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5 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before Retirement

5 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before Retirement

August 04, 2021

Think about how you picture your future. 

Some see retirement as a time to start a new career. Others see it as a time to travel or spend more time with family and friends. Whatever your dream retirement looks like, there are some things you should consider before making the leap. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you retire.

What would revitalize you?

Some people make the mistake of retiring with no particular goals at all. This can lead to a lot of downtime, and that boredom can quickly turn into depression. Think about what revitalizes you - is there something you're itching to try? What do you do to get yourself out of a slump?

Start to think about what pursuits or adventures you could embark on to make these years special. Perhaps cider and donuts make you happy - would you want to visit all of the cider mills in Michigan?

Work has prevented us from dreaming big about what we could do with our time. But now that you have all the time to do what you want, it's important to envision how you will spend it. 

In retirement, time is your most valuable asset. With more free time and opportunity for reflection, you might find new reasons to wake up - with your old dreams giving way to new ones.

What do you absolutely need to accomplish? 

If you could only get four or five things done in retirement, what would they be? Answering this question might lead you to compile a “shortlist” of life goals. While they may have nothing to do with money, the financial decisions you make may be integral to pursuing them.

If you have an ambitious bucket list, consider preparing or saving more in anticipation of your journey. 

How much do you anticipate spending? 

We can’t control all retirement expenses, but we can manage some of them. It can be easy to miscalculate how much you are going to spend in retirement. 

Take into consideration that the average 65-year-old woman can expect another 20.5 years, to 85 1/2.1 Living longer = making your retirement savings last longer. Eventually, the novelty of laying by the pool wears off. Many retirees end up spending more money in retirement to keep themselves entertained. Having a robust spending plan will help you establish what you will be able to afford in retirement. 

How are you preparing for retirement? 

This is the most important question of all. Investing should be an integral part of your strategy. While many invest in their employer's plan, workplace plans are a major source of income for only 20% of retirees.Personal investments and maximizing social security are important parts to a complete retirement strategy. 

If you have your own investments, you're on the right track. Just be aware that investing is not something you can just "set and forget." Investments need to be monitored and diversified. It can be beneficial to rebalance your portfolio regularly. 

If you feel you need to prepare more for the future or reexamine your existing strategy in light of recent changes in your life, conferring with a financial professional experienced in retirement approaches may offer some guidance. See how you can get started with us. 

1. SSA.gov, February 25, 2020

2. Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.