Financial expert Robert Powell developed a five-step plan for seniors who are pre-retired, semi-retired, or fully retired, recommending that they take the time to look at the big picture of their retirement goals rather than just the financial numbers.
Time for a Five-Step Retirement Review
No matter what point you have reached in your retirement planning, it is always a good idea to take the time to truly develop a vision for your future. Powell says that retirement planning must include both financial and emotional planning to work well.
A Five-Step Retirement Review
- Your plans: Powell recommends that each individual decide first what kind of lifestyle they hope to have in retirement and then work on finding the money to fund it. Lifestyle decisions include where you want to live and how you want to spend your time. If you already own a home, a reverse mortgage can be one way to fund home improvements or to pay for some of the extras you long for, such as a vacation to an exotic destination or simply retiring earlier now that you have some extra income.
- The balance sheet: Each household needs to develop a balance sheet with all the income and assets available, along with liabilities. Those liabilities need to include preparing for unforeseen expenses. Some senior homeowners opt for a reverse mortgage line of credit as their cushion in case of unexpected, emergency financial needs.
- Cash flow: After getting a budget on paper, seniors need to develop a long-term spending plan that matches fixed incomes with fixed expenses. Budgeting for anticipated expenses, such as fully retiring or health-care costs, should be part of this plan. Seniors can consider a reverse mortgage as one way to pay for future expenses because the amount available for borrowing increases as the owners' age and the equity in the home rises.
- Retirement risks: While everyone faces risk on some level on a daily basis, retirees must consider the major risks they face--outliving their assets, health-care costs, long-term care costs, and inflation. You can manage these rises in a variety of ways including with insurance or diversification of investments, along with a reverse mortgage line of credit that can be used for any expense.
- Retirement products: Once your budget and lifestyle choices are in place, it's time to look at what types of products work for you--a reverse mortgage, annuities, mutual funds, or other investments.
No matter where you stand on the path to retirement, be sure to look into all your options for income, including a reverse mortgage.
Michele Lerner is a freelance writer with twenty years of experience writing articles and web content for newspapers and magazines on topics related to real estate, personal finance and business. Her clients include The Washington Times, Urban Land Magazine, NAREIT's Real Estate Portfolio, and numerous Realtor association publications. Michele's first book, "HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time" is available now at Amazon.com or from www.MicheleLerner.com