Not long ago, “retirement” for many people meant living on a combination of Social Security and a fixed pension. Today, retired people are living longer and better, and many plan to enjoy their golden years. The problem is that those fixed pensions, for many, have disappeared–which has put much more emphasis on the importance of pre-retirement planning (which, for our purposes here, refers to a plan for an individual’s transition to retirement).
Retirement Is Not Predictable
Today, many people transition into retirement gradually over a period of months or even years. Unfortunately, for many, this transition occurs abruptly and unexpectedly, through either a layoff or disability. Few can predict with certainty which day will be their last on the job.
In the absence of predictable retirement dates, many people put off the serious planning that should take place before retirement. Instead of planning for the changes in their lifestyle that their changed financial circumstances may require, they wait until it’s too late to properly plan. This can lead to hasty, ill-conceived decisions, and a rocky start to their golden years. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to start serious retirement planning at least one year before the transition period begins. This allows adequate time to obtain professional help, understand the many choices available, and make well-thought-out decisions.
Key Issues and Decisions
What issues and decisions should you evaluate in this pre-retirement planning process? Consider the following:
• Investment asset allocation
• Income from investments
• Social Security benefits
• Health benefits
• Retirement distributions
• Estate planning
Don’t wait until you’ve reached the point where you feel pressured to make major retirement decisions. Be sure to obtain the information and guidance you need to calmly consider all your choices well ahead of time. Competent financial and legal professionals can help you chart a course for retirement, as you try to project the levels of income and assets you’ll need to maintain your desired lifestyle. In pre-retirement planning, you will make some of the most important financial decisions of your lifetime. Don’t make them in haste–or on your own.
Prepared by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. The information contained in this article is for general, informational purposes only. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents or employees do not give tax or legal advice. You should consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your individual situation.
Michael Klotz is a Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), supervised from 800 Westchester Avenue, Rye Brook, NY 10573 914.288.8800. Securities, products/services and advisory services are offered through PAS a registered broker dealer and investment advisor. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Strategies for Wealth is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents or employees do not give tax or legal advice. You should consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your individual situation.PAS is a member FINRA/ SIPC.
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