No one can see into the future, and none of us can predict what tomorrow will bring—let alone what life might be like a year or a decade into the future. Rather than be an argument against retirement planning, this is actually a sound argument in its favor: You can’t say for sure what your finances will look like once you reach retirement age, but you can work to ensure that you have plenty of options, and that you have strategies in place to face all contingencies.
The implication of this is that your retirement planning should be far-reaching. It should encompass a lot of different what-ifs, all the possible life scenarios that might or might not pan out. This, in turn, implies that retirement planning should take into account a number of different factors—including some you might be neglecting.
The cost of your healthcare. Even now, there is growing discontentment over employer-tied health insurance, so who knows what healthcare costs will look like in the future? Certainly, you cannot expect to continue receiving health benefits from your employer once your employment ends. As you plan for retirement, it is important to factor in possible out-of-pocket healthcare costs—to speak with your advisor about the possibilities available to you for ongoing care.
The cost of long-term care. Speaking of which: Uncomfortable though it may be, you must entertain the possibility that either you or your spouse may one day need some kind of ongoing care, in a nursing or assisted living facility. It is impossible to predict with certainty whether or not this will ever become a necessity, yet it would be irresponsible not to plan for the possibility.
Providing for your family. How much of your personal wealth do you wish to use for retirement, and how much do you hope to pass on to your family? This, of course, takes us out of retirement planning and into estate planning, yet the two are connected. If you have a goal to leave something for your children or grandchildren, or even to be able to provide them with gifts or financial assistance after you retire, it is important to factor it into your retirement planning.
Your retirement lifestyle. The conventional advice is to try to cut your expenses, spending less money in your retirement years than you do before retirement. While this is certainly good advice, it does not always pan out this way—and in fact, many retirees end up spending more in retirement than they did before, especially when they travel or take up expensive hobbies. Be honest with yourself, as you plan for your retirement, about the kind of lifestyle you truly wish to have.
For more assistance addressing these different contingencies, we encourage you to contact our team today!