". . . you won’t have a safety net anymore.  There is no more job to fall back on." 

Retirement is the end-game we are all looking at.  Just about everything we do regarding planning revolves around how it will affect our retirement.  It’s a series of decisions, or “tests”, and we have to get them all right in order to graduate.

Do you remember your first day of school?  Do you remember that feeling of excitement and apprehension?  It may have been kindergarten.  Or high school.  Or even college.  You couldn’t wait until you got there, but there was also a certain apprehension.  Life was changing, and you knew it couldn’t go back to the way it was.  Irrevocably, things had changed.  You were flying without a net.

Retirement Is Your New First Day of School!

For most, retirement is the exact same way.  You’ve lived a certain way for thirty years or more.  And now you must face a new way of life.  Even though that way of life is great.  No more getting up at o’dark thirty.  Or waiting all year for those 3 or 4 weeks of vacation.

No more.  Now you can get up when you want, go on vacation 365 days a year and wear pajamas and fuzzy slippers until 11 o’clock if you want.

Except you won’t have a safety net anymore.  There is no more job to fall back on.  No one is going to send you a paycheck every week.  You are your own paycheck.  Sure you’ve worked hard and you are pretty sure you can make it, but if you’re wrong, how can you go back?

There are no second chances here.  You can’t decide at 70 or 75 that you want a do-over and go back to your old job.  The decisions you make today impact the rest of your life – and the life of your spouse and others who depend on you.  I don’t blame you for worrying.

The Reality of Retirement!

Several years ago, I counseled a close friend who was retiring.  Between his property and investments, his portfolio ran into the millions.  Based on his modest spending, he would never want for money.  We were going over his retirement projections and I was explaining to him what his yearly spending budget would look like.

“But where does it come from?” he asked apprehensively.

“Well, some of the money will come from Social Security when you turn 62.” I explained.  “Some will come from your pension starting at age 65.  And the rest will come from your portfolio before and after that time.”

He grabbed my arm and with a look of panic, blurted, “But where will I get money to buy groceries NEXT WEEK?

I have always been able to sympathize with the stresses of retiring.  But that one meeting really hit home to me.  That’s when I saw what keeps people awake at night in the days, weeks, and months both before, and shortly after, retirement.

If you are considering retiring within the next few years, I’m sure all of these thoughts have crossed your mind. 

  • How will I get the income I need in retirement?  Where will that cash come from?  How will I pay the bills?  Will Social Security be solvent in twenty years or will I have to find another source of income?
  • What tax minefields are waiting for me?  What is the best way to take a 401(k) distribution?  Can I still make an IRA contribution?  Will I owe more to Uncle Sam on April 15th than I have in available cash?
  • What happens if I get sick?  Who will take care of me?  Is my spouse capable of caring for me?  What if I need specialized care?
  • How am I going to keep track of all my investments?  How do I know which ones are having trouble?  Should I follow CNBC or Money Magazine?  What happens if we have another crash like in 2008?

Concerned you may not be financially prepared for retirement?  Contact us today for help.