Retirement can invoke a mix of conflicting emotions from anticipation to fear, excitement to anxiety. It’s one of the biggest life changes we experience in our adult lives. Most of us anticipate and save for it for decades. But, going from receiving a paycheck for most of your adult life to living off the wealth you have amassed is no doubt an unnerving transition.
Without fail as Tax Day approaches every year, the mind whirls while you check boxes and fill in numbers about everything you could have, should have, would have done to save more money on taxes. Could you have saved more? Invested better? Been smarter at charitable giving? Probably. It’s too late for some money-saving measures in the last minute lead up to the deadline for filing your taxes, but one you can take on simple measure to maximize your tax advantages (perhaps now, and certainly later)—set up a Roth IRA account.
Until recently, many retirees have been able to rely upon the three-legged stool of retirement income sources: A defined benefit pension plan that guarantees a lifetime income, their own savings, and Social Security. Within the last couple of decades, the first leg of the stool has all but disappeared as many defined benefit plans have been replaced with defined contribution plans such as a 401(k) plan. This has shifted the responsibility for creating a retirement income source to the individual.
For anyone approaching retirement you’ve probably got a checklist for your countdown to the big day.
Do I have enough saved for a long, financially secure retirement? Check.
Did I file the right paperwork at the office? Check.
Is my professional exit strategy in place and ready? Check.
Is my estate plan prepared so that I don’t have to worry about my legacy once I stop working? Check
Seems like a good check list. What is missing?