Throughout our lives, we are identified by numbers. Social Security number. Employee ID number. Driver’s license number. The amount of money that you make. The number of children and grandchildren that you have. The value of your home.
Fortunately, those numbers are simply points of reference; they don’t truly define who we are. Our personal accomplishments do this. Our career. Our family. The way we respond in stressful situations. The way we treat people on a daily basis.
But as we near and enter retirement, we are once again focused on a number: How much money might each of us need saved to live the retirement lifestyle we desire? If you watch the ads on television, you may get the impression that there’s one magical number out there for all of us that can make all of our retirement dreams come true, but that is not the case.
One of the nice things about getting older is the wisdom that accompanies age. If you are in or approaching retirement, you’ve most likely learned by now that there’s no one thing that defines you and your happiness. Our lives, our challenges and our accomplishments are complex.
So is our income. Throughout a professional career, income levels vary. For some, there’s an upward slope. For others, there are peaks and valleys. It’s good to consider your retirement income in much the same manner. That’s because your expenses can fluctuate from year-to-year, despite your best attempts at planning and budgeting for both expected and unexpected costs during retirement. Early in retirement, you may spend more money traveling; later on, you may spend more on medical bills and long-term care. You may pay for a wedding one year, and then help a grandchild with college tuition somewhere down the road. If you live a long time in retirement, inflation may affect your expenses.
That’s why it’s good to have steady income sources, to help ensure you always have money to pay the bills. It’s also beneficial to have a variety of income sources, so you have extra money now and then to splurge on things that make you happy, like weekly golf outings and taking a vacation with the grandkids. Finally, it’s good to have money set aside that can accumulate during your retirement years, to be there when you need it for an emergency and to help ensure that you never run out.
As you create a strategy for your financial future, consider those all-important numbers when planning for retirement income. Still, it’s not how much we have that defines us. It’s how we spend our money that embodies and reflects our priorities and values. As we get older, those are the things that help define who we are.
If we can help you establish a retirement income plan with checks and balances and factors that can allow for fluctuating needs throughout your retirement, please give us a call at 512-249-7300.
Reap Financial assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies utilizing insurance & investment products. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. This content is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation.