The Retirement Handbook: El Segundo Refinery Edition
Retirement is just around the corner, and you should be excited. But some of us have many questions and concerns about retirement causing us to feel more nervous than anything else.
We understand these feelings.
At Warren Street Wealth Advisors, we’ve helped many El Segundo Refinery employees navigate this crucial and confusing time, so we put together our Retirement Handbook: El Segundo Refinery Edition.
1. Have a Plan
Nothing else on this list matters if you don’t have a personalized financial plan.
A personalized financial plan is the roadmap to your comfortable retirement. You can know your benefits inside-out and be clever about taxes and investments, but if you don’t have a roadmap for navigating your retirement, you’ll never feel confident along the way.
2. Seriously, Have a Plan
Having a plan is essential for any major life transition, and navigating your retirement with wisdom and confidence is certainly part of a major life transition!
OK, let’s move on…
3. Make Sure Your Retirement Timing is Correct
Eligibility for annual bonuses, vacation days, or vacation payouts should all be considered as you decide when to retire from the company.
Properly timing your retirement date could give you access to more vacation days or eligibility for an annual company bonus. This could all add up to a healthy sum and this should be looked at prior to deciding upon a firm retirement date.
4. Want to Retire Early?
We see it all the time. You’re 57, you want to retire. You don’t want to wait until you’re 59½ to do it, but you know that there’s penalties if you take the money out early. So are you stuck?
Some companies have provisions in their plans that allow flexibility around taking withdrawals which help getting around penalties.
At WSWA, we use these rules to help our clients avoid penalties.
5. Budget for Medical Expenses
Make sure you are budgeting for medical coverage in retirement. A quick call to your benefits department can give you a projection of what your retirement medical benefit would cost in retirement.
A spouse may have a better or more affordable medical plan if they are still working. Be sure to examine all of your options.
6. Say “Goodbye” to Credit Card Debt
If you have credit card debt, then it’s time for a plan, a budget, and some hard work.
Debt can be intimidating, but you can pay it off! One of our favorite things is a client freeing themselves from the stress of mounting credit card debt. You may just need some help and a plan.
7. Build Up 6-Months Worth of Emergency Savings
We’re always optimistic about the future, but sometimes life takes surprising and difficult turns. Wise financial planning means being prepared for those situations.
We recommend that you save at least 6-months worth of living expenses in case of an emergency. Need $4,000/month to live? Then have around $24,000 in savings & checking. Now, you’re prepared for the ups and downs that life can throw at us at any age
8. Build and Keep a Budget
We get it: it’s no fun to build a budget, but it’s the first step to knowing what retirement looks like.
Get rid of the stuff you don’t use and keep what makes you happy! Not sure where to start? No problem, use our Retirement Tool Kit to make it easy.
9. Weigh All Your Options on Social Security
There is a lot of information out there about what to do with Social Security. Let me boil it all down: you don’t have to take it at 62! When we build a financial plan for a client, we calculate all options for optimizing Social Security.
It’s ultimately your decision, we suggest weighing your options before committing to collecting the 25-30% reduced benefit at age 62.
10. Invest for Retirement
Max out your 401(k). Diversify your investments. Consider hiring a pro.
Make sure your investments are retirement ready. Do you have too much cash? Too much of a single stock? If you have ESOP shares, are you getting the most tax efficiency with them?
If you’re unsure, then having a team on your side can help you get the most out of your plan and make sure your investments match your goals and objectives.
12. Have a Plan
You didn’t think this was going to end without one more reminder, did you? If you’re not sure where to start with your financial plan, that’s OK: we can help.
Schedule a free consultation to talk through your finances and take the first step toward building a confident retirement.