We start by placing money into different categories based upon time frames, your risk tolerance, and the need for immediate or future income. By using tools like “circuit breakers” we can help limit declines in account values should the stock market drop drastically.
It is important that you have enough money and that it will be there when you need it. When starting to map out your Retirement Game Plan, you may want to ask yourself these questions: Where is my income going to come from? Am I prepared for the next stock market crash? How will this affect my financial security?
Now that we have your money placed in various categories, we turn our focus on what could severely damage your nest egg. One is the lack of understanding of health care costs during retirement. Most people don’t know that Medicare is mandatory and it’s not free. In addition, Medicare does not pay for things like deductibles, copays, etc.
It can be a rude awakening when you realize how much will come out of your own pocket to pay for health care. Another very real possibility is an unexpected long-term crisis. When you are no longer able to support yourself, who will? If you are funding your long-term care with your nest egg savings, the depletion of your assets can happen very quickly if you don’t plan ahead.
This is an area that typically benefits someone else (i.e. your children, grandchildren, or whomever you chose to leave your estate to). IF you don’t use up all of your assets, the goal is to leave what’s left to your loved ones instead of lawyers or Uncle Sam. Now ask yourself this question: If you’re married and one of you passes away unexpectedly, how much income will you lose? Typically, expenses don’t go down much when the first spouse dies.
The least amount of lost income is typically the lower of the two Social Security checks. Do the math. If it is $1,000/month, 1,000 times 12 equals $12,000 per year. Now multiply that by how many years you plan to live. It can be a huge amount of money. We like to plan so the surviving spouse won’t lose ANY income if possible.