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Retirement myths including money needed, discussed

9/19/13 | By Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

Following are some “untruths” about retirement that I’ve observed over the years.

You will not need as much money during retirement as you do now. The general rule of thumb says that you will need approximately 70% of your pre-retirement income in order to maintain a lifestyle similar to that which you currently have. This may be true if you live your current lifestyle. However, when you retire, you will have more free time for travel, leisure activities, hobbies, and other things you might like to do during your retirement years.

In addition, medical expenses will increase at a faster rate than they likely did during your pre-retirement years. Also, your overall tax rate may not drop very much.

My retirement years won't last all that long. The fact is, today individuals in their 50s and 60s are generally healthier than previous generations. Currently, if you are age 65 your life expectancy is approximately 21 years, which is a long time to plan for. And you may live longer than you may think. (Remember: for planning purposes, a "life expectancy" of 21 years means you have a 50% chance of dying by year 21-and a 50% chance of living longer).

Social Security will provide enough income for my retirement years. Wrong! The fact is that Social Security accounts for approximately 38% of the average retiree's income. Although increases in benefits have occurred and may continue to occur, it is likely they may become less generous than they have in the past.

Also, the age that you must reach in order to receive full retirement benefits is increasing over the next few years. So, it’s becoming ever more important for you to accumulate your own funds in addition to whatever the government programs can provide. Social Security should be considered a supplemental benefit to your retirement financial planning and not the foundation on which it should be built.

Medicare will take care of my health insurance. Typically, Medicare pays less than half of a retiree's medical bills, and you usually cannot start collecting this until age 65. In addition, many employers are cutting back on medical coverage for retirees due to the cost. You’ll need to look at and plan for the costs involved for your health insurance during the retirement years and consider Medicare supplements and possibly long-term care insurance coverage. These are costs that many current workers never had, or incurred minimally, during their working years but which will be a major part of their annual budget in retirement.

Money is everything when it comes to retirement planning. Nothing could be further from the truth! While money is important, it’s the lifestyle decisions that are really the most important concerns for your retirement years. Money is significant in that it’s needed in order to finance the lifestyle decisions you make. For that reason, it’s important to plan as early as possible for funding the lifestyle you would like to lead.

 

Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC is a Financial Advisor with Coastal Wealth Management, LLC, 10441 Racetrack Rd, Unit 1, Berlin, MD, 21811 and specializes in Wealth and Retirement Income Planning. He can be reached at 410-208-4545 or chip@coastalwealtmgmt.com. Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Coastal Wealth Management LLC & Cambridge are not affiliated.

 

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