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Preparing For Retirement

To have a comfortable, secure—and fun—retirement, you need to build the financial cushion that will fund it all. Planning for retirement starts with thinking about your retirement goals and how long you have to meet them.

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Step 1

Understand Your Time Horizon

How old you are and how many years of work you have left is an important point of departure when it comes to strategically planning for retirement. This is because these two variables will determine how much money you can invest, what to invest in, and what your expected returns will be over a certain period of time. Your current age and expected retirement age are what we use to formulate the first steps of an effective retirement strategy.

For instance, if you are a younger person with decades before retirement, you are able to handle more risk in your portfolio. That is why we tell our younger clients to start investing and saving as early as possible to ensure the potential for high returns while they can still afford the risk. If however, you are older and closer to retirement, your portfolio should be focused on income and the preservation of capital.

Need help understanding what your retirement strategy should be?

Step 2

What Is Your Retirement Spending Needs

When preparing for retirement, it is very important to determine what your post-retirement spending habits will be. Most people underestimate how much they will spend during retirement. Not to mention many spend their first years splurging on travel or other bucket-list goals, which eventually come back to haunt them when they run out of money.

Even if you think you have saved enough money, external factors such as inflation and economic downturn can still have a major impact on your financial well-being post-retirement. Our Financial Planning Services are comprehensive 1-on-1 sessions with Robert Edwards (President) explicitly tailored to our client’s needs. We help you determine your retirement spending needs to make sure your wealth lasts a lifetime.

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Step 3

Calculate Your Investment Returns After-Tax

Once you understand your time horizon and you have determined what your spending requirements will be, the next variable to consider is what your real return will be after-tax deductions. Depending on the type of retirement account you hold, investment returns are in most cases taxed. It is therefore important to invest your money in a way that will produce returns over and above what you will need to pay in taxes.

In simpler words, You must calculate your actual rate of return on an after-tax basis. Calculating your investment returns post-retirement without compensating for the money you will need to forgo due to taxation, can cause a shortfall. Determining your tax status when you start to withdraw funds from your retirement fund is also a crucial component of the retirement planning process. We can help you with this type of financial planning.

Step 4

Assess Risk Tolerance vs. Investment Goals

One of the most important components of retirement planning is understanding how to allocate investments to reach your retirement objectives. “Risk vs Return” is a term we are all familiar with and rightfully so. This simple equation will determine your investment strategy and your potential wealth in the long run. Ask yourself, “How much risk am I willing to take to meet my objectives?” “Should I be adding some money to risk-free Treasury bonds for required expenditures?”

If you are managing your own investments, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are comfortable with the amount of risk you are exposed to during certain periods of your lifetime. You need to determine what is a necessary investment and what is a “gamble”. If you need help investing your hard-earned money, look no further. Our experts can help you achieve your long and short -term financial goals. We provide financial planning services to help our clients find the perfect balance of risk and return.

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Step 5

Stay on Top of Estate Planning

The final step to ensure a well-rounded retirement plan is estate planning. This step will require assistance from different professionals, such as lawyers and accountants. Life insurance is also an important part of estate planning and the retirement-planning process. By having both a proper estate plan and life insurance coverage, you ensure that your assets are distributed in a manner of your choosing and that your loved ones will not experience financial hardship following your death.

Tax planning is another crucial part of the estate planning process. If you wish to leave assets to family members or a charity, the tax implications of either gifting the benefits or passing them through the estate process must be compared.

At Edwards & Associates PC, we provide an investment approach that aims to produce returns that meet yearly inflation-adjusted living expenses while preserving the value of our client’s portfolios. This is important to ensure that in the event of unfortunate death, enough funds are left for dependents/family members.

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