5 Steps to Fresno Retirement Planning 

November 21, 2022

By Soutas Financial

To help you achieve a safe, secure, and fun retirement, follow these five steps

The process of preparing for retirement in Fresno is a multistage endeavor. To enjoy a comfortable, secure, and fun retirement, you must build a financial cushion that funds it all. However, planning how you’ll get to retirement is also important.

Before setting up a retirement account, first consider your retirement goals and the amount of time you have left to achieve them. After that, look at the variety of retirement accounts that can assist you save for the future. As you save your money, it must be invested to increase in value.

When you finally stop working and start withdrawing your retirement savings, you’ll have to pay a big tax bill. There are a few things you can do to avoid paying huge retirement taxes while you’re saving for the future. You can continue the process if that day ever comes when you no longer have to work.

The following are the five steps that everyone should follow, no matter their age, to create a solid retirement plan. We’ll get into these issues later. For now, learn the five steps.

How Much Should You Save for Retirement if You Live in Fresno?

The amount of money they need to save before crunching the numbers on their retirement goals will depend on many factors, such as their annual income and the age when they plan to retire.

There is no fixed rule about how much money to save for retirement, but many retirement experts offer rules of thumb such as saving $1 million, or 12 years of one’s pre-retirement annual income. Others recommend the 4% rule, which says that retirees should spend no more than 4% of their retirement savings each year in order to ensure a comfortable retirement.

Calculating the ideal retirement savings amount for your own situation is certainly worth doing.

For help constructing the ideal retirement plan, order a copy of the print edition of Investopedia’s Retirement Guide.

Considerations

You should think about the factors that will affect your retirement goals when planning for retirement. What are your family’s plans? Having children can significantly reduce your retirement savings for many people. As a result, the kind of family you want may affect your retirement planning.

Retirement plans are also worth thinking about, including possibly changing your home or living situation. Many people want to travel during retirement, but extensive travel will eat away at their savings faster than staying at home. On the other hand, moving to a country with a low cost of living may allow you to save more for extended periods of time while enjoying a high standard of living.

Americans usually qualify for social security benefits, but those benefits are rarely enough to cover all of their retirement expenses. In addition, one should also consider the variety of tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

401(k)s and IRA accounts have largely replaced pension funds as the standard retirement vehicles for skilled workers. Because of the contribution limits, your retirement strategy will depend on the number of tax-advantaged accounts available to you.

Once you have considered these factors, these are the next steps for planning your retirement:

The timeframe you are considering when taking an investment decision is critical to understanding the overall investment opportunity and to making a sound decision about the investment.

The framework for an effective retirement plan is based on your current age and the anticipated retirement date. The higher the degree of uncertainty involved in your retirement plan, the higher the degree of risk that your portfolio can withstand. If you’re young and have decades until retirement, you can invest most of your assets in riskier assets such as stocks. However, over long periods, stocks have outperformed other investments such as bonds. It’s critical to remember the phrase “long.”

You must maintain your purchasing power during retirement if inflation is increasing. “An acorn eventually becomes a mighty oak tree if it grows enough,” says Savannah, Tenn., financial advisor and RetirementPlanningMadeEasy.com founder Chris Hammond.

Inflation “is like compound anti-growth for your money,” Hammond says. “It erodes its value over time as a result of inflating. A seemingly small inflation rate of 3% will decimate the worth of your savings over a period of 24 years as a result of a measly 3% yearly increase. It doesn’t look like much, but over time, it is significant.

A 64-year-old should have a higher allocation to less risky bonds such as bonds to preserve capital and maintain income, rather than seeking the same return from stocks that are more volatile and provide a higher standard of living.

When building a retirement plan, break it up into multiple components. For instance, let’s suppose a parent wants to retire in two years, fund a child’s education at age 18, and move to Florida. In terms of investment strategy, the three periods would be: contributing to the plan until retirement, saving for college, and living in Florida (with regular withdrawals to cover living expenses).

To find the best portfolio allocation, a multistage retirement plan must match different time horizons with varying liquidity needs. You should also rebalance your portfolio as your time horizon changes.

Saving a few dollars here and there in your 20s might not seem much, but the power of compounding will make it worth a lot more by the time you need it.

Calculate the amount of retirement spending required

Most people believe that after retirement, their annual spending will amount to only 70% to 80% of what they spent previously. 1 People often have unrealistic expectations about what they will spend after retirement. This is because they believe that their post-retirement spending will be 70% to 80% of what they spent while they were working.

Even if the mortgage has not been paid off or unforeseen medical expenses occur, an assumption that retirement will be financially secure may often be proved unrealistic. Retired adults also sometimes spend their first years splurging on travel or other bucket-list goals.

According to David G. Niggel, CFP, ChFC, AIF, founder, president, and CEO of Key Wealth Partners LLC in Litilz, Pa., the proportion of retirement savings needed by retirees should be higher than 100%, he says. “The cost of living is rising every year, especially healthcare expenses. As people live longer and desire to thrive in retirement, the amount of money they will need for retirement will increase. To save and invest accordingly, retired people will need more income over a longer period of time.”

Retired adults, by definition, spend eight or more hours a day not working, so they have more time to travel, go sightseeing, shop, and engage in other expensive activities. In retirement planning, more spending in the future requires additional savings today if spending goals are accurate.

“The amount you withdraw each year, and the investments you make, are significantly influenced by your withdrawal rate. It’s crucial to know what your future expenses will be so you can decide how much to withdraw from your retirement account each year and how to invest it. If your future expenses are understated, you run the risk of outliving your investment, or if your future expenses are overstated, you could miss out on the retirement lifestyle you desire,” says Kevin Michels, CFP, EA, and financial planner in Draper, Utah.3

In order to successfully plan for retirement, you must also take into consideration your life expectancy. Individuals are living longer than ever before.4

If you want to purchase a house or fund your children’s post-retirement education, you’ll need more money than you think. Those outlays must be included in your overall retirement plan. Make sure to update your plan once a year to keep track of your savings.

