Retirement Planning Guide: 6 Steps to Help You Plan For Retirement
Are you looking for a retirement planning guide? A robust retirement plan is the key to securing your future and ensuring you get to live your post-retirement years in comfort. Working with a qualified wealth manager can make this happen. If you have an ultra-high net worth of over $10 million, we suggest you check out our guide to finding a financial advisor for managing $10 million to $500 million in liquid assets. It can help you understand the nuances of selecting a financial advisor who works for you and helps you retire comfortably.
At Pillar Wealth Management, we have a team of experts who can help you prioritize your retirement goals and plan accordingly. Our wealth managers can design an investment portfolio that aligns with your retirement goals, lets you prepare for risks, and reduces your costs. Book a free consultation today to learn more!
In this retirement planning guide, we will answer the following questions:
• What are the steps in retirement planning?
• What is the best option for retirement planning?
• What should you do before start retirement planning?
What Are the Steps in Retirement Planning?
Retirement planning is a long and ongoing process.You need to do your due diligence before you take any concrete steps toward building your retirement plan. If you are wondering what should you do before start retirement planning and during it, here’s a breakdown that can help:
Step 1: Figure Out Your Expenses and Spending Requirements
Before you start planning for retirement, the first thing you need to do is define the life you want to live after you retire. For instance, suppose you are living in New York City at the moment. Do you still plan to live there when you retire? Or do you want to move to another city like Miami?
You may also want to buy a new home in the city you move to. To make this process easier, we recommend visualizing your retirement years and making a list of everything you want to do.
What will your expenses look like based on this list? How much money will you need to spend on a daily basis to live the life you desire? Try and prepare estimates of these costs and define your spending requirements. Some examples of the expenses you will incur include:
• Mortgage payments
• Home repair
• Fine dining
• Other recreational activities
• Paying for your child’s college tuition
• Other outstanding loans
Having a breakdown of these costs will help clarify your income goals.
Step 2: Define Your Retirement Goals and Time Horizon
Once you have your expenses in one place, you can see what your retirement goals are. You now know what you want to do once you retire and how much income you will need. Once you have this down, consider your time horizon. This refers to the number of years left until you retire. Having more years mean you can save up more for retirement. In the case of a shorter horizon, you can either:
• Adjust your goals to suit a more realistic timeline
• Increase your income sources to boost your earnings
In many cases, the first option is easier. The second option can involve making high-risk investments that deliver potentially higher returns. However, if you work with an experienced financial advisor, they may be able to help you figure out a way that helps you achieve most of your goals while controlling your risk.
If you are having trouble finding a financial advisor for high net worth individuals, click here to read our guide on the subject.
Step 3: Find a Financial Advisor With Experience in Retirement Planning
The next step in our retirement planning guide is finding a financial advisor who can help you plan for your retirement. This is easier said than done. Most financial advisors already have a predefined notion on how they are going to help you. They offer standard solutions that provide very little value to you.
If you are trying to find a financial advisor for retirement planning, we suggest you start by asking them the following questions:
• Have you worked with high net worth clients before?
• How will you identify my potential income sources?
• How will you diversify my portfolio?
• How will you help me monitor my goals?
• How will you help me control my portfolio risk?
• What will my investment and retirement planning costs look like?
Step 4: Identify Potential Income Sources
Suppose you have a financial advisor on board. The next step is figuring out which income sources you can rely on to retire successfully. You can ask your financial advisor, “What is the best option for retirement planning?” There are various income sources you can consider here. Typically, your retirement income should come from the following:
• Certificate of deposits
• Treasury bills
• Social security benefits
Your investment portfolio should include a combination of the above. Your financial advisor can help you decide how to allocate your assets. For example, if you have a longer time horizon and can make risky investments, then they will add a greater percentage of equities to your portfolio.
However, suppose you plan to retire in the next 10 years or so and don’t want to expose yourself to unnecessary risks. In that case, your portfolio can carry low-risk investments such as certificates of deposits, bonds, treasury bills, and other cash-based accounts.
If you want more information on how asset allocation works, click here to read our guide on how investors can boost portfolio performance.
If you require help with understanding what is the best option for retirement planning, book a free appointment with our wealth managers.
