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Financial planning for retirement

Retirement Planning Doesn’t Stop At Retirement

Financial planning is really about achieving your financial goals.  And, being able to enjoy retirement without outliving your retirement savings is usually the number one goal.  But, without careful planning, it can also be the number one worry.

As you approach retirement, having a well-thought-out plan for a successful retirement is crucial.   This will also help you get comfortable moving from accumulating retirement assets to de-accumulating them to support your lifestyle in retirement. A few steps to get started are:

  • Estimate your current expenses, considering core living expenses, healthcare costs, travel, charitable donations, and hobbies. Then think about how your spending may change in retirement. What you are likely to spend in retirement is a key determinant of your retirement readiness. By understanding your expenses, it will help identify areas where adjustments can be made if needed. Not knowing what you will spend in retirement is the easiest way to overspend.
  • Access and review your Social Security Benefits for accuracy.  You can obtain a copy of your Social Security statement online at www.ssa.gov.  With your financial advisor, become familiar with claiming strategies.  
  • If you have a pension plan, request payment options based on your target retirement date and review those options with your financial advisor.
  • Ask your financial advisor to assess your retirement readiness.  Make sure that you are on track to retire and, if not, what can you tweak to meet your retirement goals?
  • Review your asset allocation and asset location with your advisor so you have a glide path to implement a withdrawal strategy in retirement.  Asset allocation is, at a high level, the mix of stocks and bonds; whereas asset location is focused on the type of accounts to locate those investments.  Ideally, the least tax-efficient assets are in retirement accounts.
  • Identify potential risks and obstacles then take steps to mitigate those risks.  Risks in retirement include more than just market risk.  There is inflation, overspending, rising healthcare costs, long-term care expenses, and longevity risk – to name a few.
  • Identify opportunities.  With your advisor, look for ways to reduce current and future taxes and possibly reduce your Medicare premiums.

As you get a year or two away from retirement, you will firm up your retirement plan.   

  • With your financial advisor, you will develop a withdrawal strategy that helps to ensure savings and investments last throughout your retirement. This should be a personalized strategy aligned with your unique circumstances.  There is no one-size-fits-all all.
  • Evaluate if repurposing some existing financial pieces, such as life insurance and annuities might make sense to address long-term care risks and legacy goals.
  • Make decisions with respect to Social Security claiming and pension options.

    During your retirement years,  you should regularly meet with your financial advisor to make sure you stay on track for a successful retirement. Financial planning for retirement is a lifelong journey that demands thoughtful planning reviewing and adjustments. The journey does not end upon retirement.  
  • Be diligent about tax planning and mindful about how income affects Medicare premiums.
  • Roth conversions often make sense in retirement, so ask your advisor if that strategy is right for you.    
  • Regularly review and reassess your financial plan, keeping an eye on market trends, inflation, and changes in personal circumstances.
  • Adjust your portfolio and spending patterns as needed to maintain financial stability.

Managing your finances in retirement can be complicated, but with careful planning, advice from a professional, and disciplined execution, you can enjoy your retirement years with confidence.


Any opinions are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., or of Raymond James. The information in this presentation does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments in this material. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of the strategy selected.

Neither Raymond James Financial Services nor any Raymond James Financial Advisor renders advice on tax issues, these matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional.

Unless certain criteria are met, Roth IRA owners must be 59½ or older and have held the IRA for five years before tax-free withdrawals are permitted. Additionally, each converted amount may be subject to its own five-year holding period. Converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA has tax implications. Investors should consult a tax advisor before deciding to do a conversion.