Early Retirement: 5 Things to Consider
Oct 13, 2020
For many, the current COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an unexpected decision to make for those at the cusp of retirement: retire now, or continue to work through these uncertain times? Early retirement is something not to take lightly and can be a challenging decision for both employees and their families alike. For those thinking about early retirement, there are many things to consider. Here are some of the most important.
- Perform a “Financial Checkup”
Figuring out where you are with your finances is critical at a time when early retirement is an option. A thorough review of your expenses, debt, bank statement and credit card statements is an important first step for a healthy report of your finances. Then take a look at your retirement accounts. How many do you have? What is the balance of each? Consolidating your retirement accounts may be in your best interest. Besides decreasing your amount of paperwork, you’ll also be able to keep track of your portfolio more often and with less hassle. However, this can be a tricky process and is best done with the help of a professional retirement financial planner.
- Seek out an advisor who specializes in retirement finances
Consider hiring an expert who knows the intricacies of retirement planning and who can help you develop a personalized plan. To save for retirement is one thing. To know how to spend it after you’ve earned it, especially during uncertain times, is another. Get the advice of someone who knows how to make your money go as far as it can. Social security, severance packages, consolidating your portfolio, and reallocating your investments are all things to consider, but making sure they are handled in the most efficient way for your unique situation is paramount.
- Adjust your portfolio for this new phase of life
Life changes. Your portfolio should adapt. What worked in one phase of life won’t in another, and you’ll need to adjust for your new risk tolerance. When modifying your portfolio, be more cautious of ‘playing the game’ and instead try to maintain the wealth you have. If your risk tolerance is still a higher than the average retiree, decide how much you would be comfortable losing and adjust your aggressiveness accordingly.
- Keep your income flowing as long as possible
If you’re like many Americans, and the current pandemic has led you to early retirement, consider some options you may have to keep money flowing in. Be sure to take advantage of any unemployment benefits you’re entitled to. A part-time job can also be a fulfilling way to spend your time, provide a steady paycheck, and will allow you to put off taking out social security benefits right away.
- Don’t forget about health insurance
It’s easy to overlook something like health insurance benefits as you transition into retirement. Remember that employer-provided health coverage will stop and you will need to take the cost of coverage into account. Stop-gap programs such as COBRA can provide health coverage to those who are leaving a job or retiring. Another option is to shop for new coverage through the healthcare.gov website or possibly inquire about joining your spouse’s health plan, if available. Organizations such as AARP may also offer discounted health care and may be worth investigating.
Whether you decide to ease into your golden years now, or continue to work, it’s never too early to discuss retirement planning with an experienced financial advisor. Our team at Charles Stephen has extensive expertise helping people plan for a more secure future. Call us at (505) 884-0451. We’d love to meet you.