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Planning & Economy

Enjoying Life in Retirement

October 10th, 2023

Investors in their 70s

These years are said to be some of the best years as you are enjoying your time with family and have either retired or are winding down.  Hopefully you have started some new hobbies and are enjoying family time and some new friendships.  Now that you are retired, and have saved your money, there are different financial items to review and prepare.

1. Reevaluate Estate Planning Documents & Wishes

This is an important piece of the financial puzzle in this stage of life as your family may have grown to include in your estate planning documents, you may have wishes to leave money behind to your favorite charities or things may have changed between different times of review.  An important part of this reevaluation will be whether you and your family would benefit from Revocable Living Trust.  Depending on your state of residence, you may want a trust just to avoid a complicated probate state.  Or you may want to inquire about a trust for ease of asset transfer as well as ease of asset management.  If you have a complicated family situation, having a trust in place may make things more clear and easier to transfer to your loved ones.

2. Reevaluate Your Life Insurance & IRA Beneficiaries

If you still have life insurance, is it needed?  During retirement, life insurance for income replacement or goal achievement is typically no longer needed, but life insurance in retirement would be considered for legacy goals either to family or charities.  This is a good time to reevaluate your need or wish for life insurance and to reevaluate your beneficiaries on your life insurance as well.  This is also a good time to review your IRA beneficiaries as well and be sure you have the correct people or organizations listed as your IRA beneficiaries.

3. Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)

The age of the required minimum distributions has increased to age 74 with the new Secure Act.  This means that investors at age 74 are required by the IRS to take a portion of their IRA assets out as a taxable distribution.  It’s typically around 5% a year, but there is an exact calculation made based on your account value and your life expectancy (based on tables the IRS has generated).  One of the most valuable rules with RMDs is that anyone over the age 70 ½ can start making tax-free distributions from their IRAs directly to a non-profit agency, church or school.  These distributions can also fund a Donor Designated Fund.  If you are already donating to your favorite charities, using your RMD to fund these donations are usually more tax advantageous coming from your IRA because it’s a straight dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxable income.  A Donor Designated Fund (DDF) is very similar to Donor Advised Fund (DAF), but when you open the DDF you have to name up to five charities the money will be donated to throughout the life of the fund.  Since the DDF has specific charities listed to benefit from the fund, the RMD can go into this type of fund tax-free.  An RMD can not go into a Donor Advised Fund.  If you want to learn more about this strategy, please let us know and we can give you more details and benefits.

4. Caregiving Wishes

As you enter your 70s more than likely you are healthy and very active, but as you age, you may start to need additional health care assistance.  Having a conversation with your family members as well as your spouse about how you want to be cared for in your later age is important so that your loved ones can carry out your wishes.  This could be where you want to live if you need long-term care, would you want to stay home or would you want to be cared for in a retirement community?  How involved or not involved do you want your family or would you like others to care for you?  These discussions are important and will make things easier for you and your loved ones if you need additional care later in life.

5. Family Life-Planning Education

Starting a conversation with your loved ones about your financial plans and goals can be difficult. However, it is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out and you and your hard-earned assets are protected. By having a family meeting, with your trusted and experienced financial advisor present to help facilitate the conversation, you are taking the first step toward achieving the security and stability you desire. A family meeting allows you to communicate your wishes regarding who you have chosen to act on your behalf in the event you cannot do so. At a family meeting, you can ensure your family will have the proper understanding and support in handling your affairs once it becomes necessary. If your loved ones better understand your goals and desires, the plans you have in place are more likely to be executed smoothly and without tension.

6. Legacies

How do you want your family, friends, and community to remember you?

Your generosity in whatever form it takes is a gift. It can take the form of money, property, and wisdom. And, more importantly perhaps, your stories. Shouldn’t your grandchildren and children know of some of the most ridiculous things you did in your life? How about some of the most inspiring things you did? As an example, Storyworth (welcomestoryworth.com) is a service that will assist you in writing your memoir, that’s fancy for “you won’t believe what we did.”

We stand ready to help you navigate these checklist items and are ready to answer your questions and help you plan for these important steps.  Thank you for reading!


Christina Jones
Wealth Manager, RJFS
Partner, Windsor Wealth

Carlos Dominguez
Portfolio Manager, RJFS
Partner, Windsor Wealth


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