Friday, July 19, 2024

Get Your Financial House and Plan in Order

HomeMoneyGet Your Financial House and Plan in Order

There’s no better feeling than having a lead on personal finances, especially when retirement is in your sights. This month, we’ll zero in on the fourth step of a workable Grand Plan – getting your financial plan in order.

This is an area for improvement – an opportunity to be better – for most people. An April 2023 study from financial services firm Credit Karma showed 27 percent of people over the age of 59 have no retirement savings whatsoever. According to a March 2023 article by Andrew Rosen in Forbes, which quoted a study from the Economic Policy Institute, the median retirement savings amount for working households in this country is $95,776. In the article, Rosen writes that the Federal Reserve’s “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2019” indicates “60 percent of Americans either do not realize if they’re on track or are unsure if they’re on track.”

The bottom line is aging gracefully and greatly is expensive. So how do we start getting comfortable with the conversation and improving the outcomes? It begins with an honest talk about future costs and a relationship with a certified financial planner or investment authority.

Fidelity Investment says adults should expect to spend 55 to 80 percent of their current income annually during retirement. The company also suggests asking yourself and your spouse these questions so you are well informed about and best prepared for the costs on the second half horizon:

  • Should you pay off your mortgage before you retire?
  • Are you funding your grandchildren’s college expenses?
  • How much expensive travel do you have planned?
  • Do you plan to relocate in retirement?
  • What impact might health issues or taxes have on your retirement planning?
  • Do you have a housing strategy that details locales, living options, and amenities for the next stages of your life?

A few handy and helpful search tool resources include one where you can verify planner’s credentials (https://www.cfp.net/verify-a-cfpprofessional), and if you’re starting from scratch, the group’s “Find a CFP Professional” search engine (https://www.letsmakeaplan.org/ find-a-cfp-professional) can help you narrow down your options.

Financial planning for the senior years requires careful thought and planning, attention to detail, and a proactive approach. By addressing our financial planning now – while we’re happily adulting and getting by just fine – we can better navigate retirement with confidence and security.

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