Hopefully, there will come a time when you no longer have to work. You might do something on the side or have an encore career, but ideally it will be because you want to do it, not because you have to. When you retire, you won’t have your normal income from your job, but that’s where the money you saved in your 401(k), SEP or IRA account and Social Security will come into play.
These are all your sources of income in retirement.
We use the phrase often here at Financial Engines. That’s because we want you to think about your money that way. Ideally, there’s not a moment in time when you have income and then you don’t. With planning, you should always have a source of income that will hopefully last as long as you do.
The way we break things down is to look at your finances in terms of income and savings. It’s a little bit different than how you might think of it as an employed person when income is our paycheck and savings is for emergencies or “the big things.”
But in retirement, money shifts around a bit and suddenly what you might have considered savings — your 401(k), pension, IRA or SEP — is suddenly your source of income. You’ll still have savings; in fact, you’ll want consider ways to ensure that the bulk of your money is invested wisely so you continue to earn returns while you take payments from your retirement savings.
You’ll also likely qualify for Social Security. Making the right decisions about how and when to take Social Security can have a big impact on your long term retirement income.
The bottom line is that you need to start planning today, regardless of how near you are to retirement.
By managing your savings now, you can take the right steps to protect your investments, manage your risk and understand how to make the best choices as retirement gets closer. It’s important for your savings to keep growing while helping to protect it against loss. And that’s where we come in.
Regardless of your age, we want to do everything we can to help you protect and grow your savings so you can retire well.