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Retirement Strategies for 2021

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2020 has had a big impact on many retirement plans. Here are some tips to get back on track in 2021

Recent tumult in the markets, economic uncertainty, and job loss may have thrown your retirement preparation off course. But a few strategies can help you get back on track toward a financially secure retirement.


First, you might reconsider the timing of your retirement. Delaying retirement even just a few years can help reduce the amount you need to save for retirement and enable you to continue to build benefits and retirement entitlements. In fact, a recent survey found that one in five Americans plan to postpone their retirement due to the impact of COVID-19.¹ Pre-retiree Gen Xers are even more likely to be rethinking their retirement timing, with a quarter saying they will delay retirement.


Moreover, retirement doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you don’t feel financially comfortable about retiring when you planned to, you might consider working part-time during retirement. Continued work can help bring in extra income and provide more purpose than a retirement without work.


But you should also consider the possibility you may be forced to retire earlier that you expect. Nearly half of retirees say they retired before they planned to, most often due to health reasons or unexpected job loss. With COVID-19 job losses, a growing number of people have retired early. Your financial plan should accommodate the possibility of unexpected retirement.


Second, prepare a solid health and health care retirement strategy. COVID-19 has put health concerns front and center for many of us. The average retired couple will spend $300,000 on insurance co-pays, premiums, and uncovered expenses.² Selecting the best Medicare options and supplemental insurance is a crucial part of a retirement plan. HSA contributions during your working years can also help pay for significant healthcare expenses in later life.


Finally, now may be a good time to revisit your investment strategy. If you are getting ready to retire soon, prepare to make the switch from retirement savings to generating retirement income from your savings, benefits, Social Security, and any earned income throughout the different stages of your retirement. After COVID-19, many pre-retirees have accumulated higher levels of debt. Paying down this debt quickly can help ensure a more financially secure retirement.


The recent market shocks have been a wake-up call to how important it is to prepare for multiple financial scenarios. Rebalancing your portfolio, diversification, and building guaranteed sources of income such as annuities can help you weather future events safely.

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references
  1.  Northwestern Mutual's 2020 Planning & Progress Study

  2.  Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate

Disclosures
This publication is designed to provide general information and is for discussion purposes only. The effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon each individual’s facts and circumstances. This article does not provide legal, tax or account advice. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error, the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information is not guaranteed.