What Is Your Strategy to Manage These 3 Retirement Risks?
Retirement is your time to enjoy the good things in life! You are finally free from the demands and schedule that come with a career. Once you have retired, it’s time to enjoy your freedom to travel, pursue a favorite hobby, or spend time with family. After all, you’ve worked hard for decades to accumulate assets. You deserve the opportunity to enjoy the rewards of that hard work!
However, although saving money is an important part of retirement planning, it’s only half the battle. Even if you save enough to fund your retirement, you’ll still face risks that could threaten your financial stability. Without a plan to manage those risks, your retirement may not be as comfortable as you would like.
Many retirees associate the word risk with market volatility. It’s true that market performance could threaten your assets in retirement. However, risk isn’t all about investments. There are a broad range of risks that could impact your financial stability.
Below are three such risks to consider as you enter retirement. If you don’t have a strategy to manage these risks, now is the time to start planning.
There’s a popular saying that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. Taxes don’t go away just because you stop working. You might assume that taxes won’t be an issue once you stop bringing home a paycheck. That assumption is usually incorrect, as much of your retirement income could be taxable.
If you have assets in 401(k) plans, traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, and other qualified retirement accounts, you will likely pay income taxes on distributions. The Roth IRA is the exception to this rule, as distributions from Roths are tax-free as long as you are over age 59 ½ and the account has been open for at least 5 years.
You could also pay taxes on your Social Security benefits. Depending on your income, up to 85 percent of your Social Security payments could be taxable. The taxable percentage depends on your “combined income,” which the Social Security Administration defines as your adjusted gross income, nontaxable interest, and half your annual Social Security benefit. The higher your combined income, the more of your benefit that will be taxable.1
If you haven’t planned for taxes in your retirement budget, you may want to revisit your strategy and make adjustments. Taxes are usually a significant expense for many retirees.
Inflation is easy to overlook, but it’s too important to ignore. Inflation is the gradual increase in the prices of goods and services from year to year. It’s driven by a number of factors, including costs of materials and labor, interest rates, and economic conditions.
There are very few costs that aren’t impacted by inflation. Everything from groceries to clothing to utilities to health care are usually affected by inflation over time. Some cost areas, like health care, may see higher inflation rates than other expenses.
While inflation is usually modest on an annual basis, it can have a significant impact over time. Consider that just a 3 percent average annual inflation rate would lead to a doubling in prices over a 24-year period. If you retire in your mid-60s, it’s very possible that you could be retired for 20 years or more. Could your budget withstand a doubling in prices?
Develop a retirement strategy that allows your income to increase throughout retirement. (We would be happy to assist you with developing a plan to take care of this need. Just contact us to set up a free initial planning session.)
Also, consider delaying Social Security to increase your benefit. While you can file at age 62, you may want to wait until your full retirement age or beyond to start receiving payments. The longer you wait, the higher your benefit will be.
3.) Health Care Costs
Think Medicare will cover all your health care expenses in retirement? Think again. According to Fidelity, the average 65-year-old couple can expect to pay $260,000 out-of-pocket in retirement on things like deductibles, premiums, copays, and more.2 Medicare is a helpful resource, but it usually only covers a portion of your medical bills. There are some services that Medicare doesn’t cover at all.
That Fidelity estimate doesn’t even include the costs for long-term care, which is extended assistance for daily living activities like eating, dressing, and mobility. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70 percent of retirees will need long-term care at some point.3 The cost for care, whether provided in your home or a facility, can often be thousands of dollars per month.
Again, make sure health care spending is a part of your retirement strategy. Consider maximizing contributions to a health savings account (HSA) so you can take advantage of tax-favored dollars to pay medical bills. Also, think about long-term care insurance as a protection against assistance costs.
Ready to develop a plan for these risks and more? Contact us today for a free initial strategy session! We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy that is appropriate for you.
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