Posted on June 26, 2013 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

3 Steps to a Better Retirement Plan

retirement planningWhat is your ideal retirement? Everyone takes their own strategy toward retirement, but generally individuals try to create a retirement plan that will provide enough money to care for themselves while affording them the means to do the things they enjoy. Retirement planning mistakes may prevent retirees from enjoying their senior years the way they envisioned, and these mistakes are not always simple to fix. Some mistakes in retirement planning are only resolved if they are caught early, otherwise years or decades of saving strategies may be limiting financial resources later on.

Retirement planners in North Carolina serve a population of retirees forecasted to increase. According to Smart Money, by 2021 about 36 million more Americans will reach the retirement age of 65. Preserving wealth for retirement is not a one-step process. Retirement planners can recommend investing strategies, review guidelines for asset protection tools, and help you develop a plan customized to your situation.
Basic financial plan. How far away are you from retiring? A single IRA may not be sufficient to support you in retirement if your money is tied up in poor investments. A consultation with a certified financial planner in North Carolina will help you understand the importance of a basic financial plan. Without a basic plan you are probably unaware of the amount of money that will be needed in retirement. With the right guidelines and financial planning tools you may be able to increase retirement funds significantly.
Estimate retirement costs. In addition to your investment strategies you will need to factor in realistic future costs during retirement. Inflation and the unpredictable expenses of healthcare should be incorporated into retirement cost estimates. A certified financial planner will help you learn what to expect from Social Security benefits and potential tax implications. As of this writing Social Security benefits are exempt from income tax in North Carolina; however, the 2013 North Carolina Tax Reform includes proposed changes that may affect how benefits are taxed.
Create or update an estate plan. If your spouse survives you, what would happen to him or her if your assets were depleted by creditors? Trusts are part of a comprehensive estate plan. Whether you are interested in an IRA trust, an Irrevocable Life Insurance trust (ILIT), or another estate planning tool to protect your assets, your North Carolina estate planning lawyer will advise you which one(s) might best suit your needs.

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