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An older couple is retirement planning with help from an Amerant wealth advisor

Retirement Planning – A Guide to Securing Your Future 

In personal finance, retirement planning refers to determining long-term goals around the desired retirement lifestyle and income needs. It involves a full-on strategy that addresses how to gain wealth through saving and investing – to fund life after a career. Creating a structured retirement plan can prepare anyone for the transition to life’s next phase. 

With people living longer and concerns about Social Security and pensions, planning for retirement is crucial. Retirees without a solid plan face the risk of prematurely depleting their savings. This may force someone to drastically reduce their standard of living in their golden years after working so hard. 

Taking retirement planning seriously has many advantages. It enhances overall financial security and stability by preventing retirees from outliving their money.

It mitigates anxiety about finances in retirement. It empowers individuals to maintain their desired quality of life through asset preservation and growth. It also provides tax optimization strategies while enabling legacy planning for future generations. Ultimately, comprehensive retirement planning brings invaluable peace of mind. 

Steps for Retirement Planning 

The first step in retirement planning is to set clear, measurable goals for the desired lifestyle and cash flow needs. One should consider estimating expenses like travel, hobbies, healthcare, housing, transportation, etc. Defining an approximate target retirement age is also key. 

With goals established, the next step is thoroughly assessing the current financial situation. This includes evaluating current income sources, existing investment accounts and asset values, company pension plans, or other benefits. You also consider expected Social Security payments based on work history and outstanding debts or liabilities. 

You can create a budget if you are close to retiring or just beginning to plan for it. This budget will help you estimate how much you need each month and year. The basis of the budget is a person’s retirement goals and how long they expect to live. This budget will display the retirement savings required to generate enough income to support a desired lifestyle. 

Armed with clear goals and a retirement budget, individuals can make informed decisions about which savings and investment vehicles to use in earning wealth for retirement. Tax-advantaged accounts like 401(k) plans, IRAs, and deferred annuities allow for tax-deferred growth. This enables faster compounding of invested assets compared to taxable brokerage accounts. 

Investing with Retirement Savings 

Various investments and assets are available for building a retirement portfolio. People can choose based on risk tolerance, time until retirement, taxes, etc. These include domestic and international stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, real estate investment trusts, private equity, hedge funds, and other alternative investments. 

A critical aspect of retirement investing is thoroughly understanding each investment vehicle’s inherent risks and potential rewards. While higher-risk investments may offer higher potential long-term returns, they also introduce increased risk and portfolio fluctuations in the short term. 

Regarding investing for retirement accounts, some popular strategies include: Allocating assets based on how close you are to retirement, placing assets in tax-efficient locations across various account types, and automatically rebalancing to keep your investments on track. This adjusts your investment mix to lower risk as you near retirement age. 

Other lower-risk options that can help you save include Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and IRA CDs. An IRA offers retirement savings plans to help prepare for the future with Traditional, Roth, and employer-sponsored IRAs. All plans offer tax benefits, and an individual can work with a wealth management advisor to find the right fit.

With a CD, an individual can get the benefits of a high-yield CD account combined with the tax benefits of an IRA. An IRA CD is a good fit for anyone looking for predictable retirement income via reliable savings.  

Retirement Planning Tools 

Several powerful tools and calculators exist to assist individuals and advisors in mapping out retirement plans. These tools model different scenarios and illustrate how various inputs and assumptions impact projected retirement income, portfolio longevity, and more. These tools account for key factors like desired annual income, existing retirement assets, Social Security and pension estimates, life expectancy, tax situations, inflation rates, etc. 

One such tool for client use is Amerant Bank’s free online Retirement Savings Calculator. This user-friendly calculator lets individuals input age, income, and retirement information. It also compares retirement savings over time between a Roth IRA (an individual retirement account in which withdrawals in retirement are generally tax-free) and a traditional IRA (in which withdrawals in retirement are generally taxable). 

While online calculators are handy, there is no substitution for qualified guidance from experienced professionals. Amerant’s advisors are prepared to collaborate with clients, using helpful planning tools and offering personalized advice. Contact Amerant today to discuss your retirement planning needs. 

Setting Up Your Future

The importance of having a comprehensive retirement plan has a lot of emphasis on one’s future. It ensures sufficient income to maintain the desired standard of living without running out of money prematurely.

It prevents undue anxiety about finances and affords individuals peace of mind to enjoy their golden years truly. It unlocks strategies for reducing tax burdens and preserving wealth for the next generation. And it provides the framework for a secure, comfortable, and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.

Editorial Team
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