If you haven’t noticed, the average life expectancy in the United States continues to rise and if you try to stay as healthy as possible don’t be surprised if you live well into your late 80s and possibly early 90s. The miracle of modern medicine has extended many lives well past the normal age that one would normally reach without it.
What does this mean for you? It’s wonderful how it is entirely possible for you to have to live for three decades with your retirement income. The bad news is that most people don’t plan on saving enough retirement income and instead, they overspend just to maintain their current lifestyle. If you haven’t saved enough money for retirement, hopefully, your job offered you an excellent, traditional pension plan so that you can have monthly income for a lifetime.
If you don’t have a pension and find yourself with just average retirement savings, there’s a decent strategy you could use to minimize the chance of you running out of money in your retirement.
Whether you have just a regular savings account, a 401(k), or any other retirement account here’s a nifty little guide to help you maximize the amount of money you have during your retirement.
The most important thing to remember is to not spend your savings. Upon retiring, people have what seems to be a ton of money in their savings and investment accounts, and this can lead to disaster if you’re not careful. I think you know what I’m talking about here; the guy or gal who buys their $65,000 dream car as well as a 37 foot open fisherman boat just because they can! Then, 5 years down the road, they can’t even pay for the fuel or worse yet, repairs!
Here are three ways to be able to meet your goals of having enough money to draw from in retirement.
1. The first way is to use only the interest and dividends in your retirement savings. This is where if you have sufficient funds you can live off the money from your investments without touching any capital whatsoever; this allows you to get what you need without touching the capital in your investments so your money can continue growing.
2. The second way you can draw money from your retirement is to use some type of annuity. These will provide you with fixed monthly payments and many can actually provide those payments for a lifetime. There are two basic types of annuities and they are; deferred and immediate annuities. The major difference between both is that in a deferred annuity, you invest your money for a period of time before retirement and start withdrawing once you reach your actual retirement whereas an immediate annuity allows you to start receiving payments as soon as you invest in the annuity itself.
3. The last method is to systematically withdraw your money from your investments. In this method you can withdraw approximately 4% of your retirement income on a yearly basis and even give yourself an annual raise adjusted for inflation. The “4% rule” as it is commonly referred to doesn’t apply to every single situation so you may want to consult with your financial planner on this and possibly take out a little less, such as 3 to 3.5% every year.
The worst thing you can do in retirement is to start directly spending your capital, unless you have millions in the bank, of course! Even a person with $1,000,000 in a savings account will watch that figure dwindle to absolutely nothing within a few short years if it is not invested. Some people end up millionaires upon retirement and quickly become “broke” within 10 years. County workers with hefty pensions are notorious for ending up with this unfortunate scenario.