Retirement always seems like it is so far away, but when the time is looming, retirement planning starts to take a priority.
When people are young, they are focused on the daily grind – working, tending to family, vacationing, and keeping their heads above the financial waters. At some point, they ask themselves, “Have I planned well enough for retirement?”
In a perfect world, that is the time they will seek out a licensed insurance agent to help them start planning for the future.
At the beginning of the relationship, your clients do not generally understand that it is never too late to start planning for retirement. You can help them see that there is no need to panic. With your help and expertise, they will soon be able to see things in a more positive light.
When Should Seniors Start Retirement Planning?
The short and simple answer to when seniors should start retirement planning is “as soon as possible.”
Generally, seniors have more time to plan for retirement than they think. As a qualified insurance agent, you can share various financial scenarios with them to help them understand that they may have more options for saving and investing than they realize.
Pre-retirees may be able to leverage a variety of 401(k), IRA, annuity, municipal bonds, or other tax-advantaged products to get ahead of the curve before retirement and start living the dream retirement.
Can it be too Late to Begin Retirement Planning?
For those born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age is 67, although it is not uncommon for people to continue working past retirement age. Despite what your clients may believe, it is not too late for people to begin retirement planning in their 50s and 60s.
One of the important decisions they need to make is at what age they should retire.
Your clients have different reasons for working longer than the normal retirement age. Some are motivated by money. Others need something to keep their mind and bodies active. Regardless of their reasons for working past retirement age, retiring at a later age is a strategy that gives seniors extra time to save and invest in boosting their existing retirement funds.
What are the Steps in Retirement Planning?
To help get clients over the hump of being concerned over not having enough money for retirement, it helps to break down the process for them. As they begin to understand the various steps in retirement planning, they will have a greater comfort level with getting started right away.
Here is a brief look at the retirement planning steps:
- Determine Retirement Readiness – Help clients factor in their job situation, current investment portfolio, and financial needs.
- Create a Retirement Budget – Encourage clients to forecast how much money they will need to pay their bills and live well with the funds they plan to have during retirement.
- Decide When to Take Social Security – Social security can begin as early as age 62, but those who qualify for social security benefits will get a larger payment if they wait until age 67 or 70.
- Sign up for Medicare – The savings in health care costs can be redirected into investment vehicles.
- Consider Housing Options and Costs – It may make sense for seniors to downsize or move to obtain less expensive housing.
- Manage Income During Retirement – By timing withdrawals of tax-deferred accounts, seniors can minimize the income tax they have to pay.
- Take the Required Minimum Distributions – The law does not require seniors to start taking the minimum distributions from their IRA and 401(k) plans until age 72, and that can buy them additional time to build their wealth before retirement.
AARP is another valuable resource for retirement planning tips.
Concluding Thoughts on Retirement Planning
Passion is contagious. As a retirement planner, you have an opportunity to spread passion to your clients about preparing for a comfortable and secure retirement. No matter their circumstances, you can enhance their lives by giving them a glimpse of a future retirement that is as realistic as it is positive. To learn more about helping clients with retirement planning, contact the experts at American Senior Benefits at 913-815-3475. We are passionate about helping you succeed.