If you were born between the years of 1946 and 1964 or are between the ages of 53 and 71 years old right now, then congratulations, you have broken the mold. Your generation tested the status quo, broke the rules, and went boldly forward where none has gone before. This trend continues as more and more of your generation retires. Your demographic has been studied and polled and marketed to more than any other, so you might as well benefit from what the experts are learning.
There is a relationship between age and happiness and your golden years can prove to be the best of your life, especially if you plan ahead. Here are three things you can do today that won’t cost a dime, yet they can pay back dividends tenfold.
GET ON THE SAME PAGE
Researchers have found that while more money does lead to greater happiness, the difference between a small gain, such as another $30,000 in the bank, doesn’t really lead to greater satisfaction. If you’re on the fence about when to retire the first person you want to talk with isn’t a financial adviser; rather, it’s your spouse. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Economics Professor Keith Bender has found that couples are happier if they time their retirement together. If one of you is still working while the other one is retired, friction can result.
Dissatisfaction can also arise if one spouse, who is used to having the run of the house, suddenly finds another person who is around all the time, dictating the terms of the day. Retirement is a happy reward, but it is also a process. It might take a little while to settle in and get used to your new schedules. Why not make a dinner date with your partner and talk about your hopes and dreams?
PLAN FOR WHAT YOU NEED
Researchers have found that seniors who have traditional pensions are happier than those who rely on their savings alone. When you’re pulling your money out of your 401(k) or a retirement plan invested in the market, you can’t know with any certainty what those investments will be worth in the future. You don’t have to live with that kind of anxiety and stress.
The financial industry has risen to the challenge and designed new annuities that offer lower fees, higher earnings, and generous income payments that can be structured for life. Unlike traditional pensions and variable annuities, these contracts ensure that no money is wasted. Whatever you put into the annuity stays in your family. None of it is lost due to market volatility, and any remaining amount left in your account is returned to your beneficiaries.
Figure out how much you need for income each month and then stash an amount away in an investment vehicle that can give you a pension-like income. Annuities do not charge management fees or front-load fees like mutual funds do. Talk with one of our annuity experts to learn more.
EMBRACE YOUR INDEPENDENCE
In a 2014 profile of older American’s report, there were more than three times the number of widows (8.7 million), as compared to the number of men who were living alone (2.3 million.) While you might not like to think about losing your spouse, if you don’t prepare for this then you might be in danger of losing your income in addition to your best friend.
If neither you nor your spouse has a pension to rely on, then consider setting up a joint-life income rider that pays you both an income for life. When you select the joint-life rider option, it will continue to pay the income even after one spouse passes away. For situations where one spouse does have a pension and the other spouse does not, look into the benefits of life insurance to protect the surviving spouse. Many of today’s newer options can leverage your dollars – giving your spouse a greater income using the money you have to spend anyway, such as required minimum distributions on your IRA.
Get started now by setting up your complimentary consultation. All it will cost you is time.
As always, we’re here to answer any questions that you might have about annuities and how to generate a reliable income using one. If you have questions about an existing annuity that you want to have tested, fill out this form right now, and one of our advisors will get back to you, no strings attached.