2014-01-02 / Local & State

Financial Solutions

By Wells Fargo Advisors

Designing Your Retirement: The New Reality

A new grandchild arrives. Your son moves across the country for his new job. The family home requires more maintenance than your travel intensive lifestyle allows. A health challenge arises. Whatever the reason, expenses that significantly affect your long-term finances should trigger a meeting with your financial advisor.

What to expect from a financial checkup

At Wells Fargo Advisors, we can help you explore ways to support your new plans and model how certain changes could affect your future income. And even if starting a new business, for example, was part of your retirement plans all along, you’ll want to work with your financial advisor to make sure the assumptions you made are in line with the financial reality.

Of course, special circumstances aren’t the only reason to review you retirement finances. The regular checkups with your financial advisor that were part of your working years should continue during retirement – and may even be more important. “You can verify that everything is going according to plan and adjust if it isn’t,” says Donna Peterson, senior vice president in retail retirement at Wells Fargo. “Your financial advisor can also remind you about upcoming deadlines. Is it time to start drawing Social Security, taking required minimum distributions or getting leacy plansi n order?”

You’ll also want to catch and manage any divergences from your retirement strategy that you might not otherwise have noticed, particularly in expenses and investments. “Some retirees find that their spending increases in the early years of retirement instead of decreasing as they try new activities,” Peterson notes.

Conversely, you may discover you have budgeted more than you are actually spending, which mean you’re holding more cash than you intended. At a checkup, your financial advisor can review your discretionary income allotment and portfolio allocations with you. You may decide to reduce the amount you’re drawing from your portfolio, or take advantage of the opportunity to boost your retirement lifestyle.

Your financial advisor will also ask about any life events that may affect your finances. That new granddaughter may promote not only changes to your estate plans but also an increase in your travel budget if her parents reside elsewhere – or you may choose to purchase a home near the newly expanded family. All these decisions should be made in the context of your larger retirement goals, but they may also involve practicalities that your financial advisor can help you think through. “Relocation is not just about finding a new home and moving,” Peterson points out. “It also means finding everything from a new social structure to new doctors.”

How often is “regularly?”

Some retirees plan a checkup each November before they take required minimum distributions from their IRAs and 401ks. Others choose an annual meeting during the first quarter of the year, before tax deadlines. Many retirees use their birth date as a reminder to check in with their financial advisor. No matter when you choose to hold a regular meeting, you can always conduct an additional checkup whenever a change occurs in your life.

Regardless which approach you choose, talking with your financial advisor regularly can keep you confident about your financial reality – whatever surprises retirement has in store.

This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Todd Alexander, The Alexander Financial Group, in McConnellsburg.

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network LLC (WFAFFN), and Member SIPC. The Alexander Financial Group si a separate entity from WFAFFN.

Return to top