Turn your nest egg into an income stream

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Retirement doesn’t have to be hard.

By Mike Brady, Michael Brady & Co. Wealth Management

Retirement should be a time of rejuvenation, joy and adventure. But for many, it is a time of uncertainty and worry.

There are so many details and decisions to be made. How much income can my savings provide? Will I outlive my savings? Will I be able to afford healthcare in my later years? What about long-term nursing home care? When and how should I claim my Social Security? Who can I trust to give me unbiased information about my concerns?

The first step is to get organized. You should gather information on all of the things you own and everyone you owe—bank accounts, investment accounts, company retirement plans, social security estimates, pension and annuity payments, insurance policies, estate plan documents, employee benefits, credit cards, auto loans and mortgage loans. If the task seems overwhelming, hire someone to help you gather the information.

Then think about your lifestyle and analyze your expenses. Is the amount of money you are spending realistic in light of your assets and potential retirement income sources?

Again, some professional help may be necessary to analyze your situation and create a budget. Take your guaranteed income sources such as social security, annuity and pension payments and subtract your expenses. The shortfall must be covered by your income-producing investments. Is that possible?

You need to structure your investments so that you can provide an increasing income stream over your retirement years. The cost of living goes up continually and fixed income sources like Social Security, pension and annuity payments won’t keep pace over a 30-plus year life expectancy.

You’ll need a mix of stocks for growth and bonds for income and stability in some proportion that you can live with over the long-run, especially since the stock market is often down and sometimes down a lot.

You should seek out the help of an experienced and educated fee-only financial advisor. Fee-only advisors don’t sell products and they don’t collect commissions. They are only paid to provide you with advice and thus don’t have any incentive to sell you something that benefits them.

You can find fee-only advisors at NAPFA.org. Everyone listed there is also a Certified Financial Planner practitioner. They have passed education, experience and ethics standards to qualify and CFPs have become the gold standard in providing advice. Contact us today for more information.

Michael Brady is a fee-only, full-time fiduciary and certified financial planner. To set up an appointment, call 440-235-2100, email Mike@MichaelBradyCo.com, or visit MichaelBradyCo.com.