If you're considering retirement within the next five years or so, you're in the retirement "zone." This is a critical time period during which you'll be faced with a number of important choices, and the decisions you make can have long-lasting consequences. It's a period of transition: a shift from a mindset that's focused on accumulating assets for retirement to one that's focused on distributing wealth and drawing down resources.
Consider these points:
- How much money will you need to cover your day to day expenses? Start by creating a budget. Factor in anticipated costs relating to basic needs, housing, health care, and long-term care. If you plan to travel in retirement, estimate a corresponding annual dollar amount. If you're financially responsible for other family members or plan to make monetary gifts, you'll want to include these commitments in your calculations.
- How much money do you have saved for retirement? With the average 60-year-old expected to live to age 86 or beyond, it is important that you have enough money set aside to last through your lifetime.
- How much will you receive in social security benefits? The age you choose to begin receiving benefits will determine how much you will receive. You can estimate your retirement benefit online based on your actual earnings record using the Retirement Estimator calculator on the Social Security website, ssa.gov. You can create different scenarios based on current law that will illustrate how different earnings amounts and retirement ages will affect the benefit you receive. You can also sign up to view your Social Security Statement that contains a detailed record of your earnings, as well as estimates of retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. If you're not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you'll receive a statement in the mail every year, starting at age 60.
- Consider the income you will receive on a regular basis from other sources such as pensions, annuities or a part-time job.
These are just a few of the items to consider while determining when you should retire. Regardless of your situation, spend time calculating the numbers so you have a good picture of your financial security in retirement. SVA Plumb Financial offers retirement calculators that provide estimates to help you with some common financial questions. They are not intended to predict future returns or results, but they will help you gauge if you are ready to retire. http://plumb.sva.com/retirement-calculators
For more detailed and personalized answers, contact one of our SVA Plumb Financial Wealth Managers.