5 Steps To Retirement

5 Steps To Retirement

September 18, 2018

By Jeremy Reif, CRPS®, Financial Advisor and Owner of Point Wealth Management

Are you ready to leave work for good and launch into your much-anticipated retirement years? Congratulations! Retirement is a milestone we often start thinking about as soon as we enter our working years, and many of us relish the idea of slowing down, changing pace, and finally having all the time we need to pursue passions and invest in relationships. But before you pack up your desk, take a bit of time to prepare. You want to make sure your hard-earned retirement savings actually carry you through retirement.

Here are five steps to help you make your retirement transition more successful so you can enjoy your golden years with added peace of mind, knowing that you’ve taken care of all the details.

Step 1: Create An Inventory Of Your Expenses

Put a pen and paper to all the expenses you will incur in your retirement years. Think about your regular monthly expenses plus travel, gifts, and potential large purchases, such as cars and home renovation.

Step 2: Account For Retirement Savings

After determining your expenses, the next step is to verify that you can spend your desired budget without depleting your savings. Make a list of all your retirement funds, including 401(k)s, IRAs, and other personal savings.

Step 3: Add Income Sources

Once you’ve calculated your total household assets, you are ready to look at outside income sources to come up with your total known income. Two of the most commonly mismanaged income sources are Social Security and pensions.

The Social Security Administration provides you with 567 ways to claim Social Security benefits (1) and the Social Security Handbook has 2,728 separate rules governing your benefits. (2) As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all claiming strategy for Social Security. Choosing the wrong options can cost you, and you don’t want to leave money on the table that is rightfully yours. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration cannot advise you on what decisions are best for you. Take advantage of advanced software available to financial professionals to help narrow down the best strategies and most profitable time for you to file.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pension, calculating the most advantageous pension settlement option often requires close scrutiny. You may want to consider the help of a financial professional to properly fit your pension into your overall retirement strategy.

Step 4: Work With A Professional To Do The Math

Now that you’re armed with your annual expenses, household assets, and known income, it’s time to do some serious math! Work with your retirement strategist to help with these calculations. Perhaps you will need to tweak your budget and curb spending, or you might find that you can comfortably spend more than you thought! If you have an income gap, we can explore strategies that can produce additional income, such as a part-time job or lifetime income through the use of insurance products.

It’s important to remember that the number you come up with for additional income needed is a constantly moving target. As circumstances change, the income you need may change. You also need to account for cost of living adjustments from Social Security, pensions, rent, and inflation.

Step 5: Execute And Re-Evaluate Annually

The final step is to allocate your savings into appropriate accounts and earmark them for growth potential and spending in the proper stages. At Point Wealth Management, we implement strategies with your personal tax implications, risk tolerance, and need for liquidity in mind.

Find The Help You Need

When you partner with a financial advisor, you are joining forces with someone who focuses on understanding your financial needs and creating solutions to help you pursue your goals. Here at Point Wealth Management, we can help you stick to a long-term strategy and provide you with guidance and advice that you can’t put a price on. If you are looking for someone to partner with on your journey to retirement, schedule a call and meet me virtually.

About Jeremy Reif, CRPS®

Jeremy Reif is an independent financial advisor with more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry. He is also the owner of Point Wealth, LLC, an independent financial planning and investment management firm. With advanced credentials and training in retirement planning and financial planning, Jeremy focuses on helping individuals and families pursue financial independence. Regardless of the services he’s providing, he focuses on talking openly about financial planning, the industry, common questions about retirement planning, and more to help everyday investors gain more confidence in their financial opportunities. Based in Wausau, Wisconsin, Jeremy serves clients throughout the state and can work virtually with clients throughout the country. To learn more, visit http://pointwealthmanagement.com and connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn.

Investment Advisory Services offered through Retirement Wealth Advisors, (RWA) a Registered Investment Advisor. Point Wealth Management, TCM, and RWA are not affiliated. Securities offered through TCM Securities, Inc. Members FINRA-SIPC. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal.  No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered.  It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement.  Please note that Point Wealth Management and its affiliates do not give legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult your tax advisor or attorney.

Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer.  Any references to protection benefits or lifetime income generally refer to fixed insurance products.  They do not refer, in any way, to securities or investment advisory products or services. Fixed Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Retirement Wealth Advisors Inc.


(1) “Social Security: There is a better way,” Center for Retirement Research, Boston College, September 2012.

(2) https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2012/07/03/44-social-security-secrets-all-baby-boomers-and-millions-of-current-recipients-need-to-know/#5a09848846a8

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