Managing the Initial Years of RetirementThe conventional view of retirement is changing. Certainly, the age at which we retire, what we do during retirement years, and even how long retirement generally lasts look different than assumptions we made 15 years ago. That being said, the average retirement age is still a conventional 62 years old and 64% of Americans actually leave the workplace between the ages of 55 and 64. So, assuming we fall into the more conventional age and approach to retirement, what can we be doing ahead of time and in the initial years of retirement to be set up for success? What areas, both financially and personally can we be focused on to maximize our retirement years? Dream and Plan about what Retirement Could Look like There is a tendency to focus on the destination of retirement rather than looking beyond the day we finally leave standard employment. It’s understandable because we get focused on an age or a date, work hard at our jobs, and tell ourselves that we will think about retirement once we get there. While financially you can still have a “successful” retirement this way, it may cause the personal (day to day) side of our retirement lives to be left wanting. I love the four-step process that Chris Hogan has about how to visualize retirement goals. He simply says:
- Create a Vision Board
- Chart Your Progress
- Picture it.
- Write Your Story
- What Social Security Benefits am I eligible for? Will I take Social Security at age 62, or will I wait until later? What makes the most sense?
- Visiting https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and creating an account to find this answer is a great first step!
- Am I eligible for any pension benefits? If so, will I take a lump sum option or the annuity option? How much are my benefits affected based on my retirement age?
- How much can I pull from my 401K or IRA accounts?
- What age can I start and what age am I required to take distributions?
- What non-retirement savings do I have, and how do I optimize taxes on these funds?
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