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Financial planning for Retirees and Pre-retirees

Over the years, ProVise has literally helped thousands of clients to prepare for and enter into retirement. You are likely doing it for the first time. It may seem a bit overwhelming so having an experienced guiding hand from a CFP® professional with ProVise may be helpful. 

Building a sizable nest egg is a great goal to start planning your retirement, but there should be more that goes into it than having a lot of money set aside. Like all good things, a smooth retirement requires both preparation and commitment.

Compare your retirement planning to planting a garden.  In both cases, the first thing you need to do is envision what you want the end result to look like. Only then can you layout the garden, prepare the soil, plant the seeds, and tend to the plants as they grow, working through things like heat and frost that may set the garden back a season. The same goes for your retirement. 

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    Questions about your retirement?

    Only when you consider what defines a happy retirement for you, can you begin to ask the other questions that are necessary for you to create that retirement plan.  Things like:

     

    Where will I live?

    What will I do with my time?

    What can I spend each month?

    What changes should I make to my investment portfolio?

    Should I pay off my mortgage?

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    When and how will I take Social Security?

    What does Medicare cost?

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    Do I need a Medicare supplement policy?

    Should I rollover my 401(k) to an IRA?

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    Is my estate plan in order?

    Should I consider long-term insurance?

    What do I do with my life insurance?

    Generating income during retirement

    During the years prior to retirement, most people focus on growing their asset base. You save money inside retirement plans and outside them. The important aspect of the financial plan at this point in your life is your balance sheet – how much are you worth. 

    Once you have reached the point in life when you are ready to retire, your focus needs to shift to how can these assets support your life and lifestyle.  The important part of the financial plan at this stage of your life shifts from your net worth to your income statement – how much cash flow will you generate from your investments, Social Security, and pension.

    Generating income from your investments during retirement largely has to do with creating a portfolio that generates regular recurring dividend and interest payments, then making smart withdrawal decisions. For example, many retirees follow the 4% principle, which is withdrawing 4% of their retirement funds during their first years of retirement. In a balanced portfolio of stocks, bonds and cash, regular dividend and interest payments should account for a good portion of that 4%, positioning you to maintain your purchasing power throughout retirement and lowing the risk that market fluctuations will upend your plans.

    However, it is important to stay flexible and know when to make smaller withdrawals or when it might be okay to make a larger one. Having a vision in place before retirement and planning to be flexible during rocky or positive investment seasons can help you make smart withdrawal decisions.

    Living off your Retirement Funds

    If you want to live off the cash flow created by your assets, you need to know how much is safe to spend and how to manage your portfolio. When you are preparing to enter retirement is the perfect time to start making a budget for how much you want to spend each month without exhausting your funds.

    Applying for Social Security when retiring

    Hopefully, you checked your Social Security earnings each year on-line to make sure they were recorded properly.  If you have not done that, be sure to do so before applying.  Once you have reached retirement age, you are entitled to receive Social Security benefits. However, the Social Security Administration is not going to reach out to you and tell you when to start your application. This is something you need to start yourself.

    While applying for Social Security is relatively easy, the decisions that need to be made can be challenging. Some of the questions you might be curious about include: What are the pluses and minuses of starting early? Should I wait? How long? Do I have other sources of income that will make those payments taxable? If I work in retirement, how will that affect my benefits? Here are some of the basics:

     

    1. Make sure you are eligible ⁠— You must be at least 62 years old before meeting the minimum age requirement for applying for Social Security. However, if you take your benefit prior to your full retirement age, it will be reduced and may also be adjusted if you have too much earned income. This chart from the Social Security Administration can help you find your correct age requirement. If you delay taking Social Security past your full retirement age, you will increase your benefit by about 8% per year, but at age 70 your maximum benefit is reached. The decision about when to take Social Security is further complicated by your health, income, marital status, etc.

    2. Have the correct documents ready ⁠— You will need your Social Security card, birth certificate, proof of citizenship and other pertinent information.

       

    3. Apply ⁠— You can apply for Social Security online or visit your local Social Security office to begin the process.

       

    4. Calculate your earnings ⁠— It helps to know what to expect from your Social Security benefits before completing your application. You can use the Social Security Administration’s Retirement Estimator to get an idea of what you will earn if you apply now.

    Applying for Medicare benefits

    Your Medicare coverage is separate from your Social Security benefits, so you need to make sure to apply for this as well once you have reached the age of 65, whether you have retired or not. People with certain disabilities may qualify for Medicare coverage at a younger age. Take a look at this document from the Social Security Administration to learn if you are eligible for early Medicare coverage. 

    Medicare is available in four different parts (Part A through Part D), each detailing a different level of coverage you may select if you are qualified. It is important to review the different Medicare options and make the choice that best suits your circumstances medically and financially. We will help you determine the best options, not only from an insurance viewpoint, but a financial one as well.  In spite of what you might have heard, Medicare is not free.

    Long-term care insurance

    We hope you get to enjoy most of your retirement years with the freedom to live as you please. However, the reality is that one day you may need to live in a long-term care facility as you advance in years. You can prepare for this time by purchasing long-term care insurance that helps cover the costs of in long-term care facility and/or at-home assistance.

    One of the downsides of long-term care insurance is that it can be expensive, but for many people, the price is worth the outcome. As part of your preparation for retirement, you should consider long-term care insurance and whether it is a worthwhile investment for you without exhausting your retirement funds.

