Linda Rainwater, AAMS ®, 13 years, Financial Advisor
Q: My wife and I are ready to plan our retirement. She is 52 and I am 49 years old. How do I know if I’m ready to retire? Mulling it over Michael
Michael, this is such an important question! There are several ways you can approach retirement. Statistically, *36% of people don’t plan for it at all and depend entirely on social security for their income. Some do it all by themselves and miss several significant factors, since only *4% of Americans have saved enough for retirement. I think it is best to have a professional help coach you through this important transition, enabling you to have a fun and fulfilling retirement.
You should make an appointment with a financial advisor, bringing all your pertinent financial information. The advisor will ask questions to determine your relationship with money, your goals, and ascertain your spending style. They should also ask about tolerance for risk, retirement target date, current debt obligations, investment assets (401k’s, IRA’s, annuities, stocks, and CDs), current taxes, emergency funds, present income, family members who may need your help, and review life insurance and long term care insurance. I review Social Security options and show the difference between 7 scenarios. Social Security is more complex than just selecting the age to start taking income. Sometimes it is best to use investment assets for income and delay Social Security. Everyone is different. It depends on how you spend money and various life events you may face.
An advisor should meet with you at least once a year until you are ready to retire successfully. They can provide annual input for how much you should adjust your investing and how it will impact your target date. They will let you know your goal for spending in retirement (your “Number”). As you get closer to your target date, they should schedule meetings with you more often for a smooth transition. After retirement, they should continue to review your finances to help you maintain and enjoy your comfortable lifestyle.
Linda Rainwater is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Opinions are those of Linda Rainwater and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.
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