Conversations to Have Before You Retire
It’s natural to want to avoid certain conversations. But doing so usually makes things worse. Especially when it comes to retirement.
Instead, if you’re nearing retirement age, start talking.
Discuss your financial and emotional wishes for the next phase of your life with different people and many professionals. Establish relationships with experts and advisors who can adjust your plans over time to your changing needs.
Specifically, set up meetings with the following people:
- Your financial advisor. Create a short and long term retirement road-map. Review your portfolio together to determine if you can afford to retire when you want to. This discussion will include reviewing your projected retirement income and current and future expenses, such as medical and long-term care costs. Discuss ways to strategize social security benefits and when you and your spouse should begin receiving those monthly checks. The timing is entirely related to the amount you will get for the rest of your life. Delaying may make sense in some cases, but for other situations, starting early or having your spouse collect spousal benefits may be more financially wise.
- Your spouse. Talk about your retirement plans and lifestyle wishes with your significant other. Discuss when you want to retire and determine if both of you will do so at the same time. Evaluate your housing options. Should you downsize? Selling and moving can be complicated and should be thoroughly discussed before taking action. If you hope to age-in-place, determine how to get your house ready for your aging needs. Will you need to remodel? Review your budget together to establish a financial plan that meets both of your needs. Retirement is a transition that often impacts couples; discuss your hopes in advances to increase the likelihood of a smooth transition.
- Your boss. Not only do you need to finalize your retirement date, you also may want to continue working as a consultant. Look into consulting fees in advance of meeting with your supervisor. Do not discuss your plans with co-workers beforehand and be flexible about the timing of your retirement. Consider options for gradual retirement too. Many companies capitalize on their senior employees’ experience to mentor or train new workers. Some employees also offer part-time opportunities to help retirees supplement their incomes, retain medical insurance and continue contributing to their professions.
- Your family. Share your retirement hopes and plans with your children and relatives. Make sure they know in advance what kind of lifestyle you want and where you want to live. If you expect them to support you in any way, make that clear and find out if they are in agreement. Discuss your wishes regarding your health care as you age. And make sure they understand who your beneficiaries are and what kind of decisions you expect them to make on your behalf. As difficult as these conversations may be, avoiding them will most likely only transfer the stress onto your adult children and further aggravate the situation.
- Your financial dependents. If you are financially supporting any adult children or relatives, it’s time to have a serious conversation with them. If you plan to reduce financial assistance or stop supporting them altogether once you retire, notify them of the timing as soon as possible. With a fixed income and rising medical costs, most retirees cannot afford to continue supporting dependents without end. Discuss alternatives, such as different housing options, to help prepare your loved one for this significant change.
At Silverman Financial, we support retirement plans that are flexible and financially sound. We establish long-term relationships with our clients and meet regularly to protect and secure their financial well-being throughout their retirements.