As we age, we gain wisdom. When researchers examined the financial behaviors and attitudes of nearly 5,000 working Americans, the most confident and well-informed were those with the most experience.
But even the savviest and most experienced among us need financial planning check-ins along the way, especially as we edge closer to retirement. It can help to have a trusted financial advisor for guidance on critical issues, including:
Many retirees expect Social Security benefits alone to cover living costs in retirement. The fact is, many people need about 75 percent of pre-retirement income to maintain their lifestyle, and Social Security will probably replace only about 40 percent.1
Underestimating healthcare costs is a common pitfall. Medicare premiums keep escalating and a serious illness may require high out-of-pocket expenses. A married couple, both age 65 in 2020, may need up to $365,000 in retirement just to cover healthcare costs.2
A key decision for many seniors is whether to remain in their current home. Over one-third of homeowners age 65 to 74 still owe monthly mortgage payments.3 Add in the cost of upkeep, insurance and taxes, and the home may become too expensive to sustain in retirement. But the emotional ties to stay may be very strong.
So, if you’re accustomed to making financial decisions on your own, how can you stay confident when retirement is on the horizon? Just as a physician provides wellness check-ups to reduce your risk of serious disease, a financial professional can help you adjust to this new chapter. Here are some questions to consider when speaking with an advisor:
- How can I live comfortably in retirement?
- What is guaranteed income?
- How can I optimize my Social Security benefits?
- How can I ensure my healthcare costs will be covered?
- How is my tax situation changing and how can I create tax advantages?
- Should I consider downsizing, or stay where I am?
- What risk level is appropriate for my life stage?
- Is my legacy plan still relevant?
Financial expertise and unbiased guidance can help you sort out these critical questions, so you can enter retirement with confidence.
2018-57503 Exp. 03/2020
 Will Social Security’s $11 Trillion Shortfall Destroy Your Retirement? The Motley Fool, Jan 22, 2017.
 Employee Benefits Research Institute Issue Brief No. 351, Funding Savings Needed for Health Expenses for Persons Eligible for Medicare, December 2010.
 Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Before Retirement? U.S. News & World Report, Dec 5, 2017.