Planning for retirement is like driving into a mountain range. Everything looks peaceful, until you start ascending. Then the hairpin turns and switchbacks begin!
Five major challenges need to be addressed once you are about five years away from retirement, says Kiplinger in a recent article, “Near Retirement? 5 Plans You MUST Have in Place.” This is the time when you may want to bring in some professional help, rather than go it alone.
You may be ready to move from accumulating money to protecting what you already have. At this point, there are some important decisions that need to be made. For example, you will need to decide when to take Social Security, how to take your pension (if you have one), how to structure your savings to be sure you don’t run out of money and how to plan for taxes, inflation and long-term care costs.
Here’s the five “must haves” to help you with your retirement challenges:
- Income plan: the top goal in retirement planning is creating a strategy that ensures you don’t run out of money.
- Protection plan: unanticipated events like the death of your spouse or serious illness, can wreak havoc with retirement goals.
- Growth plan: examine your glide path when you’re near or in retirement to reduce the risk in your portfolio and to hedge against inflation.
- Tax plan: taxes can impact a hard-earned nest egg without proper planning.
- Estate plan: be certain that your family, friends, and favorite charities are addressed and that you document your wishes. Create and regularly review your plan with an experienced estate planning attorney so you don’t burden your loved ones with those decisions and possible issues.
This is the time when the experienced professionals can help you navigate the challenging decisions and complex calculations ahead. Even if you have spent your career as a business owner or high level executive who managed your 401(k)s and investments without help in the past, what’s coming will be more challenging. An estate planning attorney can help navigate a smoother ride to retirement