Secure Your Dream With Sustainable Income
Sustainable income can be the foundation of a solid retirement plan. Sustainability is the ability of an investor’s income and savings to last them through their retirement. It’s affected by many variables, including: age, income, savings, contributions, withdrawals, and potential investment returns.
EP Wealth Advisors also look at your lifestyle and retirement expenses and consider market factors to determine how much sustainable income you can potentially need to retire securely.
Why Retirement Income Planning is Crucial
The landscape of retirement is changing before our very eyes. Despite minor dips in recent years, the life expectancy in the U.S. has been steadily rising since the 1920s. People are living longer and spending more time as retirees. That’s great news if you are financially prepared. But without skillful retirement income planning, the risk of outliving your assets is real.
It’s not enough just to save for the future. An effective retirement income strategy is carefully created to weather fluctuations today, tomorrow, and throughout your retirement.
Retirement Income Strategies
A healthy retirement income strategy can meet three important goals.
It covers core expenses.
Retirement is an expensive prospect. Experts estimate you will need 70-90 percent of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living after you stop working. At a basic level, retirement income should cover the essential, non-negotiable costs that are part of daily life: food, clothing, housing, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and taxes.
These core expenses should be covered with consistent income sources. These typically include pensions, social security benefits, and other investment tools to continue expanding your portfolio well into retirement.
It has growth potential.
Retirement income is not a static entity. If it’s healthy, it includes room for growth to keep up with inflation and other market changes. Balance is the key. That can mean a strategic mix of cash, stocks, and bonds that can potentially reduce undue risk and encourages long-term growth.
Managing your retirement portfolio takes time and dedication. And if you’re not focused on the long game, it can even be a bit stressful. EP Wealth Advisors carefully monitor your investments to identify when it’s time to move away from certain investments and toward those offering better opportunities.
It offers flexibility.
Life is unpredictable. No one really knows what life will look like in a year, a decade, or 25 years down the road. Events like a job loss or illness in the family can significantly impact your finances. A diversified income stream is critical to provide for your urgent needs and continue to provide financial stability in the future.
Certain investments allow you to increase or decrease the amount of money you withdraw every month, as your life circumstances change, and others offer a more predictable income stream.
The right combination of retirement tools can check necessary boxes, providing long-term income with the flexibility to adjust and adapt to major market shifts and more personal life events. We monitor your portfolio and discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives of making changes as needed.
EP Wealth’s Approach to Retirement Income Planning: A Glimpse Into Our Process
EP Wealth retirement planning can involve several steps.
During the initial discovery phase, we find out where your finances stand today, and what your happy retirement looks like. A retirement budget is a great starting point to account for your income, assets, expenses, and liabilities.
We will provide a Document Checklist to start gathering the information we need to create that budget and begin building your retirement income strategy.
Identifying the factors that may potentially impact when and how you retire is another part of retirement planning. Some factors like age and health status are highly individual, while others like inflation and market volatility are more universal.
Consider that the more time you spend in retirement, the higher the potential for inflation to carve away at your buying power and possibly impact your lifestyle.
For example, we may recommend funding the “extras” like vacations, gifts, and other nonessential expenses from your investments. That way, if the market drops, you can cut back without impacting your basic, sustainable retirement income.
We also consider your withdrawal strategy and how quickly you spend income, savings, and investments to pay for living expenses during retirement. These habits help us determine how long your income will last, so we can make appropriate adjustments if needed.
Financial risks are inevitable. A smart retirement plan can help hedge those risks.
A variety of retirement income sources is important because each responds differently to changes in the economy. Diversification can be one way to protect you from loss because if one of your investments takes a hit, the rest of your portfolio may not be affected.
Stocks fluctuate considerably in the short term but offer the highest returns over a long period of time. Savings accounts and CDs, on the other hand, grow slowly and gradually based on the interest rates.
Asset allocation is another way to diversify. When the stock market falls, having a wide range of investment assets can help maintain your portfolio’s value. If you only carry stocks, for example, and the market crashes, you don’t have a backup source of income.
It’s also important to spread investments across different sectors. Putting most or all of your money into finance or tech can be problematic should one of those markets tank for whatever reason.
Diversification can also factor in your tax burden—and possibly allow you to hold on to more of your money.
Specific accounts may help reduce uncertainty around future tax rates that can be difficult to predict. By withdrawing strategically from specific accounts based on how, when, and at what rate withdrawals are taxed, you can plan accordingly and potentially reduce how much you give to Uncle Sam over the course of your lifetime.
Here’s one example to illustrate why we consider the tax implications of your assets during retirement planning. Roth IRA accounts are funded with after-tax funds, so earnings and withdrawals are not taxed. Conversely, traditional IRAs and 401(K)s are tax-deferred, so they impose taxes on withdrawals as if they are regular income.
With shrewd tax planning, you can stagger your tax obligations, so you’re not making huge tax payments during your working years while you’re saving for retirement—or on the back end when you go to use that money.
Work Toward Your Retirement with the Guidance of an EP Wealth Advisor
Retirement planning doesn’t have to be a chore. With an EP Wealth advisor guiding you through the process, it can be rewarding.
We know you have big plans for your future. We are committed to helping you fund those dreams with a practical retirement strategy customized just for you.
Call or inquire online to connect with an EP Wealth advisor in your area.
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