According to Alex Whitehouse, AIF, CRPC, CWS, president, and CEO of Whitehouse Wealth Management in Vancouver, Wash.,6 specifying and estimating early retirement activities, accounting for unexpected expenses in middle retirement, and forecasting what-if late-retirement medical costs can help improve retirement planning accuracy.

After tax return on an investment is the percent increase or decrease in the value of an investment over a period of time, after deduction of all transaction costs.

Once the time horizons and spending requirements have been determined, the after-tax real rate of return must be computed to determine the feasibility of the portfolio producing the needed income. Even for long-term investing, a required rate of return of more than 10% (before taxes) is normally considered unrealistic. As you age, this return threshold goes down, as low-risk retirement portfolios are largely composed of low-yielding fixed-income securities.

If, for example, an individual has a $400,000 retirement portfolio and $50,000 of expenditures, preserving the portfolio’s balance, if there are no taxes and the retirement fund holds steady, the 12.5% return is excessive. A primary advantage of planning for retirement at an early age is that the portfolio can be expanded to safeguard a realistic return. A more reasonable expected return of 5% might be achieved using a $1 million gross retirement investment account.

The amount of investment return and the taxability of that return are both dependent on the retirement account that you hold. Therefore, the actual return must be calculated after tax dollars are deducted. However, the tax status at the beginning of retirement funds withdrawals is an important part of the retirement planning process.

Risk Tolerance versus Investment Goals must be properly balanced in order to achieve investment goals

The most important step in retirement planning, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional money manager, is ensuring your portfolio is properly allocated to balance the needs of risk aversion and returns objectives. How much risk are you willing to take to meet your goals? Are you investing in risk-free Treasury bonds to cover future spending?

You should be comfortable with the level of risk involved in your portfolio and know what is essential and what is superfluous. “Don’t be a ‘micromanager’ who reacts to daily market noise,” says Craig L. Israelsen, Ph.D., creator of 7Twelve Portfolio in Springville, Utah.6

“Too often, ‘helicopter’ investors overmanage their portfolios, according to Israelsen. When your portfolio’s mutual funds experience a bad year, boost your contributions. A mutual fund you dislike this year may turn out to be next year’s best performer—so don’t abandon it.”

“Markets go up and down in regular cycles, so if you can live with seeing your portfolio’s value increase and decrease over 40 years, you can endure the ups and downs,” says John R. Frye, CFA, senior advisor at Carnegie Investment Counsel.7 “When the market goes down, buy—don’t sell. Refuse to panic and buy if shirts are on sale 20% off. Why not stocks if they go on sale 20% off?”

Make sure you stay on top of estate planning matters

Well-rounded retirement plans require the assistance of lawyers and accountants, who specialize in those areas, in addition to other specialists. Providing life insurance is also important to the estate planning process. Your estate plan and life insurance coverage ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes, and your loved ones will not experience financial difficulties after your death. A properly constructed estate plan also minimizes the likelihood of a costly and time-consuming probate process.

The estate planning process includes both tax planning and gift planning. An individual should compare the tax implications of gifting or passing assets through the estate process if he or she wants to leave assets to family members or a charity.

Saving for retirement is often accomplished through a periodic investment plan that produces returns that exceed yearly inflation-adjusted living expenses and maintain the value of the portfolio. To find out the right retirement plan for an individual, consult a tax professional.

According to Mark T. Hebner, founder and president of Index Fund Advisors Inc. in Irvine, California,9 “Estate planning will vary over an investor’s lifetime,” he says. “Early on, things such as powers of attorney and wills are necessary. Once you begin a family, a trust may become an important part of your financial plan.”

“Later on in life, how you would like your money to be dispensed will be of utmost importance in terms of cost and taxes,” says Hebner. “Working with a fee-only estate planning attorney can help you prepare and maintain this portion of your financial plan.”

What Is Risk Tolerance?

The amount of loss you’re willing to tolerate within your portfolio depends on your financial objectives, income, and age.

How Much Should I Save for Retirement?

In a perfect world, savings would begin in your 20s and last throughout your working life.

You can start collecting Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but you won’t receive full benefits as you would if you waited to collect them at full retirement age. 11

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The retirement planning burden has shifted from employers to employees in recent years. A defined-benefit pension, awarded by most employers, is rare these days. If you are not offered one, you must manage your investments on your own, not your employer’s.

Creating a comprehensive retirement plan is one of the most challenging aspects because it requires striking a balance between realistic return expectations and a desired standard of living. The best approach is to focus on constructing a flexible portfolio that can be revised regularly to account for changing market conditions and retirement goals.

Your Fresno Financial Advisor Takeaways

Soutas Financial in Fresno wants to remind you of the following points. The process of preparing for retirement is a multistage endeavor. To enjoy a comfortable, secure, and fun retirement, you must build a financial cushion that funds it all. However, planning how you’ll get to retirement is also important. The most important step in retirement planning, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional money manager, is ensuring your portfolio is properly allocated to balance the needs of risk aversion and returns objectives. Creating a comprehensive retirement plan is one of the most challenging aspects because it requires striking a balance between realistic return expectations and a desired standard of living. The best approach is to focus on constructing a flexible portfolio that can be revised regularly to account for changing market conditions and retirement goals.

We Can Assist You

Are you trying to find a financial advisor in California? Look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planner is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family.

We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

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Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc.
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704
(559) 230-1648
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