I vividly remember that as a kid I thought 60 was older than dirt. But now that I am here, I find that I’m trying to convince myself that those “60 is the new 40” phrases aren’t as ridiculous as they sounded a while back.
For the last 30 years of my life, I have dispensed advice to just about anyone who would listen about the tactics, strategies, and practices that are necessary for a successful retirement. Now it’s time to eat my own cooking. To be clear, I know it’s out there somewhere, and though I can’t quite see it from here, at some point, retirement is coming. Now I get to ask myself will I be ready when it takes front and center in my life?
Here’s a bit of a checklist that I will be working through (very quietly) to make sure I have done everything I can to be ready for life after work.
Get as Much Money as Possible into Tax-Deferred Accounts
I have never had anyone come into my office and say “I saved too much money for retirement.” Conversely, I have often seen folks who obviously don’t have enough to maintain their former lifestyle during their “no job” years. My plan will be to max out our company retirement plan, being sure to take full advantage of the match. Now is not the time to leave money on the table. If you see retirement on the horizon, it’s time to kick it into high gear with your contributions.
Don’t be in a rush to take Social Security at 62
Aside from the fact that taking Social Security would be absolute confirmation of my advancing age, it just doesn’t make financial sense in my case (I plan to continue to work, and I will make over $17,000 per year). Social Security has a rule that says they deduct a dollar in benefits for every two dollars you make over the $17k limit. At that point, I would get nothing. Besides, the longer I defer, the larger my ultimate check will be, and I can put it off until age 70. (Wait, if 60 is the new 40, then is 70 the new 50?? Just wondering…)
Think Differently about Investments
I believe in the American economy. Anyone who has, long-term, bet against the American economy has lost. Recessions, political turmoil, natural disasters, you name it. An advantage of my years of living is my perspective that our economy is a bit like Michael Myers from the Halloween movie. No matter what happens, it always comes back. So, I am a big fan of equity investments, but I know that the volatility that actually helped me during my accumulation years will work against me as retirement draws closer. It’s vital to create an investment strategy that some of your money protection from market swings and from the negative effect of rising interest rates on bond prices.
Healthcare is the Big Unknown Issue.
My personal coverage is fine for now, and Medicare isn’t available for another few years. The whole health insurance market is in turmoil and who knows what coverage will look like in the future! However, one thing is certain: the chances of needing some type of help like home health care, assisted living, etc. go up significantly in retirement. The cost of such can wreck a lifetime’s worth of accumulated assets.
I figure I’m in the camp of many other Baby Boomers when I say I plan to fight growing old with every ounce of my strength. It’s just part of my “never give up, never give in” personality. Unless I have my own Tom Petty event where I almost literally walk “off the stage” and die, I know that father time eventually wins, and I need to be prepared for life after work. “Work until you die” might sound like it’s a great option, but in reality, it’s not.
So, What’s the Plan?
At GenWealth, we guide people through the maze of retirement every day, and, as one who is pretty flipped out about his own retirement prospects, I am glad to have a team of professionals I can call on to show me the way. (Wait, did I just channel Peter Frampton?)
Who is your guide?
I’ve always said you’ve got to fend for yourself, but never do so by yourself.
Do you feel like I do? (Yep, I did it again . . . too much Frampton from the 70s)
If so, click here to get in touch with the GenWealth team. We are happy to help!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information mentioned above was a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific situation. Your results will vary. The hypothetical rates of return used do not reflect the deduction of fees and charges inherent to investing.