7 Retirement Questions You May Forget to Ask

Mar 12, 2024

When helping people get ready for retirement, financial advisors find the same issues come up over and over. Thinking ahead can spell the difference between a successful retirement with enough money and a stressful one with difficult decisions you don’t want to make. 

Here are seven retirement questions that every investor should consider:  

1. Do you understand Social Security?

The goal of Social Security is not to get the most you can from the government in your lifetime. It is to optimize the amount you receive per month when you finally retire. 

The earliest age you can start Social Security is 62, but there is more to consider to optimize correctly. A financial planner can help you determine the best course of action. 

In addition, review “5 Reasons to Supplement Your Social Security Income” to ensure your expectations are in check.   

2. Are you going to work after you retire?

Your retirement might not be retirement. It could be about doing something different. At Credent, we’ve seen clients step away from their careers so they can focus more on other meaningful work. What’s most important is that you decide what matters to you.  

This might mean you take on part-time work, perhaps in the industry you spent decades in or in an entirely different field. This can bring extra money and occupy your time. If this is what you want, then factor it into your plan.  

Hopefully, if you decide to work, it’s because you want to, not because you are short on income and have to. That’s where the strength of your regular savings comes in. 

3. What happens if you get sick?

No one likes to think about it, but a major illness can upset even the best financial plan. It’s wise to consider what will happen in these circumstances.  

Medicare doesn’t cover all your healthcare expenses, like nursing homes. Planning will help you feel at peace, knowing you have prepared yourself and your loved ones.  

Read “How to Plan for Healthcare Costs: 4 Stages to Consider” for high-level tips.  

4. Where do you plan to live?

The place where you spent your working years may be too costly in retirement. What if your business didn’t do as well as you planned, and you sold it for less money than you expected? Or what if you’re hoping to spend more money on something else in retirement?  

Whatever the reason, you may decide to move to a less expensive state where you can continue to live as comfortably as before. Plenty of lists exist with good locales.  

On the other hand, you may be completely uninterested in moving. If you want to stay put, ensure your plan aligns with this reality.  

5. How do you plan to spend your time?

Not going to work every day takes some adjusting. You might think you are prepared for all those newly empty hours, but most retirees are not. The retirement blues can affect anyone.  

If you don’t plan on working in some capacity, what would you like to do? Maybe start by looking at your plan and seeing what you can do. Once you know the doors open to you, it can be fun to dream of what comes next.  

6. What will you do with volatility?

When short-term market volatility occurs, what will you do? Decide now to be a stable investor. After years of saving and investing, you already know this truth: Time in the market is more important than timing the market.  

However, it’s easy to get increasingly nervous about the market in retirement because you feel you have less control over money coming in. Even still, rely on your advisor to tell the truth and be your guide, especially when it seems the market is unreliable.  

7. Do you have a financial plan?

You need a plan to prepare for the best and the worst possible outcomes. Part of that process is scenario analysis, which gives you an idea of your financial standing, even in the worst-case scenarios. 

Test your portfolio to make necessary adjustments. You might decide to postpone retirement or change your retirement goals.  

In addition, creating a financial plan once is not enough. Every year, you need to dust off the plan and go through the tests all over again.  

Ultimately, a dynamic plan is just one part of financial freedom. See the rest of the “5 Simple Ways to Pursue Financial Freedom” to make sure you set the right foundation for enjoying your retirement.  

If you’d like to discuss your answers to these seven retirement questions, reach out at [email protected] or fill out the form below for more information.  

Source: “7 Retirement Considerations.” FMeX. 2018. 10548.pdf (fmexcontent.s3.amazonaws.com) 

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