By Tony Collins, CFP®, AIF®, Associate Wealth Advisor
This is part five of a multi-part series on specific financial planning challenges and considerations that many people face over the decades of their adult lives. We hope you’ll find these perspectives valuable.
Even if you don’t plan to retire quite yet, your 60s represent a lot of changes and important decisions. It’s time to carry out the ideas you brought to life in your financial plan. Here are our top three considerations.
Determine When to File for Social Security
Assuming you are eligible, you can file as early as age 62. It may be tempting to take your money as soon as possible, but we often find it makes sense to wait to start receiving benefits. If your budget allows for it, you’ll earn an additional 8% per year on your Social Security payments just by delaying, all the way to age 70. We can help run an analysis that shows the costs and benefits of different filing dates.
Even before you are eligible, we recommend that you create an account on the Social Security website – https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. This will allow you to view statements, review your earnings record, and prepare yourself early for filing.
Sign up for Medicare
Mark your calendar – three months before you turn 65 is the beginning of your initial Medicare enrollment period. Don’t put it off, as waiting too long could delay your benefits. Three months prior to your 65th birthday is the best time to look at your available benefits and coordinate them with any employer-offered plans and other supplemental policies in the marketplace.
You can rely on us to provide insights and specialist referrals. Medicare is a discussion point in our client meetings for those nearing 65; our goal is to make sure nothing gets missed. We have professionals in our network whom we utilize for advice, policy quotes, and filing assistance. They take everything into account in their recommendations and will leave no stone unturned to get the best solution possible.
Beyond financial considerations – are you mentally ready to retire?
Retirement is an exciting time, but for some people, it can fall short of expectations. Here are two surprising reasons – and possible remedies.
For those whose financial plan includes utilizing savings to help fund their lifestyle, it can feel uncomfortable to draw down assets after earning a consistent paycheck for many decades. This is a large reason why we see some clients delay retirement, even if all the numbers are saying they will be OK. To help them see this in a different light, one idea we suggest to clients is to set up a monthly withdrawal from their investment account to cover expenses. This serves as their new “paycheck” and is a good way to make that transition smooth.
Another reason people experience a sense of disappointment or frustration in retirement is a little more unexpected. Many busy professionals who work 40, 50, 60+ hour weeks – along with board appointments and other professional duties – often enter retirement with an overabundance of free time. For some, this may not be a problem, as they can easily replace work with more family time, travelling, and personal passions. But for other new retirees, it can be a difficult transition.
In our first call with prospective clients, we often ask: “What do you like to do for fun”? At the start of our relationship, the answers to this question help us get to know you better. But these answers are often enlightening as part of your larger story – thinking about how you would like to devote your time and energies in retirement.
These are just three among many considerations for a successful financial plan. In case you have missed it, in this series we have covered a number of topics at hand, including a disciplined savings approach, proper risk mitigation through insurance, estate planning, and personal health care directives.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss any of these suggestions with you – and more – to help you and your family set yourselves up for a healthy financial life.
Halbert Hargrove Global Advisors, LLC (“HH”) is an SEC registered investment adviser located in Long Beach, California. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Additional information about HH, including our registration status, fees, and services can be found at www.halberthargrove.com. This blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as personalized investment advice. It should not be construed as a solicitation to offer personal securities transactions or provide personalized investment advice. The information provided does not constitute any legal, tax or accounting advice. We recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney and accountant. All opinions or views reflect the judgment of the author as of the publication date and are subject to change without notice. All information presented herein is considered to be accurate at the time of writing, but no warranty of accuracy is given and no liability in respect of any error or omission is accepted.