A few years ago, I was talking with a friend about going to receive a physical. He informed me that he would also like to get physical but preferred to wait until he got in shape.
At our practice, we have been helping clients plan for retirement for decades. Retirement planning often feels like a physical: many clients are afraid of what they might find. Oftentimes these worries are misplaced, and the retirement planning we present is a pleasant surprise. If something needs to be changed, it is better to find that out ahead of time, as time is your friend when making retirement savings adjustments.
We have used the financial planning software eMoney for over a decade to help our clients envision what retirement will look like. Once we gather the below information, we’ll be able to model a variety of scenarios using cash flow reports, Monte Carlo simulations, and much more.
Collecting Basic Information
The first step towards creating your retirement plan is to provide us with some basic information. This includes your date of birth, and that of your spouse, if applicable. This enables us to anchor your retirement projections to real calendar dates. We also need to know a desired retirement date or dates. This number can move around depending on your personal preferences. It is important to note that delaying Social Security until age 70, when you’ll receive your maximum benefit, is especially beneficial for boosting overall income.
Personal Income & Savings
Retirement savings typically come from income. Your current salary and expected salary growth have a significant impact on your retirement savings. Someone making $300,000 faces different retirement savings challenges than someone making $70,000.
We’ll also account for the cost of living adjustments in your income and large income shifts, like an expected promotion. We can model specific income growth rates depending on your specifications.
Defined Contribution Accounts
401(k), 403(b), and IRA accounts are among the most commonly held retirement accounts we see. When analyzing these accounts, we will assess factors such as your contribution rate, any match or profit-sharing arrangements your employer plan contains, and what your likely growth rate will be given your asset allocation.
If your account is managed by someone other than our firm, viewing your account statements will allow us to assess the performance of your retirement savings and create a more accurate retirement plan tailored to your unique needs and goals.
Defined Benefit Accounts
Many of our clients have access to one or more defined benefit plans, which provide retirees with retirement income, usually based on a formula involving factors such as salary and years worked. In contrast to more commonly defined contribution plans, the employer is responsible for investment management.
To incorporate your pension plan into your overall financial planning, we need you to provide us with your pension benefit statements.
Estimating Social Security Benefits
According to the Social Security Administration, for 61% of elderly beneficiaries, Social Security makes up at least half of their income. Providing us with an estimate of your Social Security benefit is essential for creating a more accurate retirement plan. You can find your benefit statement here: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/statement.html.
Factoring in Additional Income Streams
Renting out property or working part-time can significantly impact your retirement planning. This extra income can be used to fund your retirement accounts or support you during your golden years.
To create a more accurate retirement plan tailored to your unique needs and goals, we need to factor in these additional income streams.
Creating a Retirement Strategy in Money
Once we’ve gathered all the necessary information about your retirement savings, pension plans, and other income streams, we input that information into eMoney’s sophisticated suite of tools. With eMoney, we can create a truly personalized retirement strategy that considers your required savings, expected retirement income, and potential risks. We can also modify variables to show various retirement scenarios to help you better evaluate your options.
Planning for retirement is crucial to securing your financial future. By taking proactive steps you can create a tailored plan that meets your specific financial goals. The earlier you start, the more time you have to save and invest, and the more comfortable your retirement will be. Schedule a retirement planning session with us and let us help you create a plan that works for you.