What Financial Planning Needs do Women in their 60s and Beyond Have?

What Financial Planning Needs do Women in their 60s and Beyond Have?
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Women are rewriting the story for their 60s and beyond, which means there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all retirement plan. But one thing that hasn’t changed? The need for a solid financial plan for this stage of your life. After all, now is the time to fully reap the rewards of your decades of retirement saving.

1. Find Your Balance

Your financial freedom throughout these years will largely be determined by the two Bs: budget and balance. To make sure that you successfully reach your retirement goal, it’s important to keep your budget balanced with an eye on longevity — women are living longer and staying more active. In fact, the Social Security Administration calculates that a woman reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, another 21 years. And those are years you should be prepared for.

According to the Department of Labor, retirement experts calculate that you’ll need 70 to 90 percent of your preretirement income to maintain your standard of living after you stop working. “You’ll need to define your lifestyle,” says Aimee Chester, Vice President and Wealth Advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management. “That starts by understanding what you are spending today in order to project your expenses into the future.”

For instance, consider which current expenses will remain and which will change. How will taxes and inflation affect your budget? “Once you retire, you’ll need to constantly review your budget,” Chester says, “to make sure that any changes in your lifestyle, health, investments, etc. can be taken into account.”

2. Consolidate Your Retirement Savings

It’s not unusual to switch companies as your career progresses and new opportunities arise. But if you’ve worked for more than one company throughout your career, chances are that you have multiple retirement accounts at different institutions. Now is the time to consolidate everything into one central account. “It is easier to manage,” Chester says, “and there can be cost savings for investment management when you put it all in one bucket.”

3. Address Your Home Needs

Your home is far more than just your address. It’s an asset that factors into your financial plan for retirement. As you make your way through your list of considerations, ask yourself: Do I still need to pay off my mortgage or make significant repairs to my home? If the answer is yes, consider doing so with a home equity loan while you’re still working and have more discretionary income. “A home equity loan can be a good emergency fund to put in place if you plan to stay in your home,” Chester says.

Are you thinking of moving out of town? Be sure to compare the cost of living and tax rates in your ideal retirement locale with where you currently live before you make the switch.

Whether it’s Social Security income, a pension, or IRA and 401(k) withdrawals, it’s important to meet with a financial advisor to help you estimate and budget for your taxable income.

Looking to downsize? “The price difference between your old house and a new purchase can be dollars added to your retirement plan,” Chester says.

4. Evaluate Your Medicare Options

In addition to addressing your home needs, you need to address your health needs. Beginning three months before you turn 65, there’s a seven-month period when you are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). “You don’t want to miss the opportunity to apply for Medicare,” Chester says. “It’s also important to understand what is, and what is not, covered by Medicare.”

Long-term care, hearing aids, and dental care are among the common expenses not covered. Prescription coverage requires separate enrollment in Medicare Part D. It can get confusing. “It’s important to find a financial advisor who really understands Medicare policies and can inform you of coverages,” Chester says.

5. Update and Organize Your Documents

As you prepare for retirement and determine the future of your finances, keep in mind that your financial plan shouldn’t be a mystery. Make sure you loop in your family and financial planning team to any major changes or revisions to your accounts. “Round up all your important documents in one place,” Chester says. Your master file should include the login information for your computer and all online financial and non-financial accounts, such as social media and email accounts. List each account’s name, account number, and contact information.

Also include your will, durable power of attorney, living will, and medical power of attorney. If these documents are out of date — for instance, if you now live in a different state or your wishes have changed — update them to reflect your current circumstances.

Having a solid financial foundation in place may ease your transition into retirement and enable you to take advantage of the time, freedom, and flexibility of these empowering years ahead.

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This information is provided for educational and general marketing purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation or suggestion as to the advisability of acquiring, holding or disposing of a particular investment, nor should it be construed as a suggestion or indication that the particular investment or investment course of action described herein is appropriate for any specific retirement investor. In providing this communication, Regions is not undertaking to provide impartial investment advice or to give advice in a fiduciary capacity.

This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Regions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented. Information provided and statements made by employees of Regions should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.

This information should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, legal or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional concerning your specific situation and visit irs.gov for current tax rules.

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