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5 retirement income planning tips

Tips for the transition from saving for retirment to living in retirement

Invest sensibly, save, save, save, and delay retirement as late as possible – that’s the conventional wisdom about retirement planning. But you should also consider what your income needs in retirement will be. Here are some tips to move your thinking from saving for to living in retirement.

  1. Think income, not just dollars saved
    Instead of focusing on a target number (“I want to save $500,000 by age 60”), think about income. What are your monthly expenses and are you able to cover them? Do you plan to downsize or use your retirement to travel around the world? Do you want to leave a legacy to your family? How will your savings fare against inflation? There are many great online tools to help you nail down those details—take a look at our planning tools.
  2. Revisit your initial withdrawal rate
    You may start off your retirement with certain needs, but those needs inevitably will change. Make sure you evaluate your withdrawal rate with your financial professional at least annually to make sure you are not drawing too much, or too little, and are taking life changes into account.
  3. To take or not to take: Social Security
    Deciding when to take Social Security varies by individual. Conventional wisdom suggests taking Social Security as late as possible, but that may not be the best decision, depending on your health, marital and financial status. A financial professional can help you determine your ideal time.
  4. Transition your portfolio for retirement
    Build in time to make necessary changes to your portfolio before you retire. That way you are ready and are not making any unnecessary shifts during retirement. In general, a retirement portfolio is less about growth and more about income.
  5. Plan for a long life
    Life expectancy is on the rise thanks to advances in health care. This means your money will have to last longer. Consider long-term income vehicles, such as fixed immediate annuities, that provide a steady stream of income for life.