Are you thinking about retirement? If so, it is important that you review your finances and develop a retirement strategy.....and perform a reality check on your retirement resources and expectations. Here are some helpful tips:
- Create a retirement budget.
- Take a look at your current expenses and add or subtract items that you expect to be different when you retire. Don't forget to include things like health insurance premiums and other fringe benefits currently provided by your employer and factor in how these costs might change.
- Estimate your retirement income. Keep in mind your life expectancy given the age you decide to retire and and the financial resources that will be needed. If you have an investment portfolio, be conservative on what your anticipated income might be. This is not the time for agressive investing. For some people, this may be the time to cash out on home equity, invest the the proceeds and pay monthly rent. However, again, be conservative in estimating the income generated from investing the proceeds.
- Evaluate your investments. As mentioned above, now may be the time to start moving into more conservative investments. If you do not have equity in your home that you can cash out, it may still make sense to consider downsizing your home to reduce your housing costs and free up money for other types of investments.
- Pay down your debt. Don't take on new debt. Get a handle on your current debt to prepare yourself for a reduction in income when you retire.
- Decide where you are going to live. If you are going to relocate, don't forget to adjust your budget for the cost-of-living differences between the two communities. Also, don't forget to factor in moving expenses. And, if you are considering moving to a warmer climate such as the La Quinta, CA or Palm Springs, CA communities, give me a call and we can discuss the current housing market, prices, communities, lifestyle preferences, etc.
- Revise your budget. Typically, it may take a number of revisions both to estimated expenses and estimated income before you reach a comfortable budget that you feel will provide yourself with a comfortable retirement. If the numbers don't work out, you may need to continue working a few years longer than expected. If so, best to know that early on to stay motivated in your job and career.
- Make wise "exit" choices. For example, if you qualify for pension benefits, you will be faced with a number of binding decisions when you leave your company. You may be eligible for COBRA coverage (extended health insurance) which could help bridge the gap between retirement and Medicare eligibility at age 65.
If you are considering a move to the Palm Springs, CA or more specifically, the La Quinta CA, The Citrus, Rancho La Quinta, La Quinta Resort and Spa, The Tradition, or PGA West communities, give me a call to see if I might be of service in your real estate needs.
Larry Hansen, CPA, Broker / Owner
Calif Desert Realty