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5 Ways to Prepare for Retirement

As you move from thinking about building your retirement income strategy and closer toward using it, there are five ways to prepare yourself for this new phase in your life.

  1. Review Your Financial Situation: If you haven’t done so already, create a retirement budget to determine the amount you will need to live on each month in retirement. Take a look at your retirement account to see if you have accumulated enough to cover those expenses. If not, there's still time. Contact your financial professional to discuss what you can do to get closer to your goal.
  2. Know Your Options: You have several options for what to do with your retirement account when you retire: roll over into a Traditional IRA; purchase an annuity benefit; keep assets in the retirement plan; take a lump sum; or begin taking distributions.
  3. Think About How You Will Invest: Continue to invest and review your investment mix to make sure it's still appropriate for you. Investments need to be conservative enough to preserve your income during retirement but aggressive enough to stay ahead of inflation and grow your investments over time.
  4. Determine Your Withdrawal Strategy: It is important to have a retirement income withdrawal plan because you may be drawing retirement income for decades. Here are a few things to keep in mind when determining how and when to access your retirement account:
    1. At age 59½, you can start withdrawing money from your employer-sponsored plan without penalty.
    2. Generally, at age 70½ you are required to take minimum distributions from your retirement plan unless you are still employed.
    3. You might want to withdraw from taxable accounts before tax-deferred accounts.
  5. Consider Your Legacy: Pre-retirement is a good time to create an estate plan with your attorney. You'll want to take into account all of your assets (including investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, and real estate) in determining your financial legacy.

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