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TroveStreet® Wisdom

TroveStreet® Wisdom: Seeking retirement and financial planning

Retirement looks different for everyone. Maybe you want to continue working. Maybe you want to travel the world. Maybe you want to stay in your home or move to another state. All of these things — and more — factor into your retirement financials.

There is a general rule that you should retire with 80 percent of your pre-retirement income. But that percentage may be higher or lower depending on your retirement goals and financial situation. This calculator can help you determine how much you may need.

Building Trust with Financial Advisors

It’s important that financial decisions are not made in silos. Professional advisors make sure that doesn’t happen, help meet financial goals on your behalf, and can communicate information to loved ones, if necessary, so they’re not left in the dark.

You don’t need to have a lot of money to work with a financial advisor. Some advisors are fee-based, some charge hourly or per service, and others earn commission off the products and services they use.

Ask trusted family and friends for recommendations and set up meetings with a few advisors. Use these meetings to ask for:

  • Feedback on your current financial situation.
  • A recommended approach to your financial situation.
  • Explanation of how they get paid (e.g., fees).
  • Proof of credentials and ongoing training (in retirement tax and estate planning)

At the end of the day, you are hiring someone to do a job: manage your finances. It’s important to find an advisor who aligns with your financial philosophy and has the skill and objectivity to help meet your financial goals.

Putting a Plan in Place

Whether you choose to work with a professional or not, documenting and measuring your financial goals, plans, and documents is critical. These four steps can help keep you on track:

  1. Define your goals. What is your money philosophy? What are your retirement goals and how do you want to structure your income? What do you want to do with your money (e.g., travel, pass it down, etc.)? Where do you want to live? These are all important questions that should factor into your long-term goals.
  2. Take inventory: What do you own (e.g., businesses, properties, etc.)? What do you owe (e.g., credit cards, personal loans, etc.)? What sources of income do you have (e.g., Social Security, IRAs, 401(k)s, insurance policies, etc.)? What do you pay in taxes?
  3. Create a plan. Compare your savings and investments to your goals. Are you on track to meet them? Do you have enough saved already? Do you have contingencies in place (e.g., life insurance)? If not, how can you continue to diversify your investments and assets? And how long will it take to reach your goals?
  4. Monitor how you’re tracking toward your goals. What gets measured gets done. Put your goals, inventory, and plan on paper; review it regularly; and adjust, if necessary.

Consider the Cost of Health

A major health event can have a significant impact on your financial goals. It’s important to have contingencies — like long-term care or life insurance — in place for when the unexpected happens. Working with a lawyer to create health-related legal documents (e.g., do-not-resuscitate order, medical power of attorney, advanced directives, etc.) can also keep you protected.

Avoiding Scams

Sadly, financial and insurance scams and fraud target older adults every year. Click here to connect to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s webpage on financial exploitation to learn more about what to look for and how to protect yourself.

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