Retirement Planning Process

The 6 main elements of retirement planning include:

1) Maximizing retirement income without the risk of running out of money

Key products and strategies have to be implemented to maximize withdrawals (i.e. retirement income) without worrying about running out of money. No one knows exactly how long they will live and with advances in medicine, it will probably be longer than expected. Not having a plan to ensure you have enough money for a 20, 30, or 40-year retirement can be devastating.

2) Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits

You have been paying into the Social Security system your entire career, so you might as well learn how to maximize its retirement benefits. There are advanced financial planning calculators now that can show you how to get the optimal Social Security Retirement Benefit. This provides a meaningful base retirement income stream for many people.

3) Develop strategies to minimize taxes

When you started saving for retirement, you may have unknowingly made a deal with Uncle Sam. Understanding the tax implications of all of your accounts is necessary so you can calculate the tax impact and make withdrawal/income adjustments accordingly. This also helps to identify any tax strategies that can help reduce or eliminate taxes over the long-term.

4) Invest retirement account savings wisely through various asset allocation models

Maintaining diversified investments during retirement is important. We take a risk-based approach that uses modern strategies to sustainably invest your assets throughout retirement.

5) Planning for unexpected medical bills

An increasingly critical part of retirement planning is to have additional funds to pay for medical bills not fully covered by Medicare or Medicare supplement plans, namely costs associated with long-term care services. The probability of needing long-term care services is statistically high, making it necessary to address this in the planning process.

6) Estate & legacy planning

How do you want to be remembered? Will your assets and money go to the right people or institutions? Will there be state and federal estate taxes due when you pass away? Wealth transfer issues are taken into consideration in this part of the planning process.

For more information, please contact Derek Spencer, CFP® at or (973) 971-0002.