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April 13, 2016 - What Do You Want Retirement to Look Like?

April 14, 2016

A generation ago, retirement looked more or less the same for everyone: you left your job with a pension and transitioned into your golden years. But today, retirement looks quite different for everyone. One reason for that is that Americans today are living longer, more active lives than ever and have more choices about how they want to spend their retirements.

One of the most important aspects of creating a retirement strategy is finding personal answers to the question: What do I want my retirement to look like?

While many people look forward to simply not working, many retirees find themselves at loose ends very quickly. When many of us can expect decades of good health, it’s a good idea to start asking yourself questions about what you will do when you are no longer working.

  • How long do I want to keep working in my primary career?
  • Am I interested in an encore career related to my work?
  • Do I want to do something completely different?
  • What hobbies and activities do I want to do?
  • Where would I like to spend most of my time?

Once you begin to develop answers to some of these questions, we can estimate the cost for the lifestyle you envision. By testing a variety of assumptions about longevity, income, investment returns, healthcare costs, and other variables, we help our clients control and reduce the risk of running out of money in retirement.

Many Americans choose to gradually ease into retirement instead of quitting work entirely. For some, the decision is primarily financial. By delaying Social Security benefits and living on a paycheck rather than investments, these retirees give their retirement savings longer to grow.

Other retirees just want to keep working, whether by continuing in their primary career or taking on an encore career in another field. The payback for working can be much more substantial than a paycheck; working can help keep us mentally and physically engaged and provide important opportunities for socialization.

Ultimately, every retiree must make his or her own decision about how retirement will look. One of the benefits of working with a financial professional is that we have the tools and experience to help you think through your options and make the choices that best suit your personal situation.