The following tools and resources can help you when taking The Retirement Fitness Challenge.
The first step to putting a retirement income plan together is to determine how much income in retirement you will need. You will not know for sure what your exact spending during retirement will be, but one way to estimate your needs is to take a look at what you are currently spending.
If you have tracked your expenses before, or if you have a pretty good handle on where your money is going, you can use the following spreadsheet to track your spending at a monthly level.
If you have never tracked your spending before, I recommend taking pen and paper to keep track of what you are spending money on every day. After you do this for a couple of months you will be amazed at how good a handle you have on your spending.
The following spreadsheet can be used to list all of your assets that you and/or your spouse have and can be used to generate an income stream to finance your retirement.
When your parents retired, they probably didn’t think too much about Social Security. They just went down to their local office as soon as they turned 65, or maybe 62 if they retired early, and applied for benefits. They took their benefits for granted and didn’t ask very many questions.
Nowadays there is a lot of planning involved in Social Security which can be used to maximize your benefits.
Social Security Estimator
The Social Security Estimator Tool is a way to project what your social security benefits will be. Using certain inputs into the tool you can see how your monthly benefit will change based on what age you start collecting benefits as well as what your future income from work will be.
Note: The estimator tool is just an estimate and your actual social security benefits are not finalized until you actually file for your benefits.
Life Expectancy Calculator
Estimating your life expectancy can be beneficial because it can help you determine your breakeven point for collecting Social Security benefits, but more importantly it can give you an idea on how many years you will need to finance your retirement for.
Retrieve your Social Security Statement
In 2011 Social Security stopped mailing out their annual statements. You are still able to retrieve your statement online.
HEALTH CARE EXPENSES
One of the biggest culprits of rising retirement expense are the often below the radar health care costs which are estimated to be $230,000 of out of pocket for a couple that retired in 2011.
It is vital to know where to go to get some help estimating these costs. Here are a few tools:
Fidelity Health Care Expenses Cost Calculator– makes a comprehensive assessment of how much retirees are likely to spend on health care in retirement based on their age, financial resources, and insurance status
AARP Doughnut Hole Calculator-allows users to input information about medications and dosages to figure out how to avoid the dreaded donut hole
My Medicare Matters– gives you help with reviewing plan choices and guiding clients through the maze of Medicare choices
Medicare Interactive– offers answers to specific Medicare questions and in-depth information about virtually every aspect of Medicare. It’s run by the nonprofit Medicare Rights Center
Medicare – provides an official government site full of resources including information about the various parts of Medicare