Five essential questions to ask yourself before you tap retirement savings.
A culmination of a lifetime of hard work, careful planning and diligent saving, retirement is expressed and experienced in countless ways, but the financial journey starts with one simple step: withdrawing money from retirement savings. Taking your first withdrawal is a crucial moment in your retirement and shouldn’t be taken lightly. In conjunction with a financial professional, you should ask yourself five key questions before you take that first step.
- When should I begin withdrawing?
The question of when to begin withdrawals is one of the most crucial choices you can make. You may have a withdrawal date already planned, but sometimes life doesn’t cooperate with your plans. Taking withdrawals too early may increase your chances of having fewer resources as you get older. Don’t just rely on one withdrawal date. Make sure you and your financial professional have a contingency plan prepared.
- Do I have a solid plan?
Taking market and tax considerations into account when withdrawing from your accounts is essential to keep a solid financial balance in retirement. Your financial professional probably knows which accounts you’ll withdraw from first, but do you? Has he or she shared the strategy for which accounts you’ll withdraw from and when? Is your spouse informed as well?
- Am I ever really going to stop working?
Many people who retire after a long career don’t have adequate hobbies or activities to keep busy, become bored and return to work. Others don’t stop working at all, or they work a bit less. If you consider returning to work, make sure your financial professional is aware of your plans. Any extra income can make a difference in what accounts you withdraw from and when you do so.
- How will my withdrawals interact with my lifestyle and leisure?
Are your withdrawals going to provide enough income to travel? And what about your other hobbies and plans? It’s important to make sure your withdrawals allow you to continue living the same lifestyle in retirement. If you don’t believe your income will be adequate to enjoy life, have you discussed your concern with your financial professional?
- What about unexpected medical costs?
It’s no secret that the cost of health care in America has skyrocketed. Being prepared for increasing costs and the possibility of emergency care are two more key factors to consider before withdrawing from your nest egg. Health insurance is often not enough, and long-term care insurance should be considered as an added way to protect yourself from financial loss relating to health care.
These are just five basic questions to ask yourself and to discuss with your financial professional. After all, the sooner you prepare for retirement, the sooner you can decide what you want to do for the rest of your life.
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Forest Hills Financial Inc. and Securities America are separate entities. Written by Securities America for distribution by Forest Hills Financial, Inc.