“Am I Ready for Retirement?”

Written By: Matt Jaskolka, Financial Advisor

“Do I have enough saved?” 

“Will Social Security still be around for me to collect?” 

“How will taxes affect me?” 

“Will I be able to continue my current lifestyle?” 

“Am I invested properly to fund my retirement?” 

“When was the last time I updated my Will and/or Trust?” 

“Will I need long-term care?” 

“How will I spend my time in retirement?” 

“How do I want to be remembered?”

Overwhelmed yet? You’re not alone.

These are only a handful of the questions I commonly receive from people seeking guidance. As we transition into a New Year, many of you will be asking if this is the year you will retire. Today’s article will focus on how Carlson Financial starts the process in guiding our clients through these decisions. 

The first and perhaps most important question I like to ask someone is, “Ok. You want to retire. When?” This is important because it allows me to objectively look at your situation and determine how prepared you are to meet your needs through retirement. To do this, it is imperative to understand what income sources you have available to you, what your expenses look like, and how they might change throughout your retirement. This is why our advisors begin with building you an Income Plan. It is not by accident the first “i” in our EPIC5i™ philosophy begins with planning for your income needs. Before we can address your investment portfolio, we must know what your income and expenses look like now and later. 

Once we know your income and expenses, we can determine your risk tolerance and discuss your expectations for your portfolio. Anecdotally, the people I speak with fall into one of two camps. The first is someone who, in order to maintain lifestyle in retirement, will need to take distributions from their portfolio to make up for the loss of salary when they leave their full-time employment. Many expect Social Security in retirement but not a pension. In this case, portfolio performance takes a front seat so that we can ensure you do not outlive your savings. 

The second is someone who expects a pension or has other income streams in addition to Social Security and will not need to draw from their savings to fund their lifestyle. A person in this situation has a lot more flexibility in the risks they can take with their portfolio and may receive different investment recommendations from me. 

These are just the first questions we ask when formulating a plan and helping you make the decision that is right for you. Without a plan, these questions can feel overwhelming as you do not know how to compartmentalize the many building blocks of a successful retirement. Our planning process gives us the ability to answer these questions. From “When should I claim Social Security?” to “How do I maximize my legacy in the most tax-efficient way?” And that’s just the beginning.

This Week in History

1773 (Dec. 16) – The Boston Tea Party took place in Boston Harbor. 342 chests of tea were dumped into the harbor in a midnight raid. The British tea was valued at around $18,000. 

1843 (Dec. 19) – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published in London. 

1901 (Dec. 12) – First radio transmission sent across the Atlantic Ocean from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland, Canada. 

1993 (Dec. 15) – “Schindler’s List” opens in theaters. 

2000 (Dec. 13) –Al Gore concedes the presidential election to George W. Bush. 

2008 (Dec. 11) – Bernie Madoff was arrested at his New York City apartment and was charged with masterminding a long-running Ponzi scheme. The scheme was estimated to involve around $65 billion, making it one of the biggest investment frauds in Wall Street history.

If you have any questions, we’d love to chat! Call us at 844-CARLSON (844-227-5766) today!

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