With as much anticipation as we all have for the day we retire, many people do not have much of a plan. With so much free time in retirement, things can get quite expensive. Therefore, it is important to think about what retirement really could look like for you.
An effective approach to this issue can be a Lifestyle Review, involving the four basic building blocks to address in the correct order with your partner or individually and a financial advisor.
First, start thinking realistically about your everyday living. What will it cost to maintain the essential pieces of your lifestyle? Look at your fixed needs: housing, food, transportation, insurance, etc. This should be your primary concern. Comparing your needs with your sources for income will do wonders for your peace of mind.
Second, plan for the unexpected. Look at the potential for event risks separate from the market. Events like fire, storms, declining health, aging parents. How can you be prepared if your partners Mother had to move in or go to a nursing facility?
Third, is a more fun topic, discussing your wish list. Once you have evaluated your basic needs and potential trap doors you are much better prepared to discuss the possibilities for doing the things you have put off. What are your future goals and ambitions? How can your resources be maximized to give you the opportunity to realize them?
The final piece is your legacy. How important is it for you to set aside assets for your partner, family, friends, and favorite charities? This area is particularly important in planning because of our situation as members of the LGBT community and the unique planning challenges we face. What strategies are available to maximize you estate in a tax-efficient manner?
Each of these concerns can have a significant impact on your retirement, both financially and emotionally. Develop a strategy, listen and communicate with a professional.