Retirement Income Industry Association

The View Across The Silos

Consumer Section

Your Financial Life Will Be Very Different In Retirement
So You Will Need A New Planning Approach To Managing It

When you shift from living on the income and benefits available to you through work to living on a retirement and benefits, you start thinking about your money differently.

Most financial planning today has been designed primarily to help you build your retirement savings. But as you transition to and live in retirement, your needs and challenges can be very different.

Perhaps even more importantly, retirement is about you and your family, not the average family or anyone else. Just you! And when it comes to a plan for transitioning to and living in retirement, these individual differences matter, often much more so than when you were still saving and accumulating. Issues relative to health care, Medicare and Social Security move front and center. So does whether you plan to work part-time in retirement, and whether or not you have a pension, even if it's a small one from a prior employer. Do you have a few years left on a mortgage or have other debt. Any of these things may make your situation different from others. You need a solution built around your goals and unique situation.

Plus you want to live a long and active life. You need your money to do the same!

First Build The Floor

Finding out where you stand and how to ensure that you have a lifetime safety net is what your retirement advisor calls "building a floor". Their primary goal is to establish a solid plan for ensuring that you have all your household's basic needs covered throughout retirement.

Adding Up What Income Is Available

Think about it, you now have multiple sources of income to manage. Your retirement management advisor (RMA) will start by looking at your entire household and listing what you'll be getting from Social Security, any pensions that you may be entitled to, plus any income that you or your spouse are planning to get through part-time work or a business that you may own.

If you're just about to retire, knowing when to "turn on" your Social Security or pension income can make a big difference in the monthly amount that you get, Your RMASM will give information you need to make those decisions.

Right-Sizing Your Expenses

Your expenses may also change quite significantly as you move from working full time to your new retirement lifestyle and perhaps several times during retirement. You may be considering simplifying your lifestyle which will reduce your expenses. Or you may have dreams that you've been waiting to fulfill, such as starting a new business or travel, that will increase your expenses, at least in the early stages of retirement.

Your living expenses will change if you're planning to move to a new location, so you will want to know how the cost of living, healthcare costs are, and taxes may change as well.

And because healthcare coverage will account a significant portion of your expenses, you will also want to know how to get the most cost-effective Medicare benefits and how to best provide for what Medicare doesn't cover.

Once you've added up all your expenses, you may realize that they add up to more than your income, so you start to figure out how you're going to right-size your expenses to give you the right amount of cash flow every month to live a comfortable life.

Then Discuss The Upside

Once you've made sure you have your basic needs covered, discussing how to obtain growth from your investment
"nest egg" to provide for discretionary expenses is what your RMASM calls "discussing the upside". You may also want to leave money to your heirs, or perhaps a charity.

Your RMASM can help you figure out how to create a "discretionary" fund within your investment assets to make this a reality.

Find Out Ways To Earn and Save More With A Retirement Financial Check-Up

Everyone who is actively thinking about retiring, or is already enjoying retirement, could benefit from a retirement financial "check-up" to see if there are ways that you could make your money work harder and longer.

An RMASM has specialized training to provide you with this type of planning, personalized to your unique situation and goals.

Read below to find out more about why they are uniquely qualified to help you.

Why You Should Choose a Planning Professional With A Retirement Management Analyst (RMASM)

Choosing a financial advisor who will help you create a secure retirement may be one of the most important decisions you make. Your advisor can play a pivotal role in ensuring your financial well-being and retirement income throughout many years in retirement. That’s why it is so important to work with an advisor who has the specialized knowledge, education, and ethical training related to effective retirement income planning and management.

Professionals who have earned the RMASM certification have made the commitment to the advanced education that prepares them to help you achieve your goals and financial security in retirement.

Advisors who hold the RMASM designation are also subject to continuing education requirements to make sure they stay on top of the latest research, products and trends in retirement income planning and management.


Unless otherwise noted, any view published in the Consumer Education section of the RIIA® site is one formulated by RIIA® and not necessarily the view of a RIIA® member or of an RMASM. In formulating its views, RIIA® takes care, through its committee vetting structure, to remain product, provider, member, industry and vendor neutral.