A: It's very common for people to spend more in the early years of retirement, and it's important to build that assumption into your planning. To avoid overspending, you and your spouse should think through all of your goals and concerns for your retirement—everything from travel and leisure to where you want to live and how you might handle health-care expenses—and start working with your financial advisor on a strategy that takes all of this into account.
You'll need to get down to basics: Consider all of your expenses and your income streams—investments, business, Social Security, even a pension or annuity income. Your home could also be a piece of the puzzle. Moving to a smaller house or a lower-tax locale could free up money each month for those trips you want to take.
If you estimate that your spending will be more than your income, you can make adjustments. Working an additional year or two can help put your savings on a firmer footing. Or maybe working part time for a few years, then taking a few years off to play, then working a little again, will let you enjoy some of what you've been looking forward to while giving your investments extra time to grow.
For more insights on planning for leisure expenses in retirement, check out “Leisure in Retirement: Beyond the Bucket List."
3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor
- How can my spouse and I coordinate when we take Social Security to maximize our benefits?
- Does it make sense for me to work a little longer to ensure a comfortable retirement?
- Do I have an appropriate mix of investments to help me meet my retirement goals?
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