Make sure you can enjoy your retirement to the fullest through careful investment planning. *iStock photo
Make sure you can enjoy your retirement to the fullest through careful investment planning. *iStock photo

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: Planning for retirement is often left to the last minute.

Most of us are too busy with family or other day-to-day commitments to begin thinking about it.

But it is wise to begin planning investment strategies for retirement early.

Without planning, retirement can be financially stressful as people are living much longer these days due to the advances in medicine and overall healthier lifestyle choices.

Investing for your retirement should be a multi-layered approach that is aimed at long-term growth-oriented strategies.

Strategy

Changing the focus of your investments as you age from a growth outlook to a more balanced outlook that embraces a slight income tilt strategy is a conservative approach, which can lower the risk tolerance of your plan.

As you come within reach of retirement age, it is wise to change your investment policy again to more of an income-oriented vehicle.

This extra income can help to subsidize your retirement income along with your Bermuda Government pension and perhaps even rental income.

It is best when planning for retirement to consider investment options that will protect your spouse and children in the event of your premature death.

It is an uncomfortable prospect to consider, but when you think of leaving your family with a burden of debt and financial uncertainty, the choice is crystal clear — planning for future financial security is a worthwhile exercise.

Mistakes

These are some of the common financial mistakes made by retirees:

• Failing to hedge against inflation or pace above inflation.

Retirees need to implement strategies designed to maintain their current standard of living. Sitting on cash deposits that pay lousy interest rates is not pacing above inflation.

• Taking too much risk.

The goal is to reduce risk and slowly shift your  investment portfolio into a conservative style of investments that will provide consistent and stable rates of return. 

Don’t have every dollar in the stock market trying to capitalize on growth opportunities.

Time is not on your side and you don’t have enough time to recover in the event of a market downturn.

• Not planning for your estate.

Create a will, not just for a surviving spouse, but for the younger generation.

Retirees must understand that assets gifted can cause tax obligations (even in Bermuda) and even more importantly, the gift of a homestead to multiple family members can cause huge issues.

• Investing as if you were still working.

For a lot of us, saving on a regular basis is ingrained in our system and that’s a good thing.

But trying to save when you are in retirement simply doesn’t make sense.

It’s time to start enjoying the fruits of your labour, even moderately so.

• Choosing inappropriate investments.

Basing your investment decision on annual returns can be devastating.

It doesn’t matter whether you are 20 or 60 years old, we would all like a 20 per cent rate of return.

But who has more time to ride the volatility and recover if it turns in the opposite direction and generates a 20 per cent loss?

• Assuming you will have part-time work.

It may be a nice thought that during your retirement you will be able to work part-time and have some extra pocket money.

But the reality is that may not be the case.

You may struggle to find an employer who is looking to hire a mature employee, or health issues may simply not allow you to work.

Planner

Planning for retirement, both financial and mentally, is very important, and working with a financial planner that specializes in retirement planning is key.

A financial planner will look at your entire financial profile, anticipate your expenses, review your income sources and provide projections to determine how your retirement might look and what you need to do to ensure your vision of retirement becomes a reality.

 

Carla Seely is a senior wealth manager at AFL Investments. Contact her at 294-5712 or cseely@aflinvestments.bm