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Your Bank > Education and Advice > CNB University

Retirement Readiness

T Benner
Thomas W. Benner, CFP® is Vice President - Investment and Financial Planning Officer and can be reached at TBenner@cnbank.com or (585) 419-0670 x50689.

Approximately 10,000 Americans will retire every day for the next twenty years. Might you be one of them? Making a successful transition into retirement involves not only financial considerations but also emotional readiness. The former is fairly straightforward; the latter might be challenging. After all, the thought of starting a new uncertain chapter in your life, which involves leaving a long-established job routine and steady paycheck, can be discomforting. Let’s explore this by looking at the two areas in more detail.

Financial Preparedness

Simplistically, you’ll be just fine if debts are minimal, reliable health insurance benefits are in place, expenses are moderate, and you have a good pension or healthy retirement savings balance. Just be sure the savings are sensibly invested and don’t overlook the ravages of inflation, which causes prices to double every 25 years. Even in retirement, maintain sufficient diversified exposure to the global stock market and keep initial annual withdrawals down to around 4-5%. Other considerations that are often not thought about but should: 

  • Financing long-term care needs for your later years since today’s average yearly cost for Rochester nursing homes is about $130,000 (Source: NY State Department of Health).
  • Living without a spouse or partner due to divorce or death, since that could lead to lower income from pensions, Social Security or investment portfolio distributions.
  • The importance of possibly working part-time to make up retirement income short-falls, which could be a more appealing option than downsizing or curtailing certain expenditures.

Emotional Preparedness

Hopefully, you really enjoyed your career. If so, you may initially experience a sense of loss not being with your work colleagues or feeling like you no longer will be making a difference in the lives of others. That might actually suggest you have a great deal to offer and just need some time to reflect on how best to reinvest your time, talents and energies. Being genuinely useful is often an effective antidote for feelings of apathy or anxiety. Fortunately, with your increased free time available in retirement, there will ample opportunities to put your many skills to good use!

It is such a challenge while working and maybe raising a family to get away and explore the many wonderful places worth travelling to in the United States and beyond. Perhaps now is the time to actually enjoy taking some of those long dreamed-of trips. How can you go wrong visiting places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, key Civil War battle sights, or New England in autumn -- not to mention the historical richness and variety of Europe? 

Or, how about throwing yourself into a charity project. With so many less fortunate, what could be more useful and rewarding? Most nonprofit organizations in the area are yearning for volunteers and there are handy websites to match you with the desired opportunity. Some categories always needing help include those involving Animals, Women’s Groups, Veterans, Children & Family, Arts, Hospices & Hospitals, and Spiritual Organizations.

Confidence in Your Financial Plan

Ideas for how best to spend your retirement years will surely start flourishing in due time. A clear financial plan and intelligent investment strategy will go a long way toward laying the foundation to give you the freedom to go after some of your dreams. The more knowledge and confidence you have in your financial strength, the more realistic and reassured you will be in planning for this next phase of your life.

Getting ready for possibly 30 or more years of retirement is not always as simple as it might have seemed when working and collecting a steady paycheck. There are a number of financial and emotional factors that should be thoughtfully considered. Before long, however, you may find you are busier and more fulfilled than you were during past days of toiling and saving for your golden years.

How We Can Help 

You don’t need a 50 page plan to gauge your readiness for retirement, but it would be a good idea to get some solid objective insights as to the amount you can sustainably spend and how to intelligently invest your savings so your resources last the rest of your life. A dedicated member of our team of experienced Financial Planning Officers can provide a review of your retirement readiness. If you’d like to schedule a meeting, please contact us today.

This material is provided for general information purposes only and is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular security, product or service. Past performance is not indicative of future investment results. Any investment involves potential risk, including potential loss of capital. Before making any investment decision, please consult your legal, tax and financial advisors. Non-deposit investment products are not bank deposits and are not insured or guaranteed by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, or any federal or state government or agency and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested.