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The Non-Negotiables of Retirement (Part 2)

October 4, 2018

The Non-Negotiables of Retirement

I want to break down some of the key components you need to consider when deciding what you want your retirement to look like. After all, it’s all well and good to preach that retirement can be shaped into whatever you want it to be—the question is, how do we get there?

There are 3 core items you need to be willing to embrace as you move into your idea of retirement.

You need an income plan.

  • This is non-negotiable. Of all the things you can opt to “wing it” on in life, don’t wing your retirement! You’ve got to sit down and get this figured out well before retirement hits. Even if you’ve got a pension, you need to start running the numbers to see if your pension can provide the same income to meet your monthly expenses. No matter what products or account management style you use, you’ve got to have an income plan in mind. Speak to a professional fiduciary advisor who can help you figure out the right products and management styles best suited to fit your needs. Be willing to listen to viewpoints that might challenge your own experiences—sometimes you need an outside observer to give you insight onto how well your plan might, or might not, work for you in the future.

Got an income plan in the works?

  • Great! Now we’ve got insurance to tackle. Also a non-negotiable (see a pattern here?) I know insurance can be nerve-wracking—maybe you don’t even have an insurance plan in mind yet. Going from a company-sponsored plan to Medicare or private health insurance can be difficult, but not impossible. Speak to an insurance professional—I’d even suggest multiple insurance professionals—to find the best fit for you. Just don’t neglect this part of the process. Your health is not something you want to hedge your bets on. Thinking that something “can’t ever happen to you” is a thought I’ve seen many have…until that illness or needed operation suddenly does happen, and they’ve got no way to deal with it. You can also access this Medicare informational site to learn about the basic processes that go into enrolling in Medicare.

Along with a new lifestyle comes new economic needs.

  • To account for this change, you need to adjust your view of investing. Unsurprisingly, this is also non-negotiable. The days of your 20s and 30s when you could risk it all on the hottest stock are gone. You don’t have decades to rebuild a bad financial hand the stock market deals your portfolio like you did before. Holding onto risky investments into your golden years is a guaranteed strategy to generate unneeded stress—it’s got to change, the sooner the better. If you want help discovering what your portfolio risk looks like, I encourage you to read this guide.

Now, if you read the above tips and try to do everything at once, then you’re going to make retirement harder than it was meant to be. In my last blog, I talked about Lee Ann and I moving into Louisville. When we started packing, we didn’t just chuck everything into boxes willy-nilly, or jump at the first house we saw when beginning our search for a new home. We knew those things would have to be done—they’re the non-negotiables of moving, after all—but that didn’t mean we needed to hit the panic button and try to do them all at once.

Slow and steady truly does win the race. Taking a methodical approach to the above items is ultimately key to a successful retirement plan. Speak to someone with experience to help you discover what paths are options you should consider to help handle the new challenges retirement brings. Our office has seen all types of change that comes with retirement, and we can certainly enlighten you about the paths to look at—and the ones to avoid.