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J.G. Wentworth Blog

Five Steps to Take When Planning for Retirement

If you or someone you love is approaching retirement age, it is essential that the right financial plan be put into place – one that will lay a solid foundation for years, even decades, to come. While J.G. Wentworth cannot offer financial advice, today we would like to offer five tips for meeting the demands of retirement, starting with what may arguably be the most important step of all:

1) Estimate how much money you will need every month

The first thing anyone should do when planning for retirement is make an estimated budget of their monthly expenses. This budget should be as comprehensive as possible, and include everything from such “big-ticket” items as home and mortgage costs, medical expenses, and automobile payments, to such lower budgeted items as the cost of the daily newspaper and how many times each month you expect to go out to the movies.

2) Calculate your anticipated monthly income

You’ll have your regular savings accounts and retirement accounts to draw from, along with any Social Security you and/or your partner may receive, rental from income properties, stock dividends, etc. – whatever the source, it is essential that you take a clear eyed look at how much money will be coming in to you both now and in the foreseeable future.

3) Factor in inflation and taxes

Unfortunately, you’ll probably receive less than you expect every month due to inflation and taxes – two forces that erode lifetime earnings values in sometimes severe and unanticipated ways. It is absolutely essential that you factor in inflation and taxes in all your calculations so you do not find your budget falling short in the years ahead.

4) Reassess your living situation

Is the home you are in right now also “right” for you in the years ahead? It may be perfect, of course – but it also may be too costly to maintain, too large for your living needs, too distant from family, or any other of a dozen reasons that may lead you to reassess its utility. Consider selling it or even renting it out, and moving to a different address, if it could add to your financial security or peace of mind.

5) Be honest about your lifestyle changes

Last but certainly not least is a step future retirees must take that may be hardest of all: to accept the fact that their lives – and lifestyles – are about to unalterably change.

This step may strike some as ominous; after all, growing old, and adapting one’s lifestyle, is a change many of us are simply not prepared to make. In our opinion, however, this lifestyle change is anything but negative. After all, a proper retirement is a truly magnificent reward for a life well-led, and the comforts it can bring are as diverse as they are meaningful. The more honest you are with yourself and your loved ones, the more adaptive you will allow yourself to be, and as a result a more fulfilling retirement will surely await you.

Once again, J.G. Wentworth cannot offer financial advice, and we urge you to contact specialists in any area we have discussed should you have further questions. That said, we do hope this rather short list of steps one can take when planning for retirement has proven valuable for you, and will lead you to the successful retirement you deserve. And if you are approaching retirement age, and looking to cash out your structured settlement or annuity payments now rather than later, please call our company anytime at 877-227-4713 to discuss your options.