When should I retire? How much do I need to save before I retire? Where will I live during retirement? All of these questions are a concern for our aging population.
The answers to these questions are dependent upon several factors, such as:
- What does it cost to meet my basic needs?
- Will my health hold out until my expected retirement age?
- Will my job be more demanding as I age and will I be able to deal with the additional stress?
- Are my co-workers counting the days until I leave? I feel that I am productive, but when will I no longer be able to produce quality work?
- Will I have enough money to travel and to enjoy other luxuries?
- Should I live in my home after retirement or move to a retirement center?
- Should I live closer to my family?
All of these questions are important in determining when, where and if you can retire. Each individual or couple is unique in this planning process. It is best to start with a basic set of financial statements, which show what assets you own, what liabilities you owe and the type and amount of income you earn each year.
It is important to be out of debt before retirement, if possible.
An analysis of your debts is helpful in determining if better interest rates are available and if you can alter your current budget to reduce your debt. Not all seniors will be debt-free by the time they retire, which is a big concern for many. Looking at your financial situation, now, is important to give you a clear picture of how you can pay down your debts prior to retiring.
Taking care of your health is not an area about which accountants can give advice, but it does have a tremendous impact on your financial situation. Maintaining good health is like putting money in the bank. It is very expensive to pay for sitters and other care providers on a long-term basis. There are several products available to help with this cost, such as long-term care insurance and annuities structured for medical care. Whether you can afford these types of products or not does not prevent you from being faced with the expenses. The cost of long-term care can be an eye opener to encourage you to take better care of yourself.
Personal preference will dictate your living arrangements. Grown children are usually busy with their own careers and family and being closer to them may be an emotional blessing as well as a financial benefit. Your social life and convenience to others will play a big role in making that decision.
Although your decision to retire may be based on health or family needs, you need to be prepared for it. Always be conscious of your financial situation and keep in mind that we all will face retirement some day. Depending on your circumstances, thoughts of retiring can be scary or delightful. The planning you put in place now can make all of the difference in what it will be.
Our staff is available anytime to discuss your financial and retirement needs.