Planning for Retirement

The fear of running out of money in retirement is a common one, even for those who have planned and saved.

These tips can help ensure that your savings will last throughout your entire retirement.

Delay Retirement as Long as Possible

Continuing to earn money lets you preserve your savings and even play catch-up if necessary. The maximum amount you can contribute to your IRA for 2020 is the smaller of $6,000 or your taxable compensation for the year. If you are age 50 or older, you can currently contribute the smaller of $7,000 or your taxable compensation for the year. If you can contribute that additional $1,000, it allows you to increase your retirement savings while deferring taxes on it. Retaining employer-sponsored health benefits, if available, may help you avoid tapping retirement savings for those costs. And waiting until you’re 72 to receive Social Security benefits maximizes your Social Security monthly benefit amount.

Instead of leaving the work force, consider gradually reducing your hours or taking a part-time job to earn extra money, but be aware of any effect this may have on employer-sponsored benefits. “Many retirees do consulting work in their field of expertise or turn a hobby into a paying business,” says Philip Taylor, CPA and personal finance blogger. “Work that keeps you active, both mentally and physically, is good for your health and your finances.”

Take a Dynamic Approach to Spending Money in Retirement

You need to plan for the different stages of your post-retirement life and the resulting impact on your retirement savings. You’re likely to spend more money early in retirement on travel, new hobbies, and home improvements. Spending tends to decrease in mid-retirement and rise again as end-of-life health care costs increase.

“Meet with your planner on an annual basis to rebalance your investments and assess your spending,” says Taylor. Comparing your expenses to what your investments earn will keep you on track so you have the money you need, when you need it.

Set Boundaries for Money in Retirement

Retirement can be a time for pursuing leisure activities and spending time with family and friends. It’s also the time to put your own financial needs first. Don’t let adult children be a drain on your resources. “If you haven’t already put money away for your children’s college education, now may not be the best time,” says Taylor. Talk to your children about your finances early in the journey so they understand your limitations and know what to expect down the road.

By taking charge of your money, you can make your retirement savings go the distance. See how long your retirement savings may last with the Regions retirement calculator.