What Keeps You Up at Night? Part 2

July 11, 2016 | David Ruedi CFP®
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In our last blog post we covered some of the most common questions and concerns that cause people to lose sleep at night.  Below are 4 more we hear all the time:


5) Am I able to retire right now?  If not, how much longer am I going to have to work? 

An advisor can develop a retirement plan to determine whether you can retire with the lifestyle you want. If you’re not quite there, he or she can create alternative scenarios that show the impact of retiring at different dates. 

With this information, you can choose the retirement date that provides the lifestyle you want or need. Maybe you need to work a few more years to have the retirement you want, or maybe you could retire right now and even exceed your current lifestyle. It helps to know for sure.

People who know they can retire but choose to continue working do so with a completely different attitude. When all your goals are funded and you know the money you are earning is in one form or another going toward the extra fun stuff you may not have even planned on –vacations, nicer living conditions, etc. – it changes the way you think about work.


6) What happens if I pass away before my spouse?  Will he or she be ok? 

An early death can have a significant impact on a retirement plan – particularly for retirees with income sources such as pensions without full survivor benefits.  An advisor can show you the impact of an early death and any changes in income sources that go along with it (Social Security, Pensions, Annuities). 

Often, we find that the surviving spouse will be able to maintain their current lifestyle. If that’s not the case, an advisor can help you determine how much life insurance to purchase to make sure your spouse maintains a comfortable standard of living when you’re gone.


7) Can I gift or use money to support a child without costing myself my financial future?

Few people plan on needing to help an adult child through a time of financial strain, but it happens all the time.  An advisor can determine how much assistance you can provide without jeopardizing your own financial livelihood. In many cases, you can make simple adjustments to your plan to accommodate the temporary increases in spending required to help your loved ones. Incorporating these needs into your financial plan allows you to help your loved ones free of worry.


8) Will I need long-term care?  How will I pay for it?

It is impossible to know whether or not you will need long term care in advance.  A good advisor can help you understand the likelihood of needing long term care and the costs associated with it. He or she can help you determine if it is better to purchase long term care insurance or “self-fund” through reduced retirement spending. The answer to that question varies widely depending on your particular circumstances.

If insurance is required, an advisor can determine what your daily benefit should be, how long the coverage period should be, and whether you should purchase additional “riders” such as inflation protection. Having a formal plan for funding long term care – whether that means purchasing insurance or self-funding – can ease your mind so that you can fully enjoy the years before you get to that point.