‘I WISH I’D PUT MORE MONEY IN A ROTH IRA’
Making deductible contributions to 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement plans can reduce your tax bill while you’re working, which is great. But eventually that money has to come out of the accounts, thanks to required minimum distribution rules, and it’s taxed as income.
Financial planners recommend saving at least some money in Roth accounts, which don’t offer upfront deductions but provide tax-free withdrawals, to better manage tax bills in retirement.
‘I WISH I’D KNOWN ABOUT IRMAA’
People are often surprised how much health care coverage costs in retirement, planners say. Those with generous employer-provided coverage can find themselves paying significantly more out of pocket than when they were working.
Medicare has deductibles, co-pays and expenses that aren’t typically covered, such as eye care, dental care and hearing aids. But Medicare itself also has premiums, and those can rise with income, thanks to the income-related monthly adjustment amount — known as IRMAA.
The standard premium for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor’s visits, is $144.60 per month for 2020. If your modified adjusted gross income is above $87,000 for singles or $174,000 for married couples, though, IRMAA can add anywhere between $57.80 to $347 per person per month.
‘I WISH I HAD MORE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET’
As scary as the stock market can be, some exposure to equities is essential for most retirees, financial planners say. Stocks are the only investment class that consistently outpaces inflation.
In some cases, a retiree may be able to take more risk with their investments than when they were younger, says CFP Marc B. Schindler of Bellaire, Texas. For example, if all a retiree’s fixed expenses are covered by guaranteed income — from Social Security and pensions, for example — she may be in a good position to take more risk with her portfolio and potentially reap the rewards of higher returns.
‘I WISH I’D HAD A PLAN’
CFP Matt Wilson of Overland Park, Kan., recently counseled a couple who had a financial adviser, but no financial plan. What the couple did have was a lot of anxiety about their investments and whether their money would last.
Retirement is full of major, often irreversible financial decisions and hidden risks. Working with a fee-only, fiduciary financial planner — one who’s committed to putting the client’s interest first — can help people develop sustainable withdrawal rates and a sensible investment strategy.