Planning for retirement ideally starts many years before it becomes the next milestone. The children have left the home and started their own lives and you are thinking about all the activities you want to pursue. A hobby that can take more time? A second career that could be done on a part time basis? Travel, grandchildren…

Today’s retirees are looking at easily 25-30 years of retirement, which requires planning and investment. The advances in health care are allowing retirees to have active lives – but the longer lifespans also mean that many might need some form long term care. Insurance companies are providing policies that cover those needs but they have to be purchased long before they are actually needed.

The longer retirement lives also mean that taking social security needs to be carefully planned – taking it too early and the benefits are permanently reduced. An investment portfolio at this stage of life inevitably takes a more conservative stance with focus on generating current income. At the same time a portion still needs to be devoted to growth securities just to maintain the purchasing power over the retirement years.

One of the biggest worries for many retirees is that they will outlive their savings. It’s a legitimate concern, for which there are remedies – for example annuities could provide a steady income, a safety net under your finances. How much should be in such security is a very individual choice, though we would always recommend to have a regular investment portfolio set aside because of the lack of liquidity in any annuity contract.

Healthcare is the major underpinning of any plan. Medicare will cover up to 80% of the expenses and for the rest supplemental policies would be needed by majority.