This is a Guest Post by Tina from ProFinanceBlog.com
Life after retirement – lovely images pop in your mind when you think of it, images of peace and tranquillity, uninterrupted by the hustles of a busy work life. Problem is you couldn’t take the scary images out because they might turn out the reality.
The greying gentlemen have limited financial options. But someone in his mid-30s or early 40s has many such options. Remember, which fruit you reap in the present depends on which tree you’ve sowed in the past. Same way, how your retirement life would be like depends on how you are managing your finances now.
The pre-retirement phase
The phase begins in your early 50s and ends with your retirement. Let’s pin on 52 as the beginning of this phase. At this stage, your priorities are to estimate the possible earning from social security and pension, and making an assessment of how much the employer-sponsored pre-tax retirement saving plans (with and without limit) might yield. A correct (or even semi-correct) assessment would reveal how much you’d pull out every month after you retire.
Don’t be too optimistic, you never know when the inflation will start to hover around the higher digits. Not to mention, the deposit interest rate has been historically low in this country, which means stashing the money that you receive from the IRA and 401(K) and 403(K) in the savings account won’t get you a satisfying monthly amount.
Hence, start exploring the investment opportunities from today. Just as I said in the beginning, people in their mid-30s or early-40s have some leverage. They can experiment and fail, only to pull their finances together and invest again, venture out from the frame of a safe investment, which is almost impossible for someone, who’s reaching 60. If you have the leverage, use it.
Anticipate your life expectancy before you retire, or else you might face financial hardships in the late years of your life. Your retirement savings should be enough to give you financial support till the end. How much is enough? Depends on how long you live.
Most life expectancy calculators ask you to reveal your age and gender because they gauge the lifespan using geopolitical data. If you are 30 years old now, then your current life expectancy is more than 80 years. It’ll increase with time because of the advancements in the areas of medicine and therapeutic treatment, and the spread of health awareness.
Different areas making up your retirement income have different tax insinuations. Distribution methods are not uniform. For example, if you invest in equity now and get a handsome return when you retire (or freshly after that), it’d be completely tax-free.
On the other hand, the money you withdraw from the conventional IRA accounts and 401(K) come under tax. If you have securities in your taxable accounts, it’s wise to sell them out.
The best strategy is to hire a tax consultant or a financial advisor, so he explains various tax situations in your post-retirement life and you could decide your course of action.
Employ a tracking system
Do that today, and check your monthly budget a month down the line. If it looks like a balance sheet, then you are doing it right. A balance sheet has columns for losses and gains; that’s how the tracking system should make the budget look like. All the money that’s coming in, and all the money that’s flowing out should be tracked.
What’s the point of such a tracking system? It’ll stay activated even after you retire and keep a tab on all your earning and spending. Simply put, tracking all your retirement earning would be incredibly easy. Retired people may use money from fixed income sources such as pension and social security for leisure and entertainment purposes. A tracking system in which a stable income is mapped with paying for required utilities prevents them from doing that.