Five retirement income planning tips.

Making the transition from saving for retirement to living in retirement.

Invest sensibly, save, save, save, and delay retirement as long as possible—that’s the conventional wisdom about retirement planning. But you should also consider what your income needs will be in retirement.

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.e., “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 would you like to treat yourself to some luxuries in retirement? Do you want travel?
    • 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 some of 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 for you, 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.

Making sure you have enough income to live comfortably can help ensure that you don’t tarnish your golden years. By using these tips, you can plan today for a better tomorrow.

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