Making Your Retirement Savings Last: Tips and Strategies
Retirement is a time when many people look forward to enjoying the fruits of their labor. However, for those who haven’t saved enough, it can also be a time of stress and worry. The fear of running out of money during retirement can be overwhelming, but with proper planning and a few simple strategies, you can make your retirement savings last.
1. Create a Retirement Budget
Creating a retirement budget is the first step in making your retirement savings last. Your retirement budget should include all of your expected expenses, including housing, food, healthcare, entertainment, and any other expenses you anticipate. By having a clear understanding of your monthly expenses, you can better plan for how much you will need to withdraw from your retirement savings each month.
2. Consider Delaying Social Security Benefits
One way to make your retirement savings last is to delay taking Social Security benefits. By delaying benefits until age 70, you can increase your monthly benefit amount by up to 8% per year. While delaying benefits may not be the best option for everyone, it can be a good strategy for those who have other sources of income or who have a longer life expectancy.
3. Withdraw from Your Retirement Accounts Strategically
When it comes to withdrawing from your retirement accounts, it’s important to have a plan. Many financial experts recommend the 4% rule, which suggests withdrawing no more than 4% of your retirement savings each year to make your savings last. However, this rule may not work for everyone, as everyone’s retirement needs and circumstances are different.
Another strategy is to withdraw money from your taxable accounts first, followed by tax-deferred accounts, and finally tax-free accounts. This strategy can help minimize your tax liability and make your retirement savings last longer.
4. Manage Your Investment Risk
Managing investment risk is an important part of making your retirement savings last. As you get closer to retirement, it’s important to shift your investment strategy from growth to income. This means investing in more conservative investments, such as bonds and dividend-paying stocks, which generate income and can help protect your savings from market fluctuations.
Another strategy is to diversify your investments. Diversification can help spread your investment risk and protect your savings from the ups and downs of the market. By investing in a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets, you can reduce your overall risk and increase your chances of making your savings last.
5. Consider Working Part-Time
If you’re concerned about making your retirement savings last, consider working part-time in retirement. Not only can working part-time provide extra income, but it can also help you delay tapping into your retirement savings. Additionally, working part-time can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment in retirement.
6. Plan for Unexpected Expenses
Even with the best planning, unexpected expenses can arise in retirement. This could include healthcare costs, home repairs, or other unforeseen expenses. To make your retirement savings last, it’s important to have an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Financial experts recommend having at least six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund.
7. Seek Professional Advice
Finally, if you’re unsure about how to make your retirement savings last, consider seeking professional advice. A financial advisor can help you create a retirement plan, develop a withdrawal strategy, and provide guidance on how to manage investment risk.