Approaching Retirement, Financial Advice, retirement planning

Approaching Retirement

As you approach retirement, you may feel anticipation, anxiety or a combination of both. Change is always difficult, and as life expectancies increase, it’s natural to want to make sure your retirement game plan is still valid.

Fortunately, SunTrust Investment Services advisors can help you take those important steps toward retirement. With their help, you can see whether you are on track toward meeting your income needs in retirement. You can plot your exit from the daily grind, explore income strategies and take steps to ensure your retirement planning won’t fall short of the finish line.

These are important questions because life expectancies are rising. Longer life expectancies mean longer retirements. A 65-year-old American male in good health has a 50 percent chance of living to 85 and a 25 percent chance of living to 92. A 65-year-old female has a 50 percent chance that she will live to 88 and a 25 percent chance of living to 94. Based on these findings, you’ll need a reliable income for a longer period of time than previous generations—for almost as many years as you spent working. A successful retirement income plan can help you feel confident that your assets will last through your extended lifetime.

Given the potential of a greater life expectancy, there are five questions to ask as you near retirement.

Do I need to catch up?
Even if you’ve saved diligently, you may still find that your retirement income falls short of your expectations. The good news: If you turn 50 before the end of the calendar year, you can play “catch up” by making additional before-tax contributions to your retirement plans. A SunTrust Investment Services advisor can walk you through the details.

Will I keep working in retirement?
Chances are that your idea of retirement differs greatly from that of your parents. Rather than suddenly exiting the work force, you may opt to step into a consulting role, explore a new field or start your own business. SunTrust's retirement experts can help you prepare for that transition by incorporating your encore career aspirations into your overall plan.

Is relocation in the cards?
For many people, retirement goes hand-in-hand with relocating to a sunny beach town or mountain hideaway. Before you make that move, consider its impact on your state, local and estate taxes. You’ll also want to weigh your options for selling your existing home and buying or renting a new one. Your SunTrust advisor, along with our home mortgage experts, can help you with a comprehensive plan for making a move.

Am I properly insured?
Now is a good time to start thinking about supplementary healthcare insurance or long-term care insurance. The earlier you start paying premiums, the less expensive they’ll be. SunTrust’s insurance and risk management experts can help find the solutions right for you and your family.

Is my income planning adequate?
For the better part of your working years, you have paid attention to increasing the size of your funds. As you approach retirement, however, you may want to consider slowly shifting that focus toward assets that maintain their value and produce income. A SunTrust advisor may be able to outline a strategy for making the move gradually.

To speak with a SunTrust advisor, call 866.732.1687.

Ask yourself the tough questions

  • Is your budget in balance?
  • Do you have a sufficient emergency fund?
  • Do you have a will?
  • Are you comfortable with the executor(s) and trustee(s) of your will?
  • Have you executed a living will or healthcare proxy in the event of catastrophic illness or disability?
  • Have you named beneficiaries to all of your retirement accounts and life insurance policies?
  • Do you have a guardian in your will for your children should both you and your spouse die at the same time?
  • Do you have proper life insurance in place?
  • Are my investments properly allocated for the long term?

Determine your income needs

Consider essential vs. non-essential expenses, and then create a budget. Then think about how you will meet these expenses through an appropriate balance between guaranteed income (from annuities, life insurance or FDIC insured products) and market-based solutions for growth.

Where will you live and what will you do?

  • Will you relocate or downsize?
  • Will you continue working?
  • What leisure activities will you pursue?
  • Will you volunteer? Travel? Go to back to school?

When planning where to spend your retirement years, consider the area’s tax impact. Here’s a sample of combined state and local taxes1, expressed as a percentage of per capita income.

National Average 9.7%

Florida 0.4%

Georgia 9.9%

North Carolina 9.8%

South Carolina 8.8%

Tennessee 8.3%

Disclaimers

1State tax rates based on 2008 data at www.taxfoundation.org.

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