5 Step Guide to Complete Retirement Security
Retirement planning today has taken on many new dimensions that never had to be considered by earlier generations. We’re living longer; the cost of retirement is increasing; and with pensions disappearing, most of us must rely on our own capital to provide lifetime sufficiency—all requiring more time, effort, and knowledge to plan a secure retirement
The purpose of retirement income planning is to identify the potential sources of retirement income and determine which may or may not be a good fit for your circumstances. Because all investors have different preferences, risk tolerance, and financial goals, what may be an ideal solution for one person may not work for another.
WHAT ARE YOUR RETIREMENT INCOME GOALS?
While many of us look forward to greater freedom in retirement, what we have in mind financially comes down to just one (or more) of the following goals:
Manage Assets to Provide Lifetime Income Sufficiency
You want your assets to provide sufficient income to live comfortably during your lifetime.
Maximize Portfolio Value While Generating Sufficient Income in Retirement
You would like to continue to grow your assets while providing for lifetime income sufficiency.
Conservatively Grow the Value of Your Portfolio
You would like to steadily increase the value of your portfolio with the goal of having enough to support your desired lifestyle in retirement.
Preserve Current Wealth
With an eye toward passing your wealth onto the next generation, you want to minimize the impact of taxes and inflation on your assets.
STEPS TO RETIREMENT INCOME PLANNING
With your retirement income goal in mind, we work with you to develop an income strategy to achieve it with the highest level of confidence, comfort, and security.
Determining Your Income Need
The one common need for everyone seeking to make their retirement vision a reality is income—income that will need to increase over time to keep up with inflation and the rising costs of retirement, including healthcare and long-term care.
To better plan for the income you will need in the future, you need to determine an approximate figure for both your basic living expenses and other necessary costs, including debts, healthcare, and insurance, as well as discretionary costs such as travel and leisure.
Determining Your Income Sources
In developing an income strategy, we first consider your non-investment income sources such as a pension and Social Security. If you have a pension, you need to determine which payout option is most appropriate for your situation. The biggest consideration with Social Security is when to claim your benefits to optimize your lifetime payout.
Other sources of income could include income from rental properties, business income, and wages.
If it turns out that you have a monthly income shortfall—which many retirees do—then it is likely you will need to generate income from your personal savings or investments to fill in the gap.
Filling the Gap With a Portfolio Cash Flow Strategy
A diversified portfolio of high-quality stocks can generate above average returns over time, which, in turn, can generate needed cash flow when managed effectively. The advantage of generating cash flow from portfolio growth and dividend payments is it can provide a more tax-efficient source of income. Capital gains on stocks held for more than a year are taxed at a more favorable tax rate, which keeps more of your principal working for you in your stock portfolio. Income from dividend payments also qualifies for a lower tax rate.
In addition to dividend payments received, a portion of the stock portfolio is liquidated each year to generate cash flow. A well-conceived strategy will allow for a certain percentage of stocks to be sold in the portfolio to meet cash flow or income needs, while retaining the balance of the portfolio for generating long-term growth. As part of the strategy, we set aside a portion of stock gains in a cash reserve to provide you with more flexibility in the selection and timing of stocks to sell.
PREPARING FOR TAXES IN RETIREMENT
One very costly mistake people make is to ignore the impact of taxes on their retirement cash flow. Retirees who have multiple income streams from pre-tax and post-tax accounts need to be aware of which ones to use at which points in retirement or risk depleting their retirement assets too quickly. The biggest surprise for many retirees is when required minimum distributions (RMDs) kick in at age 73 which can exacerbate their tax problem.
Dash Investments’ income planning experts can work with you to develop a retirement income strategy tailored to your specific income needs and long-term goals.