Whether your own retirement is approaching quickly or remains a distant goal, it’s important to consider the lifestyle you want to attain. Clear planning and communication now could prevent disappointment down the road. Here are a few key aspects you might want to address.
When will you retire? Your retirement age might be a moving target, but it helps to have an age in mind as you envision other aspects of your retirement lifestyle.
You and your spouse may want to compare how your claiming ages for Social Security could affect your lifetime benefits. There are advantages to working until your full retirement age (66 to 67, depending on birth year) or until 70, when you would receive your maximum benefit. If you want to retire earlier, you may need to be more aggressive in your retirement savings strategy.
Will you continue to work? Although almost seven out of 10 current workers plan to work for pay in retirement, the experiences of current retirees suggest this may be more difficult than expected — only 25% report that they have worked for pay in retirement.2 A second career could be rewarding on both a financial and personal level, but you might be better off setting your savings goals so that working is an option rather than a necessity.
Where will you live? Some people downsize their homes to reduce expenses and add some home equity to their retirement assets. Or they may move to a more retirement-friendly community or somewhere closer to family. Others prefer to “age in place” and take advantage of having paid off their mortgages. These are all reasonable options. But as with the goal of working for pay, it’s generally wise to leave your home out of savings calculations and focus on building other assets.
What activities do you want to pursue? You may want to travel, volunteer for an organization with goals you share, work on your golf game, take up tennis, pursue a new hobby — or all of the above. With the freedom of retirement, the possibilities could be limitless. But keep in mind that some retirement activities are more costly than others and develop your savings strategy appropriately.
These are just some of the many factors that might affect your retirement lifestyle. Whatever you imagine, it’s important to set savings goals that reflect your retirement dreams and have the potential to help those dreams come true.
1) Yahoo! Finance, May 6, 2013
2) Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2013
The information in this article is not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Emerald. © 2015 Emerald Connect, LLC