It's here! It's time to enjoy every minute of your retirement. Savor new experiences. Share your wisdom and your time. Make your remaining years the best years of your life.
Financial fundamentals of retirement
Be a wise steward of your retirement nest egg
You now are managing your retirement nest egg. Keep your expenses in line with your plan so you can afford to do those things you are passionate about.
You are entitled to a free credit report each year from each of the three reporting agencies. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to request your reports. Make sure each agency has accurate information; there may be differences from one agency to another.
Essentials for this decade
Be prepared for required minimum distributions (RMD) at 72
The IRS requires a minimum distribution from employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), IRAs (individual retirement account) and IRA-related plans. Mandatory distribution involves tax implications and market timing. Talk to your accountant and financial advisor to learn the rules that apply to your specific situation.
Consider delaying Social Security distributions for as long as possible
When should you take Social Security? Taking early withdrawals at age 62 could decrease the amount of your benefit by as much as 25 percent. For this reason, financial experts often recommend postponing benefits if you are able to do so. The longer you delay, the more your benefit grows. That said, each situation is different and deserves careful evaluation. Don't expect the Social Security Administration to be your advocate. Seek the counsel of a knowledgeable advisor.
Keep your emergency fund current
Continue to maintain a healthy balance in your savings account emergency fund to offset unexpected expenses. This allows you the flexibility of withdrawing funds from retirement savings when the market timing is most favorable.
Stay in close contact with your financial advisor and accountant
Work closely with your financial professional to maintain a comfortable balance of investment risk and security. Now's the time to get savvy about the rules and tax implications associated with withdrawals in retirement. Before taking retirement fund distributions, consult with your accountant or financial advisor.
Assess the most advantageous tax deduction strategy
When you pay off your mortgage, you may significantly reduce your itemized expenses. Taxpayers 65 and older have a higher standard deduction. Using the standard deduction may be more beneficial than itemizing your deductions. Your accountant will know the rules about what deductions apply to you.
Financial planning extras when retired
Consult with an estate planner and/or eldercare attorney
Many financial professionals specialize in estate planning and ways to protect the value of your estate and minimize the tax burden of those who may inherit from your estate. If you haven't already planned for the distribution of your assets, this may be a good time to do so. An attorney can help you protect the rights of your spouse; deal with Medicare issues; draft trusts and wills; and prepare other needed legal documents.
Saving tips for all ages
Strive to save 30% or more of your income
10% for retirement, 10% for your emergency fund, and 10% for large purchases or vacations.
Maintain an emergency fund
Strive to save three to six times your monthly income.
Try to limit your housing expense to no more than 28% of your gross household income.
Try to limit your total debt (mortgage, car loan, credit cards, student loans) to 36% of your gross household income.
To keep your credit score high try to keep your balances as low as possible.