Frequently Asked Questions About Retirement

Jenny Handwerk |

Frequently Asked Questions About Retirement


Retirement allows people to enjoy the results of their efforts, but it takes proactive and detailed planning. As they near the conclusion of their working careers, everyone should ask themselves six questions. Answering questions can help you focus your plans.

The typical retirement age is 61, with those currently working expecting to quit by age 66. However, with so many aspects to consider, retirement may be intimidating. However, with some assistance, you can sort through the main questions and establish the best path to retirement. All it takes is a little forethought and preparation; the sooner you begin planning, the better.


  • At what age do you want to retire?

Considering your retirement goals, including whether you want to retire sooner or later, is an essential step in the retirement process. The typical retirement age for men is roughly 65, while women are around 62. Do you intend to continue working beyond that timeframe, or do you want your retirement party to arrive sooner?

The age at which you intend to retire influences how much Social Security you are eligible for and how much money you will require to cover you during this new period of your life.


  • What do you plan to do with your time in retirement?

Although this appears to be a simple question, many individuals need to consider it. And, assuming you enjoy a healthy 20- to 30-year retirement, you'll have plenty of time to fill.

Let's put money aside for a moment and consider the lifestyle that would make you happy. Is it filled with travel and adventure? Artistic endeavors? Looking for fresh ways to give back to the community? Starting your own business or pursuing a second career? 

List the activities you want to pursue after retirement and consider general timeframes and logistics. Your responses will assist in establishing how much retirement funds you'll need to support your lifestyle. 


  • How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?


A variety of factors influence the amount required. For example, your retirement age, life expectancy, and income from pensions or Social Security will all impact your needs. If there is a difference between your spending needs and retirement income, you usually bridge the gap by withdrawing from your retirement assets.


Three of the most essential considerations are how much you plan to withdraw, how long you intend to withdraw it, and any earnings or losses on your assets. However, taxes, inflation, health, and other issues are also crucial.


  • What are your retirement goals? 


After narrowing your focus, try setting concrete retirement goals. Now is the moment to ask yourself when to retire and how you want to get there. Do you intend to leave the workforce before the age of 61? Or would you like to wait until retirement to maximize your Social Security benefits? 

You may prefer to continue working part-time to supplement your income. Knowing when and how you want to retire can help you establish the groundwork for a savings plan and withdrawal strategy that will enable you to live comfortably later in life.


  • Who will depend on you for personal and financial support?


The roles and customs that define the American family are shifting. It is becoming more normal for children to live with their parents far into their twenties, or for circumstances to force them to return to "the nest" after previously living independently.

Many pre-retirees find themselves supporting or caring for their parents. With rising daycare costs, grandparents may need or desire to take on a more active role in raising grandchildren.

While many of these events occur unexpectedly, talking with your children may help you plan for or avoid them.


  • How could taxes impact your retirement funds?


While many areas of your life may change after retirement, taxes remain constant. You can be proactive to lower your tax burden. For example, you can plan tax-efficient actions to include in your retirement plan and consider methods to reduce taxes on your Social Security benefits.

Furthermore, keep an eye out for upcoming tax changes that may require you to make modifications. For example, a series of tax law modifications enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are slated to expire at the end of 2025, potentially altering marginal rates for most individual tax brackets.


Retirement planning can be exhausting at first, but if you can answer these questions, you'll be well on your way to creating a strong retirement plan that you'll be happy with.