Step 5: Grow and Preserve Your Wealth
So you have defined your retirement goals and identified your main sources of income. The next stage involves growing and sustaining your wealth.
You may be confronted with many challenges here. For example, you could see a dramatic increase in your current expenses due to one or more of the following:
• You may get married or divorced
• Have a child
• Buy a new home
• Bear more healthcare costs
• Your business may go into stagnancy
As these costs rise, you might be compelled to treat your retirement savings as a safety net of sorts. If you are confronted with a dilemma like this, talk to your financial advisor. Remember, you don’t want to harm your long-term financial plan due to temporary hardships.
Your financial advisor can solve these problems by:
i. Revisiting Your Retirement Plan
If the need arises, you can go over your retirement plan again and see how your current situation impacts your ability to reach your retirement goals. You may need to readjust them again. It’s up to your financial advisor whether they are able to devise a better solution.
For example, if they make more strategic investments that cause your wealth to increase rapidly, then you may not have to make any significant changes to your retirement plan.
ii. Helping You Cut Costs
If you need help managing your current expenses, your financial advisor can try and figure out ways to cut your investment and retirement planning costs. They can help you reduce your taxes, utilize passive investing over active investing, control other internal expenses,etc.
Passive managers typically charge a lower fee than active managers. Passive investing also helps you reduce your short-term capital gain taxes. These gains are taxed at 37%.
Besides this, your financial advisor can help you prepare a tax minimization strategy that lets you defer taxes by investing in tax-free bonds. Municipal bonds are one example of this.
If you need more information on how a financial advisor can help you reduce costs, read our guide on getting a financial advisor for investors with $10 million and above in liquid assets.
Step 5: Retire
Once you reach your retirement age, it’s time to see if your retirement plan worked out as intended. The income sources you planned for earlier will come into play here. Everything from your retirement accounts, equity investments, bonds, and cash accounts will supplement your income to help you lead the life you planned.
As you withdraw from these accounts, you will have to plan for taxes and figure out how to reduce them.For example, if you put too much money into your 401(k) or IRA, then you can expect to receive more RMDs (required minimum distributions) than required. These distributions come with a high tax bill. To minimize this tax bill, you can consider using your 401(k) to make qualified charitable distributions and fulfill your donation goals. This can help you meet your RMD requirements while reducing your tax bill.
To learn more about how tax minimization works, click here to schedule a conversation with us.
Step 6: Prepare to Transfer Your Wealth
The final step in retirement planning is preparing to transfer your wealth. It involves estate planning to pass on your assets to your heirs as smoothly as possible. You can use a Will or Trust to do this. Bear in mind that although wealth transfer can occur toward the end, you need to prepare for it in advance.
For example, if you are a high net worth investor, you must have a Last Will and Testament in place for distributing your assets. This legal document can identify the beneficiaries of your estate. It also carries other important details, such as choosing a guardian for your children if they are under 18 years old.
Consider consulting an estate planning attorney for more information on this.
We also recommend getting a hardcover copy of our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million.
3 Things That Can Help With Retirement Planning
Now that you know what are the steps in retirement planning,here are a few tips that can make the process easier:
1. Start as early as you can. A longer time horizon makes it easier to reach your goals.
2. Keep revisiting your retirement plan to make sure you are on the right track.
3. Focus on finding your comfort zone. Accumulating more wealth is important, but not as important as your peace of mind. As long as you are getting what you want out of the plan, avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Talk to Pillar Wealth Management and Get More Out of This Retirement Planning Guide
We hope you found this retirement planning guide useful for figuring out what are the steps in retirement planning.The importance of retirement planning and wealth management only increases with time. Regardless of how old you are, building and executing your retirement plan can help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life. It allows you to take advantage of new opportunities and use your assets in a way that helps you achieve financial serenity.
If you’re seeking help for retirement planning, talk to Pillar Wealth Management today. We can equip you with the correct knowledge and help you make the right decisions to secure your retirement. Our team can assist you in overcoming potential obstacles and pass on your financial legacy to your loved ones.
Talk to our experts and discuss what is the best options for retirement planning and what should you do before start retirement planning. Book a free consultation.
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