Think you can stop paying attention to finances after retirement? Think again. It’s just as important to monitor assets and plan during retirement as when you are saving for it.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Keep a close eye on your investments. Most retirees play it conservatively in investments as they near retirement age and especially after they enter retirement, choosing to protect their principal above all else. But it may make sense to keep at least a portion of your portfolio in more aggressive investments.
- Spend carefully. A good retirement spending guideline is to make sure annual withdrawals are not more than 4 to 6 percent of your portfolio. Withdrawing principal too quickly can hurt retirees down the road.
- Know your distribution options. Most pension plans pay in the form of an annuity. Other plans, like a 401 (k) don’t pay as annuities and may have limited distribution options.
- Withdrawal flexibility allows you to withdraw as little money as possible. You may want to rollover any retirement funds into a traditional IRA for greater flexibility.
- Phasing out. Some employers offer a phased out retirement, meaning workers can work part-time as they near retirement. This can help with easing into retirement and can defer some of your retirement spending.
- Shortfall woes. If you’re nearing retirement and it becomes apparent your retirement savings will not be enough, consider making drastic changes to your budget, such as saving more money, refinancing or getting a line of credit on your home or selling a car.
This article was contributed to by Barbara Treadwell. With offices in New York and Savannah, Treadwell has more than 20 years of experience in the financial arena. A certified financial planner, Treadwell embraces the LEAP Systems principals of coordinating and integrating assets for improved rates of return, better protection against the eroders of wealth and tax savings.