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#1 of Series

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

It's National Retirement Security Week! A national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement.

We're devoting this week to a series answering common questions about retirement.

#1 - Can I retire? When can I retire?

This is the ultimate retirement planning question. And, like most things in life, it depends. As no two fingerprints are the same, no two sets of financial resources and goals are the same. We all have our own unique vision of what the ideal retirement looks like.

It is important to start with defining what an “ideal” and what an “acceptable” retirement might look like to you.

Ideal: What would it look like many years from now if things worked out well? How much would you spend on living, housing, healthcare, travel, gifts to family, charities, legacies, etc.? What is the earliest you would like to make work optional? What is the least amount of volatility you’d ideally like to accept in your portfolio?

Acceptable: What is the least amount you’d need to live comfortably, smallest legacy, the longest you would see yourself working, the most amount of volatility you think you could handle?

Then assess present and future resources – both financial and non-financial. Your balance sheet, your income, your direct income sources (Social Security or pensions), your human capital (ability to earn), your insurance, potential future inheritance and your ability and tolerance for uncertainty.

Take into account the rising cost of living, future investment returns, tax rates and life expectancies. And a caution – you cannot blindly assume the future will be like the past.

From this, a qualified financial advisor could run an analysis and make a “reasonable” estimate of what retirement might look like. This may include scenarios such as different retirement ages, retirement spending, working part-time, gifting, or portfolio choices, etc. These are personal and custom choices to you. Coaching on tradeoffs is an important value that an advisor can bring.

Once a plan is agreed upon, it should be monitored to determine if you are “on track” – and if not, what adjustments should be considered.

So, when or can you retire? It depends! A qualified financial advisor may be able to help. We encourage you to find a guide.

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