What Questions To Ask About Retirement


Should I Sell My Home

6 Questions to Ask Before Retiring

Most retirement planners focus on an individuals investment portfolio. The portfolio is important, but its often not the average persons most valuable asset or largest potential source of liquidity. The bulk of many people’s wealth is tied up in their homes. As people approach retirement age, they should consider selling their residences, particularly if the mortgage has been satisfied and the property has increased significantly in value.

Why sell? First of all, youll generally need less space, and a smaller home is easier to maintain. However, thats not the primary reason. The main reason to sell is to gain liquidity and make sure that you have enough cash to live on and establish an emergency fund. After all, what good does sitting on a $1 million home do if you dont have the money to buy adequate health insurance or do the things you enjoy?

Ideally, people approaching retirement should try to game the real estate market. That is, they should try to figure out if it makes sense to sell the family home now and rent a home for a couple of years until retiring, or if it makes better sense to hold onto the home until the date they actually bid the workplace adieu. The decision can be crucial. Just think about what happened to those who waited to sell their homes until after the housing bubble burst in 2008.

Heres an example. Suppose that you are 10 years from retirement and the real estate market is currently running hot.

Lifestyle Questions To Consider In Retirement

In order to get clarity on how much you need for retirement, youll first want to consider these 3 questions that can help you answer that question.

One of the top questions people nearing retirement often ask us is, Will I have enough to retire?

But thats a bit like asking, Did I pack enough clothes for vacation?

How much you pack depends on where youre going, what you plan to do, and how long youre going to be there.

In other words, it depends on your lifestyle.

After all, one of the benefits of retirement is the ability to design what kind of lifestyle you want to experience.

And by lifestyle, we mean the ways you want to design your life in retirement as opposed to your current working lifestyle. Because your time is mostly allocated to your work during the week, your lifestyle pursuits are often limited to your weekends, evenings and vacations.

Once you retire, and every day is Saturday, you still have a lot of lifestyle time to plan for. Even after accounting for grandparenting, golfing and gardening.

So in order to get clarity on how much you need for retirement, youll first want to consider these 3 questions that can help you answer the Will I have enough to retire? question.

Does Your Firm Hold My Money And Investments

Your financial advisors shouldn’t come into contact with your assets . Instead, the advisor should contract with a reputable custodian, which could be a third party or owned by their firm.

The custodian holds your assets and will also process transactions, collect dividend and interest payments, make distributions, and produce monthly statements. Well-known third-part custodians include Charles Schwab, Fidelity Institutional, Pershing/BNY Mellon, TD Ameritrade, and LPL Financial.

Read Also: Borrowing From Retirement To Pay Off Debt

The 7 Key Retirement Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Are you retirement ready?

Its a question thats worth asking yourself well before retirement actually happens.

And its not just about having enough money.

While its totally important to have a solid financial plan in place, theres more to a fulfilled retirement than just finances.

After all, its a major life milestone, and theres more to life milestones than money, right?

We like to use the 5 Rings of Retirement as a trusty framework for balancing your ideal retirement life.

No matter how you slice it, though, its vital to be proactive and do everything you can to prepare for this big new chapter.

Before you make the leap into retirement, here are seven key retirement questions to ask yourself to ensure youre retirement ready.

Should We Be Out Of Debt Completely

Retirement Planning Infographic

Being debt-free before you retire can be a great goal. For many, though, it’s not realistic, or even desirable. By all means, strive to pay off high-interest consumer debt like credit cards and car loans. And make a pact to charge only what you can afford to pay off each month going forward. But your mortgage is another consideration. Because interest on a mortgage may be a very low rate and tax deductible, it could actually work in your favor. However, if you believe that being mortgage free would give you greater peace of mind, paying it off before you retire may be the best choice for you.

Recommended Reading: How To Choose Retirement Funds

What Options Are There For Transportation

Find out what the retirement community offers to their residents for transportation. Do they provide a shuttle service to take residents to medical appointments or leisure activities? Is the home close to commercial centers so that walking or taking public transport would be feasible? Check into these options to help make your decision.

As You Consider Early Retirement Ask Yourself These Five Questions To Make A More Informed Decision

1. How will my Social Security benefits be affected?

You are eligible to begin your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but it may mean that your benefits will be reduced by up to 30 percent. Look at the numbers to determine whether its worth receiving benefits before you reach full retirement age, which can vary from age 65 to age 67, depending on when you were born.

2. Do I have a well-defined budget?

Sean Lee, Founder of Elevated Retirement Group, recommends calculating your monthly expenses instead of guessing. Ask yourself, Am I clear on the amount I need to live on? he says. Understanding how much money you need can help determine whether your savings will last through a longer-than-expected retirement.

