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Preparing for Retirement in the New Year: Steps to Take Now

Preparing for Retirement in the New Year: Steps to Take Now

What does a happy and fulfilling retirement mean to you? To some people, preparing for retirement means transitioning from a full-time job to spending more time with their loved ones. To others, it means pursuing passions or traveling the world.

Attaining retirement is a significant life milestone, yet too often, it catches many of us off guard. Once you identify what brings you peace of mind in retirement, understanding the financial path to reach those goals becomes crucial.

“”As the New Year unfolds, it’s the perfect time to embark on the journey of preparing for retirement,” advises Gary Isler, Senior Vice President, Investments at David Lerner Associates, Inc. “It’s an opportunity for setting objectives and making resolutions.””At David Lerner Associates, we understand the significance of this transition, and we’re here to guide you through the essential steps to take now,” Gary Isler adds.

Let’s delve into a comprehensive retirement plan. Discover the benefits available, identify potential savings, and take proactive steps towards a secure financial future.

Step 1: Envisioning Your Retirement Lifestyle

Retirement holds different meanings to everyone.

Begin your planning by defining what retirement looks like for you. Consider where you want to live, the activities you want to pursue, and the lifestyle you aim to maintain.

This clarity will be the cornerstone of your retirement plan.

Step 2: Estimating Retirement Expenses

Understanding your future expenses is crucial.

Surprisingly, 56% of Americans haven’t assessed the financial requirements for a secure retirement.

Have you taken this crucial step? While retirement might appear distant and overwhelming to contemplate, forward planning is essential, especially given that the anticipated amount required could be more significant than you realize.

Consider your current lifestyle, factoring in potential changes, such as increased travel or healthcare costs. Outline your expected monthly and annual expenses to get a realistic picture of the financial requirements for your desired retirement lifestyle.

Experts suggest that maintaining your current lifestyle in retirement might necessitate 80% of your pre-retirement income.

Step 3: Considering Future Medical Costs

Healthcare is a significant aspect of retirement planning. To get the most out of your post-working years, you want to be as healthy as possible. Poor health can lead you to an empty retirement account.

As per the 2023 Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, a typical retired couple at the age of 65 might anticipate allocating $315,000 for medical expenses throughout their retirement.

Anticipate medical costs, including insurance premiums, prescription medications, and potential long-term care expenses. Factoring in healthcare costs ensures that your financial plan is comprehensive and robust.

Step 4: Maximizing Retirement Accounts

Gain clarity on your eligibility for participation in a workplace retirement plan and familiarize yourself with its operations.

Inquire with your employer regarding the availability of any retirement benefit plans associated with your employment and request a copy of the plan’s Summary Plan Description for additional details.

Learn about 401(k)s, 403(b)s, SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs.

Maximize the benefits of retirement accounts by contributing the maximum allowable amounts. Take advantage of catch-up contributions if you’re 50+.

Step 5: Balancing Risk and Investment Goals

Understanding your risk tolerance is crucial in shaping your investment strategy.

Your risk tolerance stands as a testament to your readiness to embrace the uncertainty that an investment might undergo a setback in exchange for the prospect of reaping substantial returns.

The principle often holds that in the world of investments, the greater the risk, the higher the anticipated rate of return.

Evaluating your comfort with investment risk involves pondering questions like your age, the timeframe before the funds are needed, and your resilience towards potential losses.

Work with our financial experts to align your risk tolerance with your retirement goals. This ensures that your investment portfolio reflects both your aspirations and your comfort level with risk.

Step 6: Streamlining Monthly Expenses

Identify areas to reduce spending without compromising your lifestyle. Renegotiate bills, downsize, or explore cost-effective alternatives.

Step 7: Eliminating Debt

Entering retirement with lingering debt can impact your financial security.

The fees and interest rates linked to debt can hinder your progress toward achieving financial freedom in retirement.

Develop a plan to pay down outstanding debts, whether it’s a mortgage, credit card, or other loans.

Reducing debt alleviates financial stress and allows you to allocate more resources to retirement savings. Every dollar saved is a dollar that can contribute to your retirement nest egg.

Step 8: Planning for Emergencies

Life is unpredictable.

Establish an emergency fund and review insurance coverage annually to handle unforeseen expenses.


Preparing for retirement is a journey that begins with intentional and informed steps.

At David Lerner Associates, we are committed to guiding you through this process, ensuring your retirement years are a time of financial security and fulfillment.

Do not let retirement sneak up on you. As you embrace the new year, take proactive steps toward a retirement that reflects your aspirations and provides peace of mind.

Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable– we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

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