If you’re nearing retirement age — or at least the age at which you plan to retire — it is important to make sure your finances are in order. As well as ensuring you have enough to live on throughout your retirement, including that nice home in a retirement community in Florida, it is important to understand the various related tax laws and requirements associated with your savings, retirement accounts, and Social Security.
First and foremost, if you don’t have a retirement planning team, you should. Generally, this should consist of a financial advisor well-versed in retirement financial rules, a tax advisor, and potentially an estate planner/attorney. Your financial advisor should be able to offer general financial advice, but also assistance with budgeting, choosing your investments, managing your investment portfolio, and should have a clear understanding of the rules that govern retirement accounts. Similarly, your tax advisor should help you devise a strategy that allows you to minimize the amount of tax you pay, particularly on retirement accounts and the various changing laws.
Many people approaching retirement are at the point where they’re earning the highest incomes of their careers. This is the time to save and invest as much as possible. Also, don’t forget to check Social Security and make sure you have received full credit for all of your earnings.
Now is also a good time to go over your resume. Not to update it, but to remind yourself of all of the places of employment where you may have retirement plans. Start compiling those accounts and consolidating them to get the best return on them. Even though some may be small accounts, they can add up, especially if you are married and both you and your spouse have multiple accounts.
With some of the changes in Social Security and taxes this year, it is important to create a withdrawal strategy that will help you understand your options and get the most out of your retirement funds and investments.
Finally, consider doing a retirement projection. There are a variety of ones available online now that allow you to input your various retirement assets and get a sense of what your cash flow will be and what your current plans allow. After all, you want to make sure you can afford that retirement community in Florida. This projection gives you a clearer sense of where you stand financially and if changes need to be made, your financial advisor should be able to give you the guidance you need to ensure you can have the retirement you’ve worked hard for all of these years.