(Image courtesy of Baltimore Magazine)

Are You Ready for Retirement?

 

Barry Armstrong

Founder and President, Armstrong Advisory Group

 

Summer is nearly here, and it is a time when many people begin to long for the joys of retirement.  How can anyone blame these retirement daydreamers who imagine life without the daily grind while sitting on a beach or enjoying a hike with their grandkids?  While it is easy to dream about retirement, figuring out whether you’re actually ready to take the leap is a much taller order.  Folks who are unsure about their level of retirement preparedness are certainly not alone: according to a recent survey, 81% of Americans have no idea how much money they’ll need to financially survive retirement1.  If you happen to be one of them, you’ve come to the right place.  Here are some tips to help you figure out whether you’re ready for retirement:

 

Understand Your Current Strategy

 

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out exactly how much money you have saved so far.  Tallying up the balances from all of your retirement accounts will provide you with your most obvious indicator.  If you have retirement accounts, it’s a good idea to sit down with a financial advisor to look beyond your quarterly statements and develop a better understanding about where your portfolio stands.  How exposed are you to risk?  Are fees weighing down your returns?  Do you invest in a tax-sensitive manner?  It is good to find answers to questions like these and decide whether any changes are necessary.

 

How Long Will it Last?

 

An investment advisor is able to produce an estimate of your portfolio’s future growth, which will allow you to determine how much money it may be worth in the coming years.  Although it is important to understand how long your money will last, it is also key to remember that this factor is mostly in your hands.  This is why it is critical for you, the prospective retiree, to calculate how much money you need to live comfortably now and compare those numbers with the amount of funds you have saved.

 

Consider Withdrawals and Medical Costs

 

Once you calculate your anticipated future withdrawals and consider the costs of medical care, you will have a much better idea of how much money you will need to have saved in order to retire.  On that note, it may also be a smart idea to meet with an estate-planning attorney to discuss ways to protect your estate from the costs of long-term care.  You don’t need me to tell you that it is a good idea to find ways to reduce your vulnerability to medical costs.

 

Conclusion

 

If you hope to retire within the next year or so, my team of financial advisors would be happy to sit down with you to help you develop a comprehensive understanding of your current investment strategy, discuss areas that could use some improvement, and have a look at how your current savings will hold up in the midst of retirement.  Retirement planning can be complicated, so leave it to the professionals to manage your investment situation.  That way, you can enjoy your golden years on the beach or in your favorite neck of the woods without trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for it.

 

Barry Armstrong has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry.  He founded the Armstrong Advisory Group in 2004 and has been sharing his financial knowledge with New Englanders on a daily basis during his Boston-based radio broadcast for nearly 20 years.  Learn more about Barry and the Armstrong Advisory Group at www.armstrongadvisory.com.  Securities offered through Securities America, Inc.  Member FINRA/SIPC and Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors.  Barry Armstrong, Representative.  Representatives of Securities America do not offer tax advice.  Always seek the assistance of a tax professional familiar with the laws in your state.  Armstrong Advisory Group and Securities America are unaffiliated.  May 2017

 

1 http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/15/80-of-americans-dont-know-how-much-they-need-to-retire.html