Education Update: Five Financial Questions to Ask in Retirement

February 07, 2018

Enjoying a comfortable retirement depends on how well you prepared ahead of time to support your desired lifestyle, and how well you keep a pulse on your financial well-being after you retire. You may need to check periodically to ensure you can continue to afford retirement and health-care needs, no matter how much planning you did beforehand. To help you analyze your financial standing, here are 5 financial questions to ask yourself in retirement.

  1. Should I downsize my home?

Retirees often end up living in homes that are larger than they need. With these homes, you can have higher property taxes, increased utilities costs, larger mortgages, greater maintenance needs, and other excessive expenses. All of these ongoing costs add extra financial burden to your monthly expenses. To determine if downsizing will help you financially, add up all these expenses to determine how much your home is costing you. You should also consider other factors, including costs for selling your current home and buying another, and living expenses at your new residence.[i]

  1. Do I still have debt holding me back?

The baby boomer generation is entering retirement with an increasing amount of debt. In fact, 28% of middle-income boomers state that more than 40% of their monthly income goes toward debt.[ii] Gaining a realistic perspective of how much debt you’re carrying is essential for your budgeting efforts. You may find that you can pursue financial strategies that help you reduce your liabilities and free up that money for other needs.

  1. Should I consider a part-time job?

While many people hope to retire and never work again, the reality for some retirees is that they need supplemental income to support their lifestyle. In 2017, 674,000 people 55 years old and over held part-time positions for economic reasons.[iii] If you find that you have gaps in your income, working part time may be a helpful strategy for you. Whether it’s for additional “fun” money or essential living expenses, the extra boost in income could make your retirement more financially comfortable.

  1. Am I paying into unnecessary life insurance policies?

Once you retire, life insurance may not be as important as it was earlier in your adult life. While people need this protection while they are working and raising a family, their needs evolve once they stop working and their children move out of the house, among other factors. For this reason, you may be carrying life insurance policies that no longer reflect your current needs. Revisiting these policies is a good place to look for money you could use for other reasons.

  1. Am I efficiently managing my health-care expenses?

A 65-year-old couple who retired in 2017 can expect to pay an estimated $275,000 on health-care costs during retirement.[iv] With people living longer than ever before, retirees need extra money to ensure they can cover health-care expenses for a longer time than in previous generations. Take an audit of your average medical costs and compare them with how much coverage you currently have. From there, you can see where you have gaps and any ways that you can reduce your expenses.

Maintaining adequate income throughout retirement can help ensure you are able to enjoy the quality of life you prefer. Feel free to contact us to explore ways that you may be able to restructure your financial responsibilities and create the additional income you need. We are ready to help you retire comfortably with the income you need for life.