John F. Kennedy once said, "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." This is certainly true of preparing for retirement. If we continue to expect that the ways of the past will see us through to our futures, we will be left behind.
If you own a home, you may be wealthier than you think. The equity in your home could be one of your largest assets, especially if your mortgage has been paid down over the years or paid off. This home equity can be a valuable source of extra income during your retirement years.
You've worked long and hard to accumulate the assets that you are using to help finance your retirement. Now, it's time to start drawing down those assets. Exactly how you liquidate your assets will affect your tax and impact how long those assets last, so it pays to plan a withdrawal strategy that is efficient and maximizes the benefits of different types of investments.
You can’t always envision what will happen in your “second act.”
Just as few weathercasters can accurately forecast a month’s worth of temperatures and storms, many retirees find their futures unfolding differently than they assumed. Your assumptions may be tested as well.
All investments come with some level of risk. When you entrust your money to the market, you risk losing all of it or accumulating very small gains if your funds are directed toward ultra-conservative risks with low, but anticipated, growth over time. Assessing how much risk you can afford to take is an important part of investing, but how do you go about doing so?
With pensions on the decline, most modern workers need to rely on their own savings to amass enough money for retirement. One of the most powerful tools available is a tax-advantaged retirement savings program designed to encourage employees to put money away for the future, known as a 401(k) plan.
Saving for retirement is not a thought that crosses the mind of recent college graduates very often, or even those in their 30s. The excitement of earning a livable wage and enjoying all the perks of life that come with financial independence tend to distract younger workers from maintaining a long-term vision of their financial health.
Correct financial planning can help you pursue a variety of monetary goals, in addition to your desire of living out a comfortable life during retirement. Unfortunately, because the average individual only views financial planning through the lens of retirement, they in turn miss out on other opportunities that will set them up for financial independence.