Taking the Stress Out of Retirement Planning this Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month has been recognized every April since 1992, but this year it seems particularly important. When it comes to financial planning, learning to cope with our stress and finding healthy ways to deal with these situations can go a long way in living a healthy and positive life.

Every year, the sole purpose of National Stress Awareness Month is to identify and help reduce the stress factors in your life. While many of us deal with different stressors in our day to day lives, we wouldn’t be able to complete our daily tasks without it. Stress exists as a reminder that internally brings us back in touch with what our stressors are and how to manage them going forward.

Are you looking to take the stress out of National Stress Awareness Month when it comes to your financial planning? Look no further! Johnson Wealth and Income Management has a couple tips for you to help take the stress out of planning for retirement and other financial stresses. Here are some ways that you can reduce feelings of stress in your life as we recognize this important time.

Know How Much You Really Need to Save

Knowing how much you need to save can be confusing. There are a lot of interrelated factors that go into this calculation. It can be an overwhelming task to have enough saved up for retirement. However, getting a realistic target — one based on personalized calculations — can be a great way to get motivated.

Retirement planning is the overall process of figuring out how much money you’ll need to save for retirement and then putting a plan in place to get there. The sooner you start saving and investing the more potential your money has to grow over time. Once your plan is in place, reviewing your retirement portfolio on a regular basis will be crucial. This is just one of many things you can do to help gain independence and confidence in retirement with Johnson Wealth and Income Management. 

Maintain a Detailed Retirement Plan

A study by The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that spending in retirement decreases over time. The authors conclude that “ the probability of having a budget deficit — defined as having higher total spending than total income — increased with age, even though the average dollar amount spent was lower for older age groups.” 

Essentially, over the course of the last 15 years, retirees have had a hard time creating a retirement plan that accurately reflects the money they will need to spend.

A solid retirement plan means that you know how much you have now, how much you will have at retirement, and how much you will have near the end of your life. You also need to know how much you will need at those different time periods.

This knowledge can give you the motivation to save more, work longer, and spend less. Best of all, retirement planning does not need to be difficult. 

At Johnson Wealth and Income Management, we help allocate, manage, and monitor clients’ assets, unlike the typical advisor’s “one size fits all” management approach. As an independent wealth and management firm, we represent our clients and their interests, rather than any specific company. While some financial institutions recommend investment products that are manufactured by the parent of subsidiary business entities, we have no such ties. Our independence is vital to delivering objective, unbiased recommendations.

Create a Backup Plan

When you create a retirement plan you can’t just shuffle it to the back and forget about it. Once your plan is created you must keep an eye on it and make adjustments as you get older. Things are constantly changing and your retirement plan should reflect those changes.

One of the underlying worries in retirement is that you don’t know what will happen, and without the security of a job, you need to rely on what you have. While you can’t exactly plan for the unknown, you can certainly plan ahead and create a backup plan. Here’s a couple examples of having a backup plan in place:

  • An Emergency Fund. Most Financial planning advisors say to have at least 3-6 months worth of expenses in savings in case of emergency – such as an unexpected hospital trip or car troubles.
  • Ensuring you have adequate insurance in place.

Take Care of Debt

Eliminating debt is what most survey respondents believe would have the most significant impact on their financial situation – even more so than earning a lot more income.

Most advisors would agree that eliminating or reducing debt is a great way to improve your financial outlook.

Depending on your situation, you can help reduce debt by:

  • Adjusting your budget so you can make bigger payments against your debt
  • Securing a reverse mortgage to eliminate ongoing mortgage payments
  • Consolidating debt into a lower interest credit card or a home equity line of credit
  • Downsizing your home to reduce the size of or eliminate your mortgage

Final Thoughts

Financial stress is not good for you; mentally, emotionally and financially. Financial anxiety negatively impacts your health, happiness, home life, mood, social life, and ability to pursue dreams, passions, and interests.

As Iowans, we have long prided ourselves in being middle Americans — working hard and enjoying a lifestyle of moderate measures. 

Johnson Wealth and Income management is a full-service financial firm that provides an array of services to our clients in the state of Iowa. From tax planning to investment strategies, our commitment is to help you work towards achieving all your financial goals and to help provide you with a “worry free” retirement.

If you are looking for an Iowa-based, full-service financial firm you can count on, contact the team at Johnson Wealth and Income Management here today. Our friendly and courteous team are waiting for your call. 

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