Is retirement part of your plans for 2018? If so, you may be busy wrapping up final projects at work and planning fun and exciting ways to fill your time after you retire. This is also a good time to take any final planning steps that could solidify your finances in retirement.

A financial professional can help you identify potential gaps and opportunities and take action. If you’re not working with a professional on your retirement strategy, now may be the time to do so. Below are four important issues to address with your financial professional before you retire:

Health Care Costs

Medicare is a valuable resource for retirees, as it helps pay for hospitalizations, doctor visits, prescriptions and other services, depending on your coverage option. Medicare doesn’t cover everything, though. In fact, it covers only a portion of most costs, and some treatments and services aren’t covered at all. Fidelity estimates that the average retired couple will spend $275,000 on out-of-pocket health care expenses.1

A financial professional can help you develop a strategy to cover those costs. Your plan may include the use of a health savings account or a supplemental health care policy. You might also consider long-term care insurance, as Medicare usually doesn’t cover long-term care.

Filing for Social Security
Determining when to file for Social Security benefits is one of the most important decisions a retiree faces. It’s a permanent decision. Once you file, you can’t make a change. Your age at the time of your filing is one of the biggest factors in determining your payment amount, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.

Generally, the longer you wait to file, the higher your benefit will be. You can file as early as age 62, but you’ll see a reduction in your benefit if you file before your full retirement age (FRA). Most people’s FRA lands between their 66th and 67th birthdays.

If you wait past your FRA to file, you’ll see an increase in your benefit amount. Social Security offers an 8 percent annual benefit credit for every year you wait past your FRA. If your FRA is 66 and you wait until age 70, you’ll receive four years of 8 percent credits, for a total increase of 32 percent.2

Although waiting to file will result in a higher benefit amount, it isn’t right for everyone. The decision should be based on your unique needs and goals. Perhaps you can’t wait to retire and have no other source of income. Or perhaps you have multiple sources of income and can afford to wait with some shrewd planning and budgeting. Again, a financial professional can help you make an informed decision.

401(k) Balance
If you’re like many retirees, you’ve used an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan to accumulate retirement assets. These plans are popular with both employers and employees because of their favorable tax treatment and flexibility.

When you leave your employer, however, you’ll have to decide what to do with the balance. Theoretically, you could leave the funds in the 401(k) plan. However, you may find it more beneficial to roll those funds into an IRA, where you could have more allocation choices and greater control of the assets.

Projected Retirement Income
This may be the most important issue to discuss with your financial professional. Without sufficient income, you won’t be able to enjoy the kind of retirement you want for yourself. You may even be forced to go back to work.

Your financial professional can help you develop a retirement budget and project your income. They can also help you create and implement a strategy to overcome any funding gaps.

Ready to develop your retirement strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at MasterPlan Retirement Consultants. We can help you analyze your needs and create a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.

1https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/retiree-health-costs-rise
2https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/1943-delay.html

Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
Investment advisory services offered through MasterPlan Retirement Consultants, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Georgia. Insurance products & services offered through Fricks and Associates, Inc. MasterPlan Retirement Consultants, Inc. & Fricks and Associates, Inc are affiliated companies.
MasterPlan Retirement Consultants, Inc. & Fricks and Associates, Inc are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.

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