Planning for retirement can be a confusing process, so it can be easy to forget a few things. Make sure to stay on top of these six issues as you plan, and reassess them again as you move into retirement.
Forgetting to save enough. Some people aren’t sure how much they should be saving for retirement, so they simply contribute some predetermined amount to their 401(k) and cross the item off of their to-do list. For sure, saving something is always better than not saving anything at all. But why not run the numbers with us, so we can see if you’re saving enough to meet your goals?
Fees. Most saving and investment options come with some fees. In many cases you can minimize those by choosing your options carefully. At other times, the potential earnings of a certain option might make a higher fee structure feel “worth it”. The point is to keep those fees in mind, whatever you decide to do, so that they don’t take you by surprise.
Debt. It’s great if you’re maxing out retirement plan contributions, but what about your spending? If you carry a lot of debt into retirement, those payments will eat into your income. Make sure to keep an eye on your debt and consider paying it down before you retire.
Considering your health. Hopefully your retirement plans work out as you’ve envisioned. But because some things are unpredictable (and somewhat out of our control) make sure your plan is flexible enough to allow for some unexpected expenses or even an earlier retirement due to health needs.
Evaluating risk versus return. We all have our own tolerance risk, with some people feeling more conservative and others preferring an aggressive approach to investing. In most cases your strategy should match your personal preferences as much as possible – but within reason. Always consult with a professional to be sure your decisions aren’t based solely upon fear or other strong emotions.
Taxes. If you took advantage of a Traditional 401(k) or IRA, you deferred taxes on that money until you take distributions in retirement. As you plan for your retirement income, don’t forget that you will still have to file and pay income taxes. Another option to consider is to take advantage of a Roth account, which allows you to take non-taxable distributions in retirement.
Schedule a meeting with us every few years, so that we can help you avoid surprises when it’s time to retire. We can discuss these issues, and more, at your next appointment.