Do You Need a Budget in Retirement?

You saved diligently, invested carefully, and now you have a sizable nest egg that can most likely replace 80% of your pre-retirement income. Why should you go through the tiresome process of creating a budget?

No matter how carefully you plan, many things are out of your control that can impact the income your plan can provide:

  • Market volatility
  • Extended market downturns
  • Increased taxes
  • High inflation

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How to Have “The Talk” With Your Aging Parents

Whether it builds gradually or something happens to spark it – there’s a moment in adulthood when you realize that you need to care for the people that cared for you.

Getting a plan in place to care for your parents means balancing your respect and love for them with their autonomy and independence.

There are more resources now than ever before to help keep the aging process secure, graceful, and independent. At the same time, there are resources to help adult children address problems, keep their own lives on track, and get the support they need.

But it can be complicated to get started. The parent-child dynamic resists change from both sides, money will be involved, and every party to the conversation will be uncertain about how to approach it and what will come next.

All that can mean stressful, tearful, difficult conversations. Or avoiding the topic altogether.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve created a short primer to help you get started and think through the issues.

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Retiring in a Volatile Market: Control What You Can

Retirement during a volatile market is unsettling. Whether you are on the cusp or have already made the leap, a market downturn’s impact on your savings will be felt now and potentially for years to come. How do you keep your plan on track and your desired lifestyle in place?

If you can’t control income, you’ll need to control expenses. And that means budgeting and taxes. You can deploy tactics and strategies to optimize these factors no matter what stage you are in on your retirement journey.

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Is a Self-Directed 401(k) Right for You?

Contributing regularly to a 401(k) plan is the foundation of retirement savings for many people. You determine the percentage of each paycheck you want to contribute, and you either select a target-date fund based on your expected year of retirement or pick from a relatively limited selection of mutual funds.

But what if you had more control? Suppose you’re a do-it-yourselfer in other areas of your investment plan. In that case, the limited options in a 401(k) can be very constraining – especially when it is often your most significant investment pool. If you prefer to have someone else manage your investments, you may be able to find an advisor that will make recommendations inside your plan, but again, they will be limited.

If you have multiple plans from different employers or a concentrated stock position, it can be difficult to line your 401(k) investing up with your risk tolerance and overall financial picture.

There is another option for investors whose employers offer the ability to self-direct your 401(k).

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GMB #133: Retirement Income Planning in 2022

Managing income after retirement is one of the most important things a retiree needs to plan to make the best of their savings, and with the rising interest rates and stock market volatility, there are many factors that need to be considered. This week on Grow Money Business, Grant dives into several key aspects of retirement income planning, including how to minimize tax impact, prioritizing different sources of income, planning for social security benefits, making strategic tax decisions, and more. 

 

 

Show Notes

[02:36] Recent Developments – Grant shares his thoughts on some of the recent changes in the economy and policies that affect the way people should approach retirement planning. 

[05:24] 401k Plans – How to maximize tax benefits while utilizing a 401k. 

[11:33] Expenses After Retirement – Grant explains how to best manage your after-retirement expenses 

[16:11] IRAs & Tax – Grant explains the tax differences between traditional and Roth IRAs and what retirees should keep in mind when taking money from these accounts. 

[21:00] Strategic Tax Decisions – Grant shares a strategic move that allows retirees to minimize the tax impact on their retirement accounts while taking advantage of the gap years between the age of 65 and 72. 

[29:17] Deferring Tax – How to decide whether it is beneficial to defer tax based on life expectancy 

[32:46] Medicare Premiums – How to plan for minimizing Medicare premiums after retirement. 

[39:06] Social Security – Grant shares his take on maximizing the social security benefits after retirement. 

 

Resources

Tax Planning For Retirement: The Long Game

Tax planning for retirement is different from the strategies you deploy to minimize taxes while working. You’ll be using your investments for income, and the way they are taxed is different depending on the type of account you hold assets in. In addition, at age 72, you’ll begin taking required minimum distributions from your tax-deferred accounts, and these amounts can quickly push you into higher tax brackets.
Does it matter? According to research done by Morningstar, tax planning can add up to 4% to retirement income.

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Avoiding the Medicare Surcharge: What You Need to Know About IRMAA

Reaching Medicare eligibility solves one of the most expensive retirement problems for many retirees: healthcare. Once you’ve made the adjustment and selected all the various Parts and plans, the convenience and affordability of Medicare are one of the benefits of turning 65. However, Medicare is means-tested. If you make over a certain amount of income, surcharges on the Medicare Part B and Part B premiums kick in.

Making it a little more painful, it’s not a flat increase. The surcharges go up as incomes get higher and at the highest level can amount to hundreds of dollars a month in additional costs.

The key to avoiding or minimizing the surcharge is to control income levels. In early retirement, this may be reasonably easy to do. But if you’ve amassed a retirement nest egg in a traditional tax-deferred 401(k) or IRA account, once you hit 72 and required minimum distributions (RMDs) kick in, you can find yourself with a very hefty bill.

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Cash Flow Planning When You’re Thinking About Retirement

Pre-retirement planning is one of the most challenging stages of your financial journey. You’re still fully engaged in your career, but you’re also looking ahead to a not-distant future when your life and your source of income will radically change.

Retirement means you’ll be making choices about where you want to live, what your retired life will look like, if it will include work, travel, charity, a hobby – all the things you always wished you had time for will now be yours to choose from.

But you’re also going to need to ensure you have enough saved to fund the retirement you want, and that the income stream you’ll be able to generate from all your sources of income in retirement is tax-efficient.

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Planning for 2022: The IRS Has Increased Several Key Deductions and Exemptions

The spike in inflation we’ve seen this year has impacts beyond having to pay more for goods and services. The IRS uses consumer price inflation (CPI) to determine certain increases to exemptions and deductions for federal tax purposes. These are automatic and calculated from the rise in CPI. That means that the increased inflation this year may actually end up saving you money. While the changes are for 2022 and you won’t be paying the associated taxes until 2023, it’s a good idea to be aware of the new limits.

You may be able to make changes as you go that can help you maximize the benefit. For example, the amounts for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and the commuter benefit increased, so you may want to have more taken out of your paycheck. This saves you money by paying with pre-tax dollars.

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More Money More Problems? Complex Compensation Requires a Different Kind of Advisor

The benefit of becoming a high earner is apparent: more money. You can go beyond creating financial security for yourself and your family and start making choices that may have been out of reach. Not having to worry about covering the basics can also provide you with a measure of peace of mind. It can help you operate from a mindset of abundance, and not scarcity, which can free you to actualize your financial and personal goals.

But before you get to that state of satori, you need to get all the money you’ve earned into your financial plan in a reasonably efficient way, while minimizing the taxes you’ll pay across your lifetime, and creating a diversified financial plan.

And if that’s not complicated enough, being a high earner very often means your compensation is unpredictable, lumpy, or you’re no longer a W2 wage earner. Whether you have deferred compensation, restricted stock, stock options, an annual bonus, or you own your own business, high income levels can equate to situations in which you have very complex compensation.

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