Are you a business owner without a succession plan? If so, you have company. A recent study from Nationwide found that 60 percent of small-business owners don’t have a succession plan. Among those without one, nearly half said they don’t have a plan because they believe such a plan isn’t necessary.1
A business succession plan is a document that outlines your strategy for transitioning your company to the next owner. You may feel that such a plan isn’t necessary right now. However, the truth is that if you don’t have a plan, you could be exposing your business, employees and family to significant risk.
A business succession plan also helps you realize maximum value for your business and even retain some form of control or financial involvement. You can use the plan to find the right successor and transition the business without disrupting operations or cash flow.
Is your strategy for retirement simply to save as much money as possible? That’s not a bad idea. Perhaps you put money away in a 401(k), an IRA or even a health savings account. Asset accumulation is an important part of retirement planning, especially in the early years of your career.
As you near retirement, however, you may want to consider issues beyond dollars and cents. It’s important to think about not just accumulating assets, but also how you will use those assets in retirement. That means asking yourself questions about your desired lifestyle in retirement.
Below are a few questions you may want to ask yourself as you approach retirement. These questions can help you think beyond the financial aspects of retirement planning. They can also inform your spending decisions in retirement so you can protect your assets and your financial stability.
What’s your plan to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs in retirement? While Medicare will cover many of your expenses, it doesn’t cover everything. You will likely face premiums, copays, deductibles and other costs. According to a study by Fidelity, the average married couple will pay $275,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses in retirement.1
As you age, you may face an increasing number of injuries and illnesses. You could develop chronic conditions that require ongoing care. In the later years of retirement, copays for prescription drugs and medical treatment may eat up a big chunk of your monthly income.
The good news is you can take action today to manage your health care expense risk in the future. Below are three strategies to pay for out-of-pocket costs and protect your retirement assets. If you haven’t yet developed a strategy to pay for your out-of-pocket health care costs, now may be the time to do so.
Approaching retirement soon? If so, you’re probably thinking about income—specifically, where your income will come from in retirement. You’ll probably draw income from multiple sources, including Social Security, retirement account distributions and possibly even a pension.
While Social Security is helpful, it usually isn’t sufficient to fund a comfortable retirement. That’s why many retirees also rely on withdrawals from their savings and investments. Unfortunately, that income usually isn’t guaranteed. A market downturn could impact your income. Or you could deplete your assets if you live longer than expected.
Is age 70 fast approaching? Do you own a traditional IRA or a 401(k) plan? If so, 70½ could be an important age for you. That’s the age at which required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin.
Traditional IRAs and 401(k) plans are popular retirement savings vehicles because of their unique tax treatment. You contribute to your account with pretax dollars and allocate your contributions according to your goals and risk tolerance. Your contributions then grow on a tax-deferred basis, which means you don’t pay taxes on growth as long as the funds stay inside the account. That means your entire IRA or 401(k) balance may be untaxed.
Those dollars can’t stay untaxed forever, though. Eventually, the IRS wants to tax those funds. When you’re age 70½, the IRS mandates that you begin taking taxable distributions from your traditional IRA and 401(k). The exception to this rule is the Roth IRA. Roth distributions are already tax-free, so the IRS doesn’t mandate an age at which you have to begin distributions.
Planning to retire soon? If so, now may be your last and best opportunity to overcome any remaining financial challenges. You might use this time to ramp up your savings, pay down debt or improve your risk management strategy. Of course, it’s not always easy to identify gaps in your planning.
A financial professional can help you strengthen your financial foundation as you head into retirement. If you’re not working with a professional on your retirement strategy, now may be the time to do so. Below are three key questions to answer: