Make your money last in retirement

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Given that the majority of people rely on fixed incomes for their golden years, stretching money is a top priority. Retirees must ensure that they do not outlive their income. Some people may have to prepare for thirty years of retirement. Given how averages work, we know that a few would spend forty years in retirement. The key issue of making your money last in retirement can be addressed in the following ways.

1) Diversify your portfolio properly during retirement

Convention holds that retirees should be more conservative with investment since their savings are finite. That argument is fairly ridiculous because earnings are finite during the period of employment for the majority of people. To extend that argument would suggest that we should all be risk intolerant. Diversifying your portfolio into retirement would enable you to preserve the real value of your retirement savings. Being safe would cause your retirement fund to diminish in value a lot faster.

2) Minimize taxes

Retirees already face purchasing power risk. If that's not bad enough, taxes erode the fixed income they receive. There are tax relief options that vary among countries. These should be identified and taken advantage of where it is to the retiree's benefit. Investment in immediate annuities would offer tax-free income. Immediate annuities have certain drawbacks though.

3) Minimize expenses

It is important not to have champagne taste and a Kool Aid pocket. There are ways you can minimise necessary expenses and eliminate unnecessary ones. Only you what know what matters. If your income stream during retirement is only 50% of your pre-retirement income, you would do well to reduce your expenses and adjust to a lower standard of living.

4) Monitor your annual withdrawal

In your first year of retirement, try not to spend more than 4% of your retirement fund. Your withdrawal from your retirement fund thereafter should be restricted to an average of 5% per annum. You should determine how much you may spend in retirement as part of retirement planning.

5) Continue saving

No matter how small the amount, any savings you can continue to make would help in latter stages of your life. In the same way that financial planning does not end at retirement, savings should not cease either.

Even if your income seems low, there is no reason why it cannot be stretched. Your standard of living or expenses could be rapidly adjusted to suit your retirement income and savings. Some retirees may complain that their income is too low, when several workers have to survive on lower incomes during their prime. Once you set your priorities and live according to your financial context, your money would last in retirement.
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