their needs, ensuring they have a plan in place,” Hobbs says.
She and other Cobalt CU Wealth Management financial advisors cover all the bases, from Social Security and the right time to start collecting it to pensions, IRAs, savings, and liquidity strategies that ensure your funds last through retirement. Debt, including mortgages and loans, is also part of the discussion. “Each member has their own unique wants and needs,” Hobbs says. “Our goal is to assist them and create a plan that gives them the opportunity to achieve them.”
- Create a budget
For her clients, Hobbs recommends creating a monthly budget before retirement, and trying to live off what their retirement income will be in advance, so they’ll have a better idea of what to expect. “The hardest part of a budget is being honest with your spending habits, so be sure to include everything and be very specific,” she says. As part of this process, it’s also important to examine your debt and create a debt reduction plan to free up funds during retirement.
Remember, it’s never too soon (or too late) to start putting these retirement tips to good use, knowing that your plans may need to be adjusted over time. “Life happens and things may change, so your retirement plan should be flexible as well,” Hobbs says.
Whether you’re about to begin or you’re already in retirement, a Cobalt CU Wealth Management financial advisor can assist you. Schedule a planning session today.