APO Financial

Are You on Track For Retirement?

To find out if you’re on course for your retirement, you need to create a financial plan to measure how your retirement savings stack up.

Retirement isn’t a destination that should be taken lightly. Arriving there without the proper planning often leads to disastrous results. So how do you know if you’re on track?

Many financial advisors recommend the magic number you should have saved for retirement is $1 million — but you may actually need much more. Alarmingly, a recent survey conducted by Clever found that, on average, retirees have just $170,726 saved for retirement. And a huge 48% of retirees believe they’ll outlive their savings entirely — which is not too surprising given how little many have saved for retirement.

To determine whether you’re on track for retirement, it helps to know how and where you want to spend your golden years. A financial plan can give you a clear idea of which areas you’re already hitting your goals in and which ones you need to focus on more.

Assess Your Goals

Setting goals can help you determine the best way to use your time and resources when you retire. What’s more, setting retirement goals will give you a better understanding of how much disposable income you’ll need to achieve them.

Some common retirement goals include:

  1. Moving home/state/country.
  2. Plan a milestone event.
  3. Prioritize wellness.
  4. Discover new interests.
  5. Leave a legacy.

After listing your goals, you can then work on making a plan to financially reach them.

Assess Your Financial Situation

Once you know how you want to spend your retirement, it’s time to figure out whether you’ll be able to comfortably afford the lifestyle you want. The first step in determining this is to make a budget and see if your savings are on track.

When it comes to saving for retirement, the rule of thumb has typically been to save between 10% and 20% of your salary each year. Another general rule suggests you’ll need about 80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your lifestyle in retirement. The correct savings rate for you, however, depends on your income, risk tolerance and personal circumstances.

After establishing your budget, you need to check your current savings rate allows you to meet your retirement needs. If your projected income exceeds your projected expenses, you’re usually on the right track. 

The Three A’s of Saving

If you notice you’re behind on your savings strategy, don’t panic. To help navigate the often-overwhelming world of saving and investing, it helps to break down each phase into three tangible steps: The 3 A’s:

Amount

How much of your pre-tax income you can save annually.

Account

Factor in your other sources of retirement income, such as Social Security benefits, employer pensions, investment and retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs and any part-time employment earnings .

Asset mix

The higher the percentage of your retirement savings in stocks, historically speaking, the higher your portfolio’s rate of return will be.

Focus on what you can do to help get back up to speed.

Factor in Healthcare Costs

When planning for retirement, it is essential to consider healthcare expenses. The cost of healthcare has steadily increased over the years. The average retired couple age 65 will need over $315,000 (after taxes) for healthcare expenses alone. The true amount will undoubtedly vary because everyone’s health situation is different, but healthcare in retirement won’t be cheap for most people.

For individuals aged 65 or older, Medicare is available as an option. However, Medicare has its limitations (for example it does not cover long-term care) so it may be useful to consider getting supplementary health insurance coverage to improve the benefits beyond Medicare. This can help to manage healthcare costs and provide additional coverage for retirees.

The healthcare cost per person covered by a policy is set according to their age, with rates increasing as the individual gets older. The average monthly premiums for a Bronze Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance plan is $928. The average monthly costs increase to $1,217 for a Silver plan and $1,336 for a Gold plan. Those averages don’t take into account premium tax credits and subsidies that can reduce costs for an ACA plan based on household income. Even with healthy habits, healthcare costs remain an uncontrollable monthly expense for many retirees.

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are one of the best ways to save for medical expenses. This type of account allows you to contribute money on a pre-tax basis, meaning that your contributions can grow tax-free until you use them to pay for qualified healthcare expenses.

Hiring an Experienced Financial Advisor

Planning for retirement can be a source of worry and frustration—especially as you creep closer to middle age and retirement. Even with investments in place and ongoing 401(k) contributions, you may fear that you’re not on track for retirement. An experienced financial advisor can help you create a financial plan, properly prepare your finances and help you know when the right time is for you to retire.

By utilizing the services of an experienced advisor, you can create a plan that considers your current financial obligations while prioritizing your retirement savings.

Final Thoughts

Realizing you are not on track with your retirement savings often means you need to take action – especially if you are close to retiring. Depending on your circumstances, this could be as simple as adjusting your budget to contribute more consistently to your retirement plan. By enlisting the ongoing help of a financial advisor, you’ll have the accountability and guidance you need to stay on track (and make adjustments where needed).

At APO Financial, our Colorado and Florida-based Fiduciary advisors are here to help you manage your financial future and help you achieve your retirement goals. As Fiduciaries, we put each client’s needs at the forefront of all we do.

Ready to get started? Contact us here today to schedule a meeting that is most convenient and comfortable for you, whether it’s in person, virtually or by phone. We look forward to speaking with you.


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Disclosure: 

Communications such as this are not impartial and are provided in connection with advertising and marketing. This material is not suggesting a specific course of action or any action at all.. Prior to making any investment, insurance, financial or legal decision, you should always seek individualized advice from a financial, insurance, legal or tax professional that takes into account all of the particular facts and circumstances of your individual own situation

Investment advice is offered through APO Financial Services, LLC (“APO") 10155 Westmoor Drive, Suite 175, Westminster, Colorado 80021-2627, an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration with the SEC should not be construed to imply that the SEC has approved or endorsed qualifications or the services offered or that its personnel possess a particular level of skill, expertise or training. Important information and disclosures related to APO are available at https://apofinancial1.wpengine.com. Additional information pertaining to APO’s registration status, its business operations, services and fees, and its current written disclosure statement is available on the SEC’s investment adviser public website at https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

Information relating to annuities is intended for educational purposes only and should not be construed as comprehensive or all-inclusive. Therefore, it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed and should not be used to make an investment decision.

Annuities can be an important part of an overall portfolio but may not be appropriate for everyone. Before purchasing an annuity, it is important to understand the details of the product. Certain products may not be available in your state. The terms of each indexed annuity varies. It is always important to speak to a financial professional. about an annuity’s features, benefits and fees, and whether an annuity is appropriate for you, based on your financial situation and objectives. Participation rates, cap rates and/or index spreads may be subject to change by the insurance company according to the annuity contract provisions. If the insurance company makes such changes, this could adversely affect the return. Guarantees of an indexed annuity are backed by the claims-paying ability of the underwriting insurance company. The surrender charge period for a product may be longer, and the surrender charges may be higher than other annuity products. Indexed annuities are long-term investments. If the annuity contract is surrendered early, there is the possibility of a surrender charge being imposed and/or the funds may be subject to income taxes. The IRS may also impose a 10% penalty on withdrawals prior to age 59 ½, depending on the circumstances. With indexed annuities, there is the potential to lose money, depending on the product charges and minimum guarantee contract provisions. For additional information on annuities, reference the following websites: The FINRA (www.FINRA.org), the Securities and Exchange Commission (www.SEC.gov), Insured Retirement Institute (www.irionline.org), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.NAIC.org) or your state's insurance department.
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