Most people aim to have a steady and peaceful post-retirement life. They spend their formative years trying to find ways to save up for their retirement. However, working hard is not the only prerequisite for a secure future. You also need a smart post-retirement strategy in place. Having a strategy ensures a lasting and steady flow of income irrespective of the future. Generally, post-retirement earnings come in the form of interest, dividends, investment principal, capital appreciation, pension, Social Security benefits, insurance, and sometimes inheritance.
Finding a post-retirement strategy is about focusing on all of these avenues in a way that you reap the maximum benefits.
4 Major factors that you can consider when strategizing Post-Retirement Income
1. A long post-retirement life
In the present scenario, a healthy 65-year old should plan for at least another 20-25 years of their life. This means that you will need a post-retirement income that can sustain you for these many years. In the absence of a plan, you will end up banking heavily on Social Security benefits and Medicare, which may be inadequate to meet all your requirements. Social Security benefits roughly average around $1,450 a month. This is a fairly low amount to meet all probable expenses that may come with old age and retirement.
2. Inflation Rate
Inflation is an unavoidable and yet ignored part of retirement planning. Prices are bound to rise, sooner than later. When strategizing for retirement, you must account for inflation too. Don’t think of your investment returns in the present scenario. The returns from your investments may seem profitable now. But you must consider their value 10 or 20 years from now. Will these returns be able to provide for your needs in the future? If not, then it may be time for you to consider more investments. Remember that the right time to think of strategies to increase your money for retirement is before you retire. You will not have the possibility of pay hikes post-retirement.
3. Volatile Market
A decline in the market can impact you differently, in your post-retirement life. With limited sources of income and the instability of health and other expenses, even a little dent can have huge implications. Proper diversification can help you avoid this. When you diversify, the risk of losing money to market downturns reduces significantly. You can discuss the right diversification strategy with a financial advisor.
4. Unplanned withdrawals from retirement accounts
Nobody knows what the future looks like. An unforeseen event can hinder your retirement planning. This is why, as part of your post-retirement strategy, you must keep some liquid assets as an emergency fund. If you end up making early withdrawals from your retirement accounts, you may lose a substantial amount to taxes and penalties. Similarly, you must have a strategy in place for making Required Minimum Distributions from retirement accounts too.
Other Important Factors To Consider about Retirement Income
1. Make a retirement plan that works
There is no point in strategizing on paper if your plans cannot be put to use. When you make a retirement strategy, make sure it accounts for basic necessities like housing, utilities, food, and most importantly, healthcare. Having alternative sources and investments is an added benefit, but make sure you never lose sight of these basics that offer guaranteed income for your lifetime.
- Social Security
2. Include investment with growth possibilities for meeting long-term requirements
When building a post-retirement income strategy, it is important for you in including investments that are likely to grow over the years. This will help you meet inflation, as well as unexpected costs that may arise in the future. It also acts as a financial cushion and gives you a sense of confidence. Look for the right options and pick the ones that match with your envisioned goals. Additionally, you must also review your savings and portfolio from time to time and rebalance whenever required.
3. Be flexible to refine a strategy in due course
Based on your future requirements, your retirement strategy should be flexible enough to adapt to the changing times. Your needs and goals may change over time and so should your investing habits. Make sure your retirement plans allow you space to make timely alterations based on your requirements.