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Retirement Spending: 6 Lifestyle Questions We Ask Our Clients

Retirement Spending: 6 Lifestyle Questions We Ask Our Clients

November 07, 2019

When it comes to retirement, most people are familiar with the “planning” part and less familiar with the “spending” part. Yes, you read that correctly: Retirement spending is also a factor in retirement planning.

Your retirement plan is not a static document; it’s a work in motion, a living document, which is constantly changing. Regular evaluation and adjustments are part of creating an ongoing plan that will fit your current and future lifestyle.

Here are some questions we ask our clients.

First of all, the first 12-18 months of actual retirement should be considered a transitional period, which is something we factor into our clients’ financial plan. We recommend that you gently lean into retirement and try not to commit yourself too much during the first year. So, when we meet with our clients, we want to get a sense of your vision for retirement.

How do you envision your typical day?

Even though most people plan for retirement…they don’t often know exactly what they’re going to do when it happens! That’s why I recommend deliberately taking extended periods of time off during the three years prior to retirement.

How much would you like to allocate for travel?

Do you like long trips or short trips? Cruises or road trips? Do you plan to visit family on a regular basis? Let’s create a budget that comfortably fits what you want to do.

Have you factored in taxes?

Many people are surprised by the effect of income taxation on their cash flow. A professional financial planner will help you plan for this expense.

What are your hobbies?

It might surprise you to know that many people don’t know how to answer this question! After a lifetime of working, they might not have had the time to develop outside interests. When we come across a client who needs help with this, Charpentier Wealth Strategies helps them connect with local groups so they can start building a social life outside the office. In fact, we feel this is so important that we start talking to clients about it five years prior to retirement.

Do you like to eat out or cook at home?

This could change when you retire. You might have more time and interest in meal planning and cooking OR you might decide that trying more restaurants sounds fun. We’ll factor this into your retirement plan.

What are you passionate about?

Some people look forward to retirement so that they can spend more time and resources on causes they’re passionate about. Do you plan on participating in mission trips or volunteering in other countries? We want to help you live life to the fullest.

Income Streams and Expenses

At the beginning stages of retirement, it’s not uncommon for unexpected expenses to occur. Typically, retirement income streams come from three places:

  1. Social Security
  2. Pensions
  3. Savings and Investments

With that in mind, we want to limit the number of unexpected expenses as much as possible. Newly retired people are often surprised by:

  1. Health insurance premiums, Medicare and prescriptions.
  2. Long Term Care Insurance and actual expenses.
  3. Income and Property Taxes.

By working with a financial planning professional, clients are grateful for the additional confidence that comes with creating a plan that budgets for unexpected expenses. We’re here to help you so that you know the cushion is there if you need it.

“The relief on a client’s face after they realize they truly can afford to retire is priceless,” says Charpentier Wealth Strategies Founder, Debbie Charpentier. “People feel comforted knowing they have a partner to travel this season with. Helping someone get to this point in their life is why I love what I do.”

Debbie Charpentier has been serving clients since 1989 by using a holistic, comprehensive approach that helps clients create the life they value and the legacy they envision. Charpentier Wealth Strategies is a Bakersfield, CA Financial Planning practice that offers fee-based financial planning services. To contact Debbie, email