Retirement is something that many of us dream about for a good portion of our working lives. It’s important to remember that this period can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years and will likely come with some unique challenges along the way. Here at Taylor Financial, it’s our job to guide you through each stage of retirement, providing practical, emotional, and financial support as needed. Let’s dive into each stage to give you the information you need as you move toward retirement.
Stage 1: Anticipation
Anticipation is the first stage of retirement and typically starts around 10 years before you plan to retire. During this time, you may be feeling excited about your upcoming retirement, but may also have some anxiety about your finances. We can help ease these concerns by looking at your investment accounts and assessing whether your savings and investment journey has been progressing as expected. This is a great time to consider your asset allocation, perform a Social Security analysis, and possibly perform a Roth conversion analysis. By making a comprehensive financial plan for retirement (and keeping taxes in consideration), you can ensure you’ll be on track to meet your goals or make any necessary adjustments.
Additionally, it’s important to consider long-term care and end-of-life planning during this stage. Making sure that you have updated estate planning documents, such as a will and power of attorney, is crucial, as is discussing how you want your assets distributed after your passing.
Stage 2: Liberation/Disorientation
The second stage of retirement is the liberation/disorientation phase, which starts on the day of retirement and can last up to two years. During this time, you may be feeling a mix of excitement and stress as you adjust to your new normal. It’s important to review your tax returns, perform tax planning, and update your Social Security collection strategies during this stage, as well as explore whether moving to a different state makes financial sense.
You may also be considering part-time work during this stage, so it’s important to reassess your financial plan to determine whether you need to work or whether it can truly be a lifestyle choice. Additionally, it’s time to review end-of-life planning to ensure that your wishes are up-to-date.
Stage 3: Reinvention
Reinvention, also known as the “heart of retirement,” starts three to 14 years after retirement. During this stage, you will have adjusted to your new normal and should be able to enjoy retirement benefits, such as spending more time with your family. However, it’s important to note that this stage marks the shift from discretionary to less discretionary spending, including healthcare expenses.
At this point, most of the work preparing for retirement should be done. We encourage you to dream a little and explore “what-if” scenarios. After all, you’ve worked hard to accumulate your wealth, so it’s important to enjoy it.
Stage 4: Reflection/Resolution
The final stage of retirement is reflection/resolution, which typically starts 15 or more years post-retirement. During this stage, you will have settled into the ups and downs of retired life and may be dealing with health issues. It’s important to make sure you have a comprehensive end-of-life plan, including how your dependents will be affected by the post-mortem distribution of assets, including tax issues and SECURE Act challenges.
Stop dreaming of retirement and start living it! But beware, this journey lasts a long time, and you need expert guidance every step of the way. Robo-advisors just won’t cut it; you need personalized advice and support from a human advisor. Lucky for you, we have got you covered. Say goodbye to boring, cookie-cutter retirement plans and hello to a fulfilling retirement experience tailored just for you!