Tim Dameron

Tim Dameron

Five steps ease work-to-retirement move

By Tim Dameron
Business Columnist

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Your 60s might be one of the decades in which you face the most significant lifestyle and financial changes – so it’s normal to experience mixed emotions about money and retirement. You’ve either reached the traditional retirement age or are almost there and might be excited and hopeful about what’s to come.

Keep a close eye on your finances and adjust your plans as needed. These five steps will help you:

  • Evaluate your expenses – Do you have a solid grasp on your expenses? During your working years, it can be easy to think you’ll make up for overspending the next time you receive a paycheck. During retirement, you’re unlikely to have that luxury. Know what it costs to cover the essentials, and examine how much you’re spending on discretionary items.
  • Replace your paycheck – One of the smartest and most reassuring things you can do in retirement is to replace a regular paycheck so you have a predictable amount of income every month, similar to during your working years. The process can be complicated, especially if you want to structure your withdrawals in the most strategic and efficient way. A financial adviser can help.
  • Review your portfolio – If you feel nervous about your invested assets, take a close look at your portfolio and how your investments might have fluctuated since the recession. It’s beneficial to know exactly where you stand and to evaluate how your assets are allocated to a variety of investments that provide the potential for growth, income or preservation. You might need to rebalance your portfolio or move some funds to less volatile products.
  • Be rational – It might be difficult to avoid the constant stream of economic news, but don’t let market swings and political back-and-forth cloud your judgment. Stay away from quick fixes or impulsive decisions such as purchasing excessively risky assets or withdrawing all of your money from liquid investments.
  • Prepare for the unexpected – If you don’t already have a will, put writing one at the top of your list. If you do have one, make sure it still reflects your current wishes. Check to see that all your beneficiary information is up to date. Make sure to discuss your plans with your spouse or significant other and your children – and ensure they know where to find your financial documents.

Stay in close contact with your financial adviser during these crucial years. If you haven’t sought professional advice in the past, it’s not too late to start. An adviser can help you manage your immediate expenses with a budget and provide guidance on your long-term goals.

This column is provided by Ameriprise Financial Services for Tim Dameron, its financial adviser in Rocky Mount.