Finance Tips for the Pre-Retiree

When you get to be around 50 or 55 the idea of retirement seems to creep up rather quickly. Below we outline some great finance tips to utilize as you approach retirement.

If you do not fall into this life stage check out our previous posts about Finance Tips for Millennial’s; Finance Tips for Young Parents; and Finance Tips for Your Mid-Life Crisis.

Before we get into the actual finance tips, let’s look at some common characteristics of a Pre-Retiree.

Pre-Retiree’s are often still very involved in their work and earning a decent salary; They have achieved or are very close to achieving most of their financial goals; They have paid off most if not all of their debt; and They no longer have dependent children.

Now that we know who is a pre-retiree, lets look at some finance tips specific to them…

Sit Down With Your Financial Advisor

As you near retirement, meetings with your financial advisor should happen more regularly. Retirement is one of the largest transitional stages (financially and otherwise) in your life.

During retirement most income is generated passively. When transitioning into retirement you go from a place of saving money, to spending money that was saved.

When you sit down with your advisor here are some things to talk about:

Goals:

Now that retirement isn’t so far away, and you have come to grips with the fact that you cannot work forever, revisit your goals. The goals that you originally set may still be applicable, but they have probably changed in some fashion.

What do you want your retirement to look like? How much income will be needed to make that obtainable? Are there any new goals? Are their any goals you would like to accomplish before retirement? Also look at and discuss your beneficiaries.

Once you have discussed your goals, it’s time to see if they are viable, realistic and achievable.

Financially ready:

You still have a few years until you retire, but are you on track financially? If you are on pace to reach your savings target, great! If you’re slightly behind, don’t worry that is what these meetings are for.

Your financial advisor should be able to give some projections regarding the mathematical requirements for achieving your goals, and what your retirement income will look like. If you are behind on savings, changes to your spending habits will have to be made.

Track your cash flow and see where all you money is going. The easiest way to increase savings is: Increase income, or decrease expenses. You might have to pick up some extra shifts or work a little over time. Maybe you will have to cut back some of your expenses.

It is better to make these changes now while you still have time to adjust and catch up on savings. Leaving this until retirement can have critical consequence to the longevity of your retirement income.

Other things to discuss with your advisor: CPP, should you start collecting it early at age 60, or defer it to age 65 or longer; taxable situation, what will your taxable situation look like leading up to and in retirement; income sources, where income will be drawn from in retirement.

Objectives:

Objectives and goals are often synonymous, but in this case they are different. Objectives refer to the investment return the client requires and the risk he/she must tolerate to achieve this return.

If you have already met your savings goal or are very close, your portfolio composition might change. Before retirement the objective of a portfolio is usually growth. Once the savings goal is achieved, the objective often switches to capital preservation.

As you get older, your investing timeline shortens and with it, your risk tolerance declines. Although your goals for retirement still might be the same, your objective (risk and required return) has changed.

Have “The Talk”

No, not the “Birds and the Bees”, you should have had that talk a long time ago. This talk however, some might say is equally important. This talk is centered around your family finances.

Gather your family together and talk about the families current financial situation. How much information is disclosed is up to you, but the more details you feel comfortable disclosing, the better.

Talks about money are tough, and fueled with a lot of emotions. These talks should be done with careful planning and consideration. For more information on the Importance of Talking Money read our previous post, here.

Consult Other Professionals

In addition to meeting with your financial advisor you should also be meeting with other professionals. Retirement is a critical time of transition. Some professionals you should consult are, a lawyer, accountant, banker, and insurance professional.

Sit down with your lawyer and look at your Will. During times of transition is the ideal time to look at and update your will. Other times to look at your Will are when you get married, have children, a divorce or a death, etc.

Meetings with accountant happens often enough, as you file taxes each year. However, schedule a time to sit down with your accountant and talk about what tax implications, income, etc. will look like in retirement so everyone is on the same page.

When talking to your banker, make sure all outstanding debt is paid, and accounts are set up appropriately. Going into retirement debt repayment can become increasingly difficult. It is a best practice to be debt free when entering retirement.

Lastly, meet with your insurance professional. As your life stage changes, there is a good chance that your life, disability, critical illness, and long term care insurance policies will need updating as well.

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Disclaimer: This Forbes Wealth Blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, or tax advice of any kind. Please consult your legal, accounting, tax, investment, banking, and life insurance professionals to get precise advice relating to your particular situation before acting upon any strategy.

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