Wish you had a crystal ball for retirement planning? Most of us do, and for good reason. Even if you’re sure you’ll have enough money to retire, there are no guarantees until you get there. If your nest egg runs short, it will be far too late for a do-over.
This is where a financial adviser can help. A financial adviser will know if you’re heavy on risk, not diversified enough, failing to maximize tax advantages, or simply not saving enough. They will also make sure to take into account your lifestyle and preferences to ensure you’re on the right path to your ideal retirement, and not just following a cookie cutter plan that’s not going to be the right fit.
We asked financial advisers for some of the most important ideas they wish their clients understood when it comes to money, retirement, and the future.
1. Social Security will be around in some form
]Andrew McFadden, a financial adviser for physicians, says many clients refuse to accept that Social Security will still be around when they retire. This is especially true if they are part of Gen X or Gen Y, he says, since they are decades away from receiving benefits.
However short on funds we may be, the Social Security Administration projects the ability to pay around 75 percent of current benefits after the fund is depleted in 2034. This is a key detail, notes McFadden, since many people hear Social Security is going bankrupt and refuse to acknowledge any benefits in their own retirement planning.
“It’s not all roses, but that’s still a far cry from those bankruptcy rumors,” says McFadden. “So lower your expectations, but don’t get rid of them altogether.”
2. It’s ok to “live a little” while you save for retirement
Russ Thornton, founder of Wealthcare for Women, says too many future retirees sacrifice living now for their “pie in the sky” dream of retirement. Unfortunately, tomorrow isn’t promised, and many people never get to live out the dreams they plan all along.
“So many people assume they can’t really live until they’re retired and not working full-time,” says Thornton. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Find ways to experience aspects of your dream life now, whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, or 50s.”
With a solid savings and retirement plan, you should be able to do both — save and invest adequately, and try some new experiences that make life adventurous and satisfying now.
“Don’t accept the deferred life plan,” he says. That future you dream about and plan for may never come.
3. The 4 percent rule isn’t perfect for everybody
Born in the 90s, the 4 percent rule stated retirees could stretch their funds by withdrawing 4 percent per year. The catch was, a good portion of those investments had to remain in equities to make this work.
The 4 percent rule lost traction between 2000 and 2010 when the market closed lower than where it started 10 years before, says Bellevue, WA financial adviser Josh Brein. As many retirement accounts suffered during this time, it was shown that the 4 percent rule doesn’t always work for everybody.
It doesn’t mean the rule should be thrown…