When you meet with your financial advisor, it’s natural to want to discuss the rate of return on your investments and the progress you’re making on your financial goals. But don’t let the conversation end there — especially if you’re nearing retirement.
As you transition from your working years to life as a retiree, you’ll need a plan for how to turn the money you’ve saved (along with other sources of income like Social Security or an annuity) into a steady “paycheck” that will allow you to live the retirement you want.
About 10 years from retirement is the perfect time to start having these conversations. To help make the transition successful, here are three topics to cover with your financial advisor as you approach retirement.
What do you want retirement to look like?
As you get closer to retirement, you’ve likely started to think more specifically about what you want this new time of your life to look like. Where will you live? How will you spend your time? What hobbies or activities do you plan to pursue? And if you’re part of a couple, hopefully you and your partner have started having these conversations to make sure you’re both on the same page.
As your vision of retirement comes into sharper focus, share the details with your financial advisor. He or she can help you translate your goals into dollars and cents by helping you determine the following:
Your cost of living (including property, income and estate tax implications) and any potential relocation costs
Health care costs
Potential long-term care costs
Discretionary expenses, such as travel, new hobbies, etc.
How can you maximize income from your savings?
Once you know how much you’ll need to achieve your retirement goals, do some numbers crunching to see if you’re on track financially. If you need to course correct, your financial advisor can walk you through a range of options to help you get closer to your goal. This might include things like:
Looking at all your options for generating income
Your plans for when to take Social Security and how to maximize your benefit. For instance, if you’re currently planning to claim Social Security at age 62, you can increase your monthly benefit by delaying for a few years.
Whether you should consider working an extra year or two or take a part-time job to help put you closer to reaching your income goals.
How to manage any debt you may be carrying.
Whether you need to adjust your asset allocation strategy
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
As you approach retirement age, you may feel a greater urgency to make sure your estate planning documents are in place and that your legacy goals are covered. While an estate planning attorney can draft or update your will or trust and powers of attorney for health care and finances, your financial professional also plays a role. They can help to ensure that your financial assets are aligned with your desire to leave money or other assets behind within the context of your comprehensive financial plan.