    Estate planning

    While it is not the most pleasant topic to think about, we all have to recognize that we cannot live forever. With this in mind, it is important to have a plan in place for your assets and your loved ones after you pass away.

    A ProVise CFP® professional, along with your attorney, can help you develop and maintain an estate plan that manages and distributes your assets according to your wishes in the event of your death or the transfer of your assets with a living estate plan.

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    Prepare for your retirement with the help of a ProVise CFP® professional

    Preparing for retirement may seem like a complicated undertaking, but with the assistance of a ProVise CFP® professional, it does not have to be. Our skilled and experienced financial advisors can work closely with you to assess your financial circumstances and your retirement goals to help you draft a plan to reach these goals.

     

    The financial plans we create are always personalized according to your individual circumstances, goals, values and risk tolerance. We offer plans at a fiduciary standard of care with an unconditional money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with your written plan for any reason. Just return it to us, and we will refund 100% of the fee paid.

     

    Are you ready to take the next big step toward planning for retirement stability with the help of a ProVise CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant? Contact our team today to schedule a consultation.

    Complimentary Consultation

    What to expect in a complimentary consultation

    A 30-minute complimentary consultation with ProVise Management Group is different from what you may have experienced with other financial planners. In this meeting, you'll speak with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.

    We want to know more about your goals and place in life than how much money you have in your accounts.

    We would be happy to meet you in person at our Clearwater and Tampa offices or schedule a Zoom call.

    Here’s a quick snapshot of how our consultation works:

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    Step 1

    What prompted you to contact us?

    Is it a new job with a complex compensation plan, the formation of a new business, a birthday that makes retirement feel more imminent, an inheritance, the death of a spouse or another event?

    Step 2

    What are your goals?

    We'll discuss your objectives for your finances and retirement and diagnose any potential issues that may be keeping you from reaching your goals.

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    Step 3

    Here's how we can help

    We’ll tell you about us and how we work, including the services we offer and our fee structure. Then, we’ll give you the time and space you need to decide if you want to work with us—and when you’re ready, so are we.

    The ProVise Planning Experience

    A financial plan is a roadmap to your financial success. A ProVise financial planner will follow a process that includes the following steps to creating a customized strategy specific to your current financial situation, lifestyle, and future goals.

    Planning
    1. Understanding Your Personal and Financial Circumstances 2. Identifying and Selecting your goals 3. Analyzing Your Current Course of Action and Potential Alternative Courses of Action 4. Developing the Financial Planning Recommendation(s) 5. Presenting the Financial Planning Recommendation(s) 6. Implementing the Financial Planning Recommendation(s) 7. Monitoring the Progress and Update

    1. Understanding Your Personal and Financial Circumstances

    Before we can help you reach your goals, we need to understand where you are. We perform a thorough analysis of your current financial situation and upcoming risks before creating a financial plan designed for your increased future success.

    2. Identifying and Selecting your goals

    Your future financial goals will dictate your current financial choices. We need to understand your goals and then help you prioritize those goals, so we can align your financial strategy with the lifestyle for which you are aiming. We help you balance your goals in a way that is designed to benefit your current lifestyle without neglecting your future financial goals

    3. Analyzing Your Current Course of Action and Potential Alternative Courses of Action

    It is important for us to first determine what you are currently doing and why. What is your approach to your finances and investments? There is no reason to seek alternatives if what you are doing is working. However, we can only do this in the context of looking at alternatives that may either fine tune what you are doing, or perhaps offer an alternative approach.

    4. Developing the Financial Planning Recommendation(s)

    Unlike others who just want to sell you something that may not be in your best interest, we do not consider recommendations until we have taken the first three steps of the financial planning process. You do not want a physician to create a treatment plan without a thorough analysis of your current condition and consideration of alternatives. The same is true with your financial health.

    5. Presenting the Financial Planning Recommendation(s)

    We will provide you with a set of written recommendations sharing our best ideas and thoughts regarding your personal financial situation. For those with a relatively uncomplicated financial life it might be done in a bullet point format, while for others it could be a much longer document. It might even be done with a modular plan focusing on the one aspect that is most concerning to you.

    6. Implementing the Financial Planning Recommendation(s)

    We help you put the financial planning strategy to work by putting together a checklist of action items for you and us that helps ensure that the plan is implemented in a timely fashion. There is nothing worse than knowing what needs to be done and then not doing it.

    7. Monitoring the Progress and Update

    Financial planning is not an event that happens one time. It is a continuous process. Life happens and things change. You will not go it alone. We will walk with you through every financial decision, roadblock, obstacle and opportunity to make sure you are staying on track toward your financial goals.

    Schedule a Complimentary Consultation

    Financial planning is not one big thing…it is hundreds of little things™. We will walk with you every step of the way through investments, debt payoffs and everything in between to help you reach the financial goals that matter most to you.

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    Retirement Ready? Ten Things to Do Before Retirement

    Retirement Ready? Ten Things to Do Before Retirement

    As you approach the golden years of your career, it’s crucial to have a solid financial plan in place to ensure a comfortable and secure retirement. While many people think they are ready to transition into this new and exciting phase of life, several things must be put in order first. Here are the top things you need to do financially to prepare for retirement: