Setting The Stage for Retirement

Julia Carlson |

Retirement is a major life transition! With so much to do and see, it's important to make sure your finances are in order so you can live the retirement lifestyle you want. Whether you're just starting to plan for retirement or you're already retired, here is a checklist to help you reach your goals.

  1. Review your income sources. Reviewing your income sources will help you determine how much money you will have coming in each month. Your income sources may include Social Security, pensions, retirement savings, and investment income.
  2. Calculate your retirement expenses. Calculating your retirement expenses will help you determine how much money you need to withdraw from your retirement savings each month. Remember, healthcare costs can be a significant expense in retirement. Be sure to factor in Medicare premiums, prescription drugs, and long-term care insurance costs.
  3. Develop a distribution strategy. Developing a distribution strategy will help you determine how much money you need to withdraw from your retirement savings each month to cover your expenses. A common distribution strategy is to withdraw 4% of your retirement savings each year. However, this is just a general guideline, and you may need to adjust your withdrawal rate depending on your individual circumstances. When you withdraw money from your retirement account, it's important to know how to make your withdrawals as tax efficient as possible. An example might be to withdraw money from your taxable accounts and your tax-deferred accounts to create an overall smaller tax burden.
  4. Create an estate plan. Creating an estate plan will help ensure that your financial assets are distributed according to your wishes and appointed to people you trust to carry out those wishes. Estate planning documents can include a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, and Advance Health Directives.

Retirement can be a wonderful time of life and we hope this checklist makes your retirement planning less complex. If you need help, it's a good idea to work with a financial advisor. They can help you develop a retirement plan for your lifestyle. By setting the stage, you can ensure that you have the financial plan you need to enjoy your retirement years.

Information in this material is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision.  Email me your questions at or call 541-574-6464.  You can also post your question on our Facebook page: or find us on Instagram @financialfreedomwmg.