3. How does early retirement affect my pension?

Find out if youll receive significantly less money if you start receiving your pension early.

4. What sources of income will I have?

If you work part time and are planning to take Social Security, you can only make a certain amount of money without losing some of your benefits, says Lee. Also, if you have multiple retirement accounts, determine which ones to pull money from first to avoid tax penalties.

5. Will I still have health insurance?

Since Medicare kicks in at the typical retirement age, which is 65, find out if you can receive during the interim or if youll need a private health insurance plan.

Content Type: Checklist

Don’t Miss: Federal Government Employee Retirement Benefits

Adjusting To Retirement: Initial Questions

The process of reviewing your finances with a professional is a personal and intimate one.

  • What are some of the attributes you want your retirement planner to have? Go to miramontescapital.com and take a moment to look over the Roadmap to Retirement resource there.
  • Imagine you woke up with no responsibilities, and you could use your time to do anything. What would you do? Sketch out your perfect, worry-free life.
  • In what ways are you a good time manager now, and in what ways can you improve? Do your answers help you see potential problems you may have once you are retired?
  • Create a detailed budget, including all your income and expenses. Review your budget and note down what will change about it during retirement. Which expenses will increase? Which will likely go down? For instance, will you be paying a mortgage, going on vacations, adding on medical expenses?
  • Some of the best retirement questions to ask yourself: How often do you review your finances with your partner? As retirement approaches, will this schedule change? Take a look at our downloadable Retirement Planning Profile.
  • What about your daily schedule will remain the same after retirement and what will change? Map out you and your partners schedules.
  • Retirement Doesnt Have To Be Scary

    Retire Now: Common questions to answer before retirement

    Many people may feel overwhelmed by the retirement planning process, but working with a financial advisor is the best way to ensure you are taken care of during retirement. While the questions above are the most common retirement questions, they arent the only things to consider during the retirement planning process. As you start thinking about retirement, consider financial questions to ask a retirement planner that are personal to your needs.

    At Dechtman Wealth, we pride ourselves in providing quality financial planning. We always act in your best interest and have a straightforward approach with no hidden costs. Were here to help take the worry out of retirement planning and answer any additional retirement questions. Visit our website to learn more about our services and how we can best assist you.

    Join our Newsletter

    You May Like: Best Place To Retire Nevada

    Do Annuities Make Sense For Me

    Annuities come in a dizzying array of flavors. Some of them can be helpful for retirees, while others can cause problems.

    The type of annuity thats most likely to work in your best interest is an immediate income annuity. This is the simplest form of an annuity: It pays you monthly income for the rest of your life. You can also include a spouses lifetime, in many cases.

    The primary stumbling block for immediate annuities is that you might not get your money back, and your beneficiaries might not receive anything after your death. You may be able to add death benefits to mitigate that risk. But the more complicated you make things, the less money you get out of an annuity.

    Other types of annuities guarantee things like hypothetical account growth, future income, and more. But those products can cause significant problems. Ask a fee-only financial advisor before you buy an annuity for retirement.

    The question to ask yourself with all annuities is whether or not you need the guarantees offered by the insurer. Those guarantees might be worth less than you think. Also, if you decide to use an annuity, its critical to buy from a highly-rated insurance company to reduce the risk of losing your money.

    What Are The Biggest Mistakes Retirees Make

    Unfortunately, some retirees just dont have a financial plan, which can lead to overspending or underspending as a result.

    Ironically, many newly retired workers are too conservative. Our experience has been that some retirees should spend more money in the first few years of retirement and enjoy their health and high energy. They also have a backlog of to-dos that they have been wanting to experience like travel, cruise, etc. Often we find that, unless prompted to start enjoying life, some retirees settle into an attitude of we have to save the money for later.

    You May Like: Best Thing To Invest In For Retirement

    How Long Will I Need My Money To Last

    Unfortunately, nobody knows how long theyre going to live, which makes retirement planning a little tricky.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.8 years. However, when you consider the meaning of the word average, you realize that 50% of Americans will live longer than that statistic.

    Not only that, but the Social Security Administration says 25% of 65-year olds today will live beyond age 90!

    There are longevity calculators to help you estimate your own life expectancy, such as this one and this one. But these are still just guesses.

    The safest bet is to prepare yourself for a long retirement. Many financial planners are now advising their clients to plan for a life expectancy of at least 95 years old.

    How Do You Apply For Social Security Benefits

    7 Most Frequently Asked Retirement Questions

    Applying for Social Security is a relatively painless process. It can be done online on the Social Security Administrations website or by picking up an application from the SSA in person. After filling in the required information and turning the documents in, assuming everything is filled out correctly, your Social Security benefits should start coming to you in about six weeks.

