Throughout your earning years, you worked hard to grow your assets for the future. Now that the future’s arrived, you can spend time enjoying the fruits of your labor. Even if you feel financially prepared for life as a retiree, it’s important to follow good money management practices and make adjustments to your budget and financial plan as your needs change. To help you maintain your financial health as a retiree, here are some money moves you could make once you enter retirement.
Part of creating your savings strategy for retirement includes setting goals and making sure you have the income necessary to achieve them. Once you enter retirement, it’s important to regularly evaluate these objectives, especially as unplanned expenses pop up. Preparing for both planned and unexpected expenses can help your savings go further and lessen the worry of running out of money. Plus, as your goals change, you can make alterations to your budget. Perhaps you’ve added a new trip to your calendar or would like to pick up a new hobby, or maybe you’ve decided to move in the next five years. Identifying your short- and long-term goals at least once a year can help you stay on track and keep your budget and expenses more closely aligned.
If you’re like many people, you may have several financial policies and accounts that have been opened throughout the years. Retirement is a good time to streamline your accounts. If you have multiple checking or savings accounts at different banks, you may want explore account aggregator tool options. An account aggregator tool that lets you compile information across various accounts, which may include bank accounts, credit card accounts, and more, into a single place. If you have multiple IRAs or 401(k) accounts, try consolidating them into a single IRA. To help you stay organized, create a list of important financial contacts such as your financial professional accountant, lawyer, and insurance agent. Share this information with a trusted family member and/or your financial power of attorney.
If you haven’t reviewed your beneficiaries since creating your policies and accounts, now is a good time to take another look. Designating a beneficiary can help ensure your money and assets go to the right person. You may have experienced life events that can affect who you wish to be named on your accounts. For example, have you gotten re-married or divorced? Perhaps you’ve had additional children since you first set up a policy and wish to have your assets divided equally among them. Take a moment to ensure all information is up to date and designate secondary beneficiaries if necessary. By listing contingent beneficiaries, this person or entity will inherit assets if the primary beneficiary disclaims their inheritance, is incapacitated, or predeceases the grantor.
Retirement is an ideal time to create or revisit your estate plan to ensure your money and property are distributed the way you wish. This includes looking over your will and making sure the wording is consistent with how you’ve allocated assets in other documentation, such as insurance policies or retirement accounts. You can create a will online with do-it-yourself software and resources or work with an estate planning attorney to draft the necessary paperwork. Other items you may want to include on your estate planning checklist could be the reviewing of any living wills and trusts, power of attorney designations, and letters of intent.
While you deserve a retirement filled with rest, relaxation, and the activities you enjoy most, you should still want to keep your financial plan current. Following good money management practices and regularly reviewing your budget and goals can help keep your finances strong. You may also wish to connect with a financial professional to help ensure you have the pieces in place that can help you accomplish your goals and make your hard-earned savings work for you.