When planning for retirement, it makes sense to involve a team of professionals who can guide you towards your short- and long-term goals. Oftentimes, these individuals include a financial advisor, as well as an attorney and a CPA or tax professional.
But these arent the only ones who should be involved in the process. One of the most important elements in planning your financial future involves your family which can include your spouse or partner, as well as children and other loved ones who are close to you.
Key Points to Include in Your Financial and Retirement Plan
There are several key points that you should include in your financial or retirement plan. These can include some or all of the following:
An income plan
- Emergency fund
- Social Security filing strategies
- Healthcare and long-term care expenses
- Wealth transfer
- Funeral plan
- Will and/or trust
- Business succession (if applicable)
Certainly, one of the top elements in a retirement plan is establishing income. For many retirees, income will be generated from more than just one source. These may include funds from an employer-sponsored pension plan, Social Security retirement benefits, and/or income and dividends from personal savings and investments.
There are many different ways to file for Social Security retirement benefits and if you have a spouse and/or survivors, the claiming options that you choose could have an impact on their financial situation, too.
The same can hold true if you are eligible for a pension from your employer. For instance, upon the death of the worker/retiree, some or all of the income stream may continue for a surviving spouse. (If this is not the case, though, some other method of income replacement should be established).
Because people are living longer today (on average), it is not uncommon for retirement to last for 20 or more years. This means that income not only has to be stretched out further than it did in the past, but that it will also have to rise over time in order to keep pace with inflation.
One way to lock in a guaranteed income stream is through an annuity. Many annuities will include a death benefit so that if the income recipient dies, the remainder of the contract value will be paid out to one or more named beneficiaries.
Likewise, many people have life insurance in place to pay off debt(s) and/or to replace lost income. With that in mind, letting your family know how you have your income plan and life insurance coverage set up can make them aware of the various financial payouts that they may be entitled to.
Oftentimes, having a written plan in place along with account numbers and contact information for each of the professionals that youre working with can provide your family with a convenient way to move forward in the event of your illness or passing.
How to Approach the Topic of Retirement Planning with Your Loved Ones
Depending on your relationship with your family, approaching the topic of retirement planning with your loved ones may be difficult at least initially. If this is the case, it is important to move forward with care and thoughtfulness.
Financial planning can bring about some tough topics such as death and disability that may not be pleasant to talk about (but that need to be addressed in order to avoid financial hardship for those you have left behind).
The earlier you start these conversations (as well as the actual planning), the easier it can be to move forward realistically and with clarity. Oftentimes, financial planning can have a lot to do with protecting and keeping promises that are made to loved ones.
With the lines of communication open, future arguments and disagreements among siblings and other family members could be avoided especially if they have a detailed outline of your specific wishes.
Need Some Additional Retirement Planning Guidance?
Taking a team approach to planning for retirement is a smart way to keep everyone in the loop, as well as to better ensure that no important elements are left out. If you have any questions about how to move forward with your financial plan while keeping your family informed, feel free to contact us for more details.