You’ve worked hard for 50-ish years, and now it’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy retirement.
While it’s definitely time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, you don’t want to stop managing your finances altogether. There are still things you can do in your 70s to help ensure the money you’ve saved keeps you comfortable as long as you need it to. Use these five investing tips to make sure your hard-earned funds keep working for you.
- Shift your investments
Younger investors can accept more risk than older investors because a younger portfolio has more time to recover from any downturns or losses. Different types of assets, from stocks and bonds to commodities and real estate, have varying levels of risk and reward, and a strong investment portfolio is going to have a variety of assets that balance the risk and return you’re looking for. So, while you’ll likely want to shift your portfolio to have less overall risk, you may still need decent returns to shore up your savings.
- Take your payout
Starting at age 72, you’ll have to start withdrawing the required minimum distributions (RMD) from some of your retirement accounts including traditional IRAs, SEP or SIMPLE IRAs. Not taking the RMD can result in a 50% penalty on any amounts you were supposed to withdraw but didn’t.
To calculate your RMD, you’ll need the account balance on December 31 of last year, then find the distribution factor listed in the IRS worksheets and divide the account balance by the distribution factor.
An important note: as part of the CARES Act signed on March 27 for coronavirus aid and relief, retirees are not required to take RMDs in 2020 to help give those accounts time to recover from the economic downturn.
- Reallocate your assets.
Over the years, you’ve likely accumulated a decent amount of…stuff. You may have collected various personal treasures, whether that’s furniture, art or even a boat, and cars and a home (which are hopefully paid off).
Consider now whether those things are still serving you or if they could be turned into cash to free you up for other adventures. Refinancing your mortgage could free up cash for a big trip, home remodels or just daily living expenses. Could your collection of antique furniture or delicate china be sold now so it can be enjoyed by another collector? Turning your assets into cash can mean less for you to maintain now and more financial security as you age.
- Trim your expenses
You’ve hopefully planned well for the day when you no longer live off income but savings and have saved and invested accordingly. However, while we can do the math and give it our best guess, no one knows exactly how long we’ll need our savings to last. While it’s time to spend (and enjoy!) your hard-earned cash, you can also review your expenses to help ensure a comfortable and long-term lifestyle.
If you and a spouse still have two cars, could you sell one, invest the cash and build your savings with reduced insurance and maintenance costs? Could you downsize to a smaller home with lower bills and less to take care of? What about even moving from an expensive city or neighborhood to a less expensive one to save on overall cost of living? You may have the freedom now to make these choices that could stretch your savings as far as it needs to go.
- Plan for the future
But that’s what you’ve been doing your whole life, right? Planning? Well, the future may be here, but your work isn’t quite done! Hopefully you have plenty of time to check off all the items in your bucket list, and there are a few more steps you should take to make it a smooth process.
- Get your paperwork in order. You may have taken care of this years ago, but even if you did, you should make sure wills, power of attorney and medical living wills and advance directives are in order and up to date. This equates to peace of mind for both you and your relatives.
- Build your network. While you may have expertly managed your finances and other affairs on your own to this point, it may get harder to do as time goes on. It never hurts to have trusted advisors like attorneys and financial planners on standby to help, should the need arise, so start building those relationships now.
The best advice? Take care of yourself! You want to invest in a long, healthy future of traveling, enjoying family, tackling new hobbies or whatever else you’ve dreamt of doing in retirement. Eat well, stay physically active and keep connected to family and friends so you can enjoy these golden years to the fullest.