Time to transition to a successful retirement strategy? Here are 3 simple tips that Liberated Investors, “In-the-know-soon-to-be-retirees”, will use to get you started:
1. Consult an expert on Social Security strategy.
Already started drawing Social Security? Its not too late. Social Security is one of the largest assets most couples have in retirement. Unfortunately, most don’t take the necessary steps to maximize this retirement asset. If you don’t make the right decision about when to elect Social Security, you could be making huge financial mistake. Typically speaking, with couples, the higher wage earner should file a restricted application for spousal benefits at 66/67 and then draw his/her own at age 70, while the lower earner simply draws their own at 66/67.
2. Determine your monthly cash flow needs and save more in the process!
Now that you have a Social Security strategy mapped out, its time to determine your monthly cash flow needs?? YIKES—Cash Flow??!! Not really—want to get ‘er done via the “band-aid method (rip it off quickly and the pain really isn’t that bad…)?”
For 2-3 months commit to a CASH ONLY budgeting system. Seems unrealistic, but the stone age of no plastic wasn’t that long ago, really. Try it. This will surprisingly aid in cutting your expenses, too, as an added bonus. This exercise will assist in determining what it really costs you to live each month, and more importantly, define just how much you will need, if any, to withdraw from your investments each month to live.
From here, you and your advisor can craft a more suitable investment strategy that is designed to fund your cash flow needs. Read more on the importance of investment objectives and the timing of withdrawals.
3. Save, Save, Save.
Roth IRA eligible? CONTRIBUTE. Have an employer sponsored retirement plan (401k/403b/457?) CONTRIBUTE – at a minimum, contribute the employer match…don’t leave that bonus on the table.
Don’t have the cash for a 401k, IRA or Roth IRA contribution this year? Shift investments from taxable investment accounts to an IRA or a Roth IRA. Up your contributions from your paycheck and supplement your checkbook with saved, taxable investments elsewhere.
For 50-somethings that are Roth or IRA eligible, you have between now and April 15 to contribute $13,000 ($6,500 for 2013 and $6,500 for 2014) – if you have $13,000 in investments in a taxable account, move them over and start the retirement savings momentum! Do this every year you have at least $6,500 in wages. Beware of annuity proposals when shuffling dollars and making retirement contributions – just say no until you consult a fee only advisor who will take a no conflicts (ahem, no commission) approach to advising you best.
These 3 tips are only a beginning. Want more? Find out the 5 ways you can beat Wall Street, by becoming a Liberated Investor.
Transitioning to retirement is a big event. Start slow, soon and educated. Retirement is synonymous with freedom from work. Make sure you a also free from the games that Wall Street plays with investors by becoming a Liberated Investor along your Retirement Path.