Whether you’re a few decades, years or days away from retirement, it is vitally important that you consider putting together a plan for securing your future. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking your retirement benefits alone will set you up for the remainder of your life. This is far from the truth.
If you do not commit to retirement income planning as soon as possible, you risk spending your “golden years” living from paycheck to paycheck and stressing over meals and bills instead of enjoying your newfound free time. Circumstances could mean you end up helpless and alone with no one to take care of you in your old age. Did you know running out of money is one of American’s number one fears? Here are some steps to take in order to outlive your nest egg.
1. Create a Spreadsheet
You can take care of this step with either pencil and paper or your word processing software of choice. Create columns detailing the age of your partner, if you have one, your own age, and mete out the years according to the average life expectancy.
2. Add Every Fixed Means of Income
The more fixed income you have, the more security you can bank on. Sources worth listing include:
• Lump sums, including real estate sales and life insurance payouts
• Social security benefits—both your partner’s and yours
• Rent payments from any properties you are leasing out
• Any pension payments your partner and/or you may be expecting, starting with the year you can expect to begin receiving it
• Any part-time wages, should you plan on earning extra income
• Annuity payments
3. Include Annual Net Income For Each Year
This should be income with taxes taken into account. This can vary with respect to the amount of income you expect to receive, meaning it would be wise to invest in some tax planning in addition to your income based retirement plan.
4. Calculate Any Surpluses or Gaps
This is key to figuring out how and if you’ll be able to have the kind of life you want post-retirement. If you have a surplus, you will have more than enough money to cover your needs and desires. However, if there’s a gap, you may need to do a little financial adjusting in order to meet your lifestyle goals.
While this manner of organizing your retirement income does not take into account every problem that could arise or the ebb and flow of the economy, we hope it will be a valuable first step to securing your future. If you’d like additional help with creating an income retirement plan including information on additional income streams such as fixed annuities, single premium immediate annuities or fixed index annuities, contact us at American Family Senior Services.