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Layin’ It on the Line: Make sure you have covered all your bases with your retirement planning

By Lyle Boss - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Oct 25, 2023

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Lyle Boss

Retirement planning can be a challenging task for anyone. While conventional wisdom often zeroes in on savings and investment portfolios, a truly comprehensive plan requires a more nuanced approach. Beyond the numbers and percentages, effective retirement planning addresses a range of factors that contribute to a secure, comfortable future. Let’s explore what it means to have all your bases covered.

The limitations of traditional planning

Traditional retirement planning often involves accumulating a nest egg through saving and investing. While these are fundamental steps, they don’t paint the complete picture. A retirement plan should be comprehensive, factoring in diverse elements like health care costs, tax implications and even the emotional aspects of leaving the workforce.

The role of guaranteed income

The transition from a regular paycheck to living off savings can be unsettling for many people. A source of guaranteed income can offer a sense of stability and predictability. This is where instruments like annuities can be helpful. They’re not for everyone, but they may provide security that resonates with those who want to mitigate financial risk in their golden years.

The protective layer of insurance

Insurance provides a safety net for you and your loved ones, covering specific risks that can otherwise devastate a retirement plan. Whether providing for your family after you’re gone through life insurance or safeguarding against the costs of prolonged health care with long-term care insurance, these options serve as financial buoys in uncertain times.

Smart tax planning

Taxes don’t disappear when you retire; they take a different form. It’s essential to understand how your income in retirement will be taxed and plan accordingly. Some retirement accounts offer tax advantages that could be beneficial in the long run, so exploring all your options is worthwhile.

The holistic view

Effective retirement planning also considers your life goals, health and happiness. What do you want to do in your retirement years? Travel, pick up new hobbies or perhaps relocate? Your plan should be flexible enough to accommodate your aspirations while keeping you financially secure.

Your retirement planning checklist

To cover all your bases, consider the following elements in your retirement planning:

1. Savings and investments: Traditional accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs form the foundation.

2. Guaranteed income options: Think about whether annuities align with your risk tolerance and income needs.

3. Insurance safeguards: Consider various types of insurance based on your life circumstances and risk factors.

4. Tax implications: Assess how your income will be taxed and plan for tax efficiency.

5. Additional income sources: Account for pensions, Social Security and other income streams.

6. Lifestyle choices: Make room in your budget for travel, hobbies and other retirement activities.

7. Inflation: Remember that the value of money changes over time; your plan should too.

Ensuring you have all these elements in your retirement plan will equip you with the tools to face the future confidently. Remember, retirement planning is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. A comprehensive plan is your best ally for a secure, fulfilling future.

Consult with a reputable financial advisor or insurance agent to navigate your options for securing your financial future. Together, you can create a personalized strategy that checks all the essential boxes, giving you peace of mind and freedom to enjoy your golden years.

  • Solidify your financial foundation: Don’t just rely on savings accounts; diversify your portfolio with traditional accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs to build a strong financial base.
  • Consider stability with guaranteed income: Assess the role of fixed annuities or other guaranteed income sources in providing a predictable, low-risk income stream during retirement.
  • Risk mitigation through insurance: Evaluate life, disability and long-term care insurance to form a protective layer against various life uncertainties that could affect your retirement plans.
  • Strategize for tax efficiency: Understand how different income sources will be taxed during retirement and create a plan to maximize tax advantages where possible.
  • Incorporate multiple income streams: Don’t overlook other income avenues like pensions, Social Security benefits or even part-time work to supplement your retirement income.
  • Plan for your desired lifestyle: Take into account the cost of your retirement dreams — be it traveling, pursuing hobbies or relocating — to ensure you can afford them without financial strain.
  • Future-proof against inflation: Make sure your retirement plan is flexible and robust enough to adapt to the changing value of money over time, protecting your purchasing power.

Lyle Boss, a native Utahn, is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: 801-475-9400.

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