You've undoubtedly seen them: Those ads for 55+ communities, cruises, or adults-only resorts where sets of perfectly coiffed, just-beyond-middle-aged couples dressed in expensive exercise clothing frolic happily in the sunshine, on the beach, in their lovely front yard, or on the deck of a fabulous ship. You may have rolled your eyes, writing these ads off as simple marketing gimmicks. After all, no one's actual retirement really looks quite that glamorous and amazing... does it?
While (of course) there's a bit of commercial wizardry going on in those advertisements, the truth is that your retirement can be that fabulous! Retirement should offer time to travel, time to relax, time to spend with friends and family, and time to give back to the community. Retirement should be characterized by good health (and good healthcare), good food, and financial peace of mind. In other words, retirement should be all that you imagine, wish, and hope it will be.
Achieving the Dream: Retirement Investment Advisors Weigh In
So how, exactly, does one achieve this dream? Through retirement planning, saving, and strategic investing. That's where a retirement planning advisor can really come in handy: helping you figure out how to transform that sexy vision of retirement into reality.
And here's more good news: For most people, happiness actually increases in retirement, starting at age 65 and reaching peak levels at age 85. According to a 2015 survey from MONEY, 48 percent of retirees said they were happier in retirement than they expected to be; a mere 7 percent of respondents said that they were disappointed by their retirement. While good health tends to consistently be a key factor to a happy retirement, financial security also helps... a lot.
- Life expectancy One significant key to financial security in retirement lies in planning for the future. Working with a retirement investment advisor to create a long-term plan that incorporates factors such as:
- Calculating your (realistic) financial needs; the rule of thumb says 70 percent of your pre-retirement income is necessary to live comfortably... if you're in good health, don't have debt and have paid off your mortgage. You may need to budget for a higher percentage, up to 90 percent
- Estimated Social Security benefits
- Sources of income, such as annuities, pensions, and savings
- Tax strategies to help you minimize your tax burden in retirement
- Estate planning to provide the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your dependents will be taken care of and that your money will go where you want it to go
Retirement Planning Advice: Maximize Your Earning Years
The time to start creating that dream retirement is now. Time is of the essence when it comes to retirement planning, and the more you save now, the more your money will grown through the "magic" of compound interest. That means contributing the max to your IRA and 401k plans, and ensuring that you take advantage of employer matching, if offered.
You may want to consider continuing to work part-time after retirement age, as well. Research indicates that seniors age 65 and up who work part-time out of choice rate their happiness higher than those who don't work. Either way, the goal is to create predictable income from multiple streams, a key to less financial anxiety in retirement.
Planning may be the foundation of your retirement strategy, but saving and investing are the practical actions that'll help you get where you want to be. Work with a trusted wealth advisor to help you find the right mix of saving and investment strategies to guide you along the path to that amazing retirement, complete with fabulous hair and lots of happy frolicking in the sunshine.