Retiring with a Spending Plan: How to Prepare Financially for Retirement

retire with a spending plan: retired couple on vacation

Retirement is a major milestone in life and a time when you’ll have the freedom to enjoy your hard-earned leisure time. However, it’s also a time when you’ll be relying on your savings and investment income to support your lifestyle. 

Retiring with a spending plan starts with just that: planning. Let’s take a look at how you can begin planning for your retirement today. 

Determine Your Income Sources

Determining your income sources in retirement is an important first step towards creating a spending plan that will allow you to live comfortably during this new stage of your life. There are several different types of income that you may have in retirement, and it’s important to consider all of them when creating your plan.

Social Security is a government-run program that provides financial assistance to retired Americans. If you’ve paid into the system through payroll taxes during your working years, you’ll be eligible to receive Social Security benefits when you retire. These benefits are based on your earnings history, and the amount you’ll receive will depend on how much you’ve paid into the system and how long you’ve worked.

A pension is another type of income that you may receive in retirement. A pension is a regular payment that you receive from an employer or other organization in exchange for your past service. Pensions can be either defined benefit plans, which provide a set amount of income each month, or defined contribution plans, which provide a set amount of money that you can use to invest in a retirement account.

Retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, are another important source of income in retirement. These accounts allow you to save money for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis, and the money you save in them can be used to generate income in retirement through investments in stocks, bonds, and other assets.

Finally, you may also have other investments, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate, that can generate income in retirement. It’s important to consider all of these income sources when creating your spending plan, as they can all play a role in helping you to maintain your desired lifestyle during retirement.

Estimate Your Expenses

When creating a spending plan for your retirement, it’s important to make a comprehensive list of all of the expenses that you expect to have. This may include things like housing, healthcare, food, transportation, and entertainment. Be sure to include both fixed and variable expenses in your plan, as well as any one-time expenses that you may have. 

Fixed expenses are those that stay the same each month, such as a mortgage payment or car insurance premium, while variable expenses may vary from month to month, such as the cost of groceries or entertainment. One-time expenses are expenses that only occur occasionally, such as home repairs or travel. 

By considering all of these types of expenses, you can get a more accurate picture of your financial needs in retirement and create a spending plan that will allow you to live comfortably. It’s a good idea to review your expenses periodically to ensure that your spending plan is still on track and to make any necessary adjustments.

Determine Your Retirement Budget

Once you know your income sources and expenses, you can determine your retirement budget. This is the amount of money you have available to spend each month. If your income is less than your expenses, you’ll need to make adjustments to either your income or your expenses (or both). On the other hand, if your income is more than your expenses, you may be able to save the excess for future needs or splurge on a special treat.

Consider Inflation 

Inflation is the gradual increase in the cost of goods and services over time. It’s important to consider inflation in your spending plan because it can impact your budget over the course of your retirement. For example, if you’re planning to spend $50,000 per year in retirement, but inflation increases the cost of goods and services by 3% per year, your expenses will actually be closer to $58,000 after 10 years. To account for inflation, you may need to increase your income or make adjustments to your spending plan.

Review and Adjust Your Spending Plan

 It’s a good idea to review your spending plan regularly to ensure that it’s still on track. This may involve making adjustments to your income, expenses, or both. For example, if your investment portfolio isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped, you may need to reduce your spending or find ways to increase your income. On the other hand, if your investments are doing well, you may be able to increase your spending or save more for the future.

Final Thoughts

By creating a spending plan for your retirement, you can ensure that you have a solid financial foundation to support your desired lifestyle. This can help you relax and enjoy your golden years, knowing that you have a plan in place to support you financially.

The purpose of RWM Financial Group is to promote plan success via our knowledgeable team and a robust set of tools. 

RWM will lead the way toward retirement readiness for pre-retirees and new generations of employees—whose success comes from your plan’s success. Combining professional dedication, cutting-edge tools, and high-impact education with a commitment to service, RWM Financial Group’s process sets a clear direction toward retirement for your valued employees and balances their needs with yours. The RWM process uses features and services that strive to create value for the employee and the employer.

For a better understanding of retirement savings plans, read our article here.