By Nino Pavan, J.D., CFP®
Recent retirement surveys reveal that due to advancements in healthcare, today’s retirement population may enjoy much longer life spans compared to previous generations. This extended longevity means your retirement could potentially last for 30 years or more, exceeding the length of time you spent in the workforce. Given this fact, it’s not surprising that participants in a recent retirement risk readiness study expressed concerns about the possibility of outliving their assets as they age.
Fortunately, there are key steps you can take to preserve your wealth and have the funds you need for your full retirement. Read the following 3 tips on what you can do today to make your money last a lifetime.
1. Diversify Your Income
A great way to make your retirement funds last is to diversify your income. The truth is, no matter what your net worth, your income will always be your greatest wealth-building tool. That’s why a solid income stream is great, but multiple streams of income are even better.
Diversified income streams act in much the same way that diversified investments do. They allow for less demand and stress on any one income source, so that if an unforeseen event were to occur, the remaining income streams can pick up the slack. There are many ways to diversify your income, including:
- Invest in real estate. Owning rental properties is a great way to earn passive income without dipping into your retirement savings. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are another popular option.
- Continue to earn active income. You could also pursue a passion, become a freelancer, or work for a nonprofit. You will earn less than what you’re making now, but all these options will provide flexibility and a form of income diversification that will keep your retirement savings intact for longer.
- Use dividend-paying stocks. Often considered an annuity-like cash stream, dividend-paying stocks give company earnings to investors, typically once a quarter. The top dividend-paying stocks even raise their payouts over time. This not only gives you an income stream, but you can also reinvest the dividends to pursue more growth.
2. Avoid Overspending & Invest for Growth
Do you know what you will do with your newfound freedom in retirement? Many people start by pursuing all the things they didn’t get to do while working—traveling the world, picking up a new hobby, remodeling their home, and the list goes on.
But many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll spend in those first few years of retirement. With so much extra time on your hands, it’s easy to make a lot of little purchases that add up over time. Avoid overspending by creating a detailed (but realistic) budget for your retirement years. You can budget for extra expenses like vacation or pursuing a new hobby, but make sure you know how it will affect your nest egg before you follow through.
In addition to budgeting, another strategy for making your retirement income last is to invest excess cash for growth (stocks) instead of fixed income (bonds). This may sound counterintuitive since retirees tend to invest in more conservative investments to maintain steady income. But as bond yields remain historically low and inflation reaches new highs, many experts have expressed concerns over the sustainability of retirement investments that have a larger allocation toward bonds.
You certainly need the fixed-income component, but it’s important to consider including investments that have a greater growth potential in order to keep up with inflation and maintain your ability to withdraw funds every year.
Make sure you are investing with the proper perspective, and don’t cheat yourself out of years (or even decades) of potential growth.
3. Create a Withdrawal Strategy
When it comes to withdrawing from your retirement accounts, how you take your distributions can make all the difference. Your retirement income sources are likely produced from a variety of assets, including employer-sponsored retirement plans, Social Security, personal IRAs, or other income-generating investments. Each asset has different tax characteristics, and properly structured investments can help lower your tax burden if you plan how and when you’ll withdraw from each.
For example, most people will receive Social Security benefits during retirement, but 85% of your Social Security income can be taxed at your regular tax rate if your income exceeds a certain amount.
Regarding your personal savings, a $50,000 withdrawal from a Roth IRA will have a wildly different tax impact than that same distribution from a traditional IRA. If you blindly take your money and run, you could trigger an avalanche of higher Social Security taxes, investment surtax, capital gains taxes, and even higher Medicare premiums, which will eat away at the funds that were supposed to carry you through retirement. Creating a withdrawal strategy and a tax plan can help you maximize your retirement funds and improve your financial situation.
A Custom Plan to Make Money Your Last
Planning for retirement can be complex, but with the right approach and guidance, you can experience financial stability. At Financial Designs, we make it our goal to create a customized strategy to build your retirement nest egg so you can ease into a comfortable retirement. Contact us today to explore personalized plans for your financial future. To schedule a no-obligation consultation, call (909) 626 1642 or email email@example.com today!
Nino Pavan is President and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at Financial Designs, a financial planning firm in Claremont, California, with the mission of enabling individuals and families to financially prepare for and confidently enjoy their retirement years through goal-centered planning. With more than 25 years in the financial services industry helping families navigate the retirement process, Nino is thankful for the opportunity to serve his clients by making the retirement process a stress-free process; he worries about their money so they don’t have to.
Nino holds a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications Management from DeVry Institute of Technology and a law degree from the University of Southern California, and is a contributing advisor to Kiplinger. In addition to being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Investment Advisor Representative, Nino has passed the Series 7, 24, and 63 securities exams and holds life and disability insurance licenses in the state of California. He also conducts retirement and estate planning workshops for employees of major California companies. Outside of the office, Nino enjoys sports (regular and fantasy), traveling (specifically tropical destinations), walking, tennis, pickleball, church activities, and spending time with his wife, Sherry, and their two children, Derek and Sara. To learn more about Nino, connect with him on LinkedIn.