Is it time to retire yet?
Educate yourself, plan ahead for best results
What’s the right age to retire? You might be thinking that you’d like to answer, “Now, please!”
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the financial advantages that allow us to retire whenever the mood strikes, so we need to discern, evaluate and prepare.
The goal of retirement readiness is to plan well enough that you’re confident in your “enough” when you finish your career.
Managing your cash flow is important in retirement, just as it is during your working life. As Theo Boers wrote in Three Simple Rules, “Spend less than you earn.”
Withdrawing from the assets you’ve accumulated is a key source of income in retirement.
Add up your current household expenses – many planners say you’ll need about 70% of that total to maintain a similar standard of living in retirement.
Two ages important to know are 65 (the age when most people qualify for Medicare), and your “full retirement age” (FRA) for Social Security purposes. Those aren’t the same.
You can start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62 but waiting until your FRA (for anyone now between the ages 66 and 67) will provide more income and eliminate tax disadvantages that may occur when taking benefits early.
These are all factors that will affect your cash flow and help you estimate how much you’ll need to withdraw from your retirement savings to bridge the gap between income and expenses.
The more you know, the more you’ll be able to focus on enjoying your relationships and sharing your gifts with others.