I came across a short but important article in a recent issue of Kiplinger magazine. The article is entitled, “Near retirement? 5 plans you MUST have in place,” authored by Chris Harlow, a CPA and investment advisor representative with NW Tax & Wealth Advisory Group, Inc., which was included in the May 2017 issue. I wanted to share his insights with you.
Mr. Harlow points out that if you are racing toward retirement, you have got to prepare for some twists and turns. To make sure your money lasts and your family is cared for, you need to address five challenges. You should be working with a team of professionals experienced in planning for retirement, including a financial advisor, CPA and estate planning attorney. He lists a five-point road map that helps clients maneuver through retirement challenges. This includes:
An income plan: Your number one goal in retirement planning should be building a strategy that ensures he never run out of money. If you do not have a pension through your employer, your advisor can help you find ways to create your own safe and steady income stream.
A protection plan: Chronic illness, the death of a spouse and other unpredictable events can devastate your retirement goals. But there are new and increasing options available to help you preserve your savings.
A growth plan: When you are near or in retirement, it makes sense to reduce the risk in your portfolio. If the market experiences a downturn while you are making withdrawals, you may never recover. But once you have figured out your income needs it is wise to put a portion of your money to work as a hedge against inflation.
A tax plan: Without the proper strategies in place, taxes can eat up your hard-earned nest egg. Most people believe their taxes will be lower in retirement, but that is not necessarily the case. Your advisor can help you find more tax-efficient investment, and then show you how and when to withdraw from those various assets.
A legacy and estate plan: If you want to make sure your family, friends and favorite charities are taken care of, it is critical that you document your desires. It is important to create and regularly re-evaluate your plan so you don’t burden your loved ones with decisions and possible problems.