Women comprise 47% of the total U.S. workforce and account for 51.5% of all workers in high-paying management, professional, and related occupations according to the US Department of Labor. More women are taking charge of their own retirement planning than ever before. Retirement means something unique to each person. For some it means traveling, pursuing a hobby or spending more time with grandchildren. Whatever your goal is, you’ll need a retirement Income plan designed to support the retirement lifestyle you envision and minimize the risk of outliving your savings.
When Will You Retire?
Establishing a target age is important, because when you retire will significantly affect how much you need to save.
The longer you delay retirement, the longer you can build up savings in your IRA’s and 401[k]s, or accrue benefits in a pension plan.
You can begin receiving Social Security benefits as early as 62. However, your benefit may be 25-30% less than if you waited until full retirement age. Delaying taking benefits beyond your full retirement age will increase your Social Security income even more.
If you work part time during retirement you will rely less on your retirement savings, leaving more of your savings to grow for the future. You may also have access to affordable health care.
How Long Will Retirement Last?
We all hope to live to an old age, but a longer life means even more years of retirement to fund. This is more of a concern to women who generally live longer than men.
There’s no way to predict how long you’ll live, but with life expectancies on the rise, it’s best to assume you’ll live longer than you expect.
Project Your Retirement Expenses
Once you know when you will retire, how long retirement may last and the type of retirement lifestyle you want, it’s time to estimate how much money it will take to make it all happen. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to underestimate the amount you’ll need to save to retire.
Focus on your expenses today and consider whether they will stay the same, increase, decrease or even disappear when you retire.
Identify Your Sources Of Income
Once you have an idea of your retirement income needs, your next step is to assess how prepared you are to meet those needs. What sources of income will be available to you? Will you have a traditional pension? How much Social Security income will you receive? Do you have a 401k, an IRA or other investments to draw from?
When you compare your projected expenses to your anticipated sources of income you may find that you won’t have the income to meet your needs and goals. Closing this difference or “gap” is an important part of your retirement income plan.
If you face a shortfall, you have 5 options: save more money now, delay retirement or work some during retirement, try and increase the earnings on your retirement savings, find new sources of retirement income or spend less in retirement.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to retirement income planning. A financial professional can review your circumstances, help you sort through your options, and help design a plan that’s right for you.
Robert Martin is the Finacial Investment Officer with Cape Cod Financial Services and Financial Advisorwith Infinex Financial Group and can be reached at email@example.com
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