    Also Check: Nationwide Retirement Customer Service Number

    How Should I Invest My Retirement Savings

    Your early years of retirement are critical for avoiding major losses. Taking withdrawals when your account balance is down can cause you to run out of money sooner than anticipated. However, that doesnt necessarily mean you need to avoid risk altogether.

    Youll hopefully live for many years during retirement. Over time, prices rise, and you may need your account balances to grow some to keep up with inflation and fund an income stream that lasts for the rest of your life. If you keep your money in low-yielding safe instruments, you might not get enough growth.

    Finding the right balance is difficult, and its easy to get drawn into too-good-to-be-true investments that appeal to your desire to preserve money. A diversified mix of low-cost mutual funds or ETFs can help many people fund a comfortable retirement. The question becomes exactly how to spread your money among those investments, and that depends on your need for risk.

    You can find a risk-tolerance quiz on this page, which may provide insight. Plus, strategies like bucketing can also provide peace of mind. Just remember that there are pros and cons to every strategy.

    Where Will I Live

    Once you retire, you are no longer tied down to a specific city or state. This means you are free to pick up and go where you want to!

    Where you decide to live will depend on your priorities and goals:

    • Do I want to live close to my kids and grandkids?
    • Do I want to live in warmer/cooler weather?
    • Do I want to sell my home and live in an RV?
    • Do I want to downsize to an apartment so I have more income for other things?
    • Do I want to travel for a while and not even have an address?

    There are a lot of things to consider when you decide where you want to live in retirement. Figure out your priorities and goals so you can answer these questions for yourself.

    Your housing will be one of your biggest expenses in retirement, so having an idea of the location and the cost will help you plan effectively.

    You May Like: Kaiser Permanente Employee Retirement Health Benefits

    + Questions To Ask A Retirement Community So You Make The Best Choice

    February 18, 2022 By // by Angelica Herrera Venson, DrPH, MPH

    Where you live in your retirement is incredibly important. You want to be in a place where you can enjoy life and where everything you need is accessible. This could also mean living close to your adult children.

    Once you know the part of the country you want to live in, its time to think carefully about the specific community. You might end up spending the rest of your life living here, so its important to make a good decision.

    Whether youre a senior yourself, an adult child, or another family member, this set of questions to ask a retirement community can help you to clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of a given place. From there, its easy to see whether the community is a good fit for you or not.

    When Should I Begin Taking Social Security

    Questions to ask before Signing a Retirement Annuity

    The question of when to take Social Security is at the top of the list because it’s a decision nearly every American must make. You get less monthly income if you begin benefits early, and more monthly income if you delay benefits.

    Too many people assume that this is a simple decision, and they take the option that puts money in their pockets early on. A choice like this could cost a family thousands in missed benefits.

    Rather than deciding on Social Security independently of the rest of your situation, look at how it fits in holistically with all aspects of your retirement income plan. Consider factors such as inflation, longevity, the need for guaranteed income, the amount of financial assets you have, whether you plan to work part-time in retirement, and your tax situation. Other variables, such as your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s income, may play into this decision as well.

    Also Check: Can I Retire At 62 And Still Work Full Time

    Youre Closing In On Retirement But Youre Not There Yet Are You On Track Will You Be Ready To Help Find Out Print These 10 Questions Out And Take Them With You To Your Next Meeting With Your Financial Planner

    Retirement is often on the forefront of peoples minds as they are looking at their finances and an exciting aspiration for many of us. In particular though, as someone gets five to eight years from retirement, the margin for error on planning mistakes becomes less and less and the questions to ask get more and more critical.

    I have found that turning 60 often can act as an important milestone and catalyst for clients to really take a hard look at different aspects that may impact them. For all the information on the web I was surprised to find no succinct checklist of questions to give my clients. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, so we developed these 10 questions to ask as you yourself and your financial adviser as you near retirement.

    These are just some of the issues to consider when turning 60, or whatever age you find yourself seriously starting to consider retiring in the next five to eight years . As much emphasis is placed on saving and investing, there often are other important areas missed in planning as mentioned, such as estate planning, life insurance and long-term care, to name a few.

    **Neither New York Life Insurance Company, nor its agents or affiliates, provides tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal, or accounting professional before making any decisions

    Share post:


    More like this

    How To Plan For Retirement At 50

    If You...

    How Much Do I Need In 401k To Retire

    What Is...

    Retirement Income Calculator With Inflation

    Making Your...

    What To Do With Tsp After Retirement

    Tsp Installment...