It is often said that the scariest day of your life can be the day you trade your last paycheck for your first dividend check. All of the money you’ve saved for retirement becomes “real”. This is a topic that should command your attention; however, with careful planning and a little help from a professional, this day certainly doesn’t have to rank among the most frightful.
While there seems to be an abundance of material available on how to save money for retirement and how to properly invest these monies, there are few reliable resources that explain how to design a plan to effectively withdraw money and provide income during retirement.
To make the most of your retirement experience, design a plan that is unique to your needs and concerns. Personalize your entire program so you have the best chance of achieving your desired result while staying within your range of risk tolerance. Here are a few action items to get you started when establishing your plan.
1. Clearly define your goals
It is impossible to put together a plan when the goal hasn’t been clearly defined. Defining your goals goes beyond your rate of return on your investments or how you can get the most money out of your portfolio. The key is to determine what will give YOU the best retirement experience. What matters the most to you during retirement? Do you want to travel? Spend more time with your grandchildren? Have time to pursue your passions and interests? Once you truly know what you’re trying to accomplish, together we can help build a plan that uses your available resources to achieve your objectives.
2. Establish liquidation order
Which bucket of money should you use first and which should you use last? This is where I spend most of my time when helping a member plan their retirement income. Each bucket holds a unique timeframe and set of potential opportunities and risks.
3. Implement the plan
Once you have a clear plan of action, you need to fully implement the plan. Ask a professional to help you determine which investment vehicles might be appropriate for your situation.
4. Maintain the plan
Many people reading this article will be retired for 30 years or more – this represents almost as many years as being in the workforce. You can be assured that things will change over the years, such as investment vehicles, interest rates, market conditions, taxes, inflation rates, social programs, insurance and laws. Again, develop a relationship with an advisor that can help you work through these inevitable issues as they arise.
When designing your retirement income plan, make sure to focus on investment assets designed to produce superior returns and build a portfolio that will provide you with the best retirement experience ensuring that your personal goals are achieved.
Need investment advice? Give Texans Financial a call at 972.348.2023.
As featured in Currents / eCurrents Summer 2012 edition
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