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  The Big Picture - Taking Stock  

Living in retirement requires the careful balancing of income and expense, much as it does at any earlier period in your life.  However, the equation in your later years shifts, from employment income, to income that can be earned from one’s accumulated financial assets, combined with social security and any pension benefits that you may have earned while working.  Further, for most people, retirement involves spending down savings that have been accumulated during their years of paid employment.  And all of this must be done within a context that includes an uncertain lifespan and the unpredictability of long-term healthcare needs. 

While this challenge can be met, it requires an analytical approach that is quite different from that employed during your middle life when you had a significant recurring earned income and you’re your investment goals were typically focused on long-term growth in your investment portfolio.  Furthermore, this process requires more continuing attention now than when you were younger, and it offers less margin for error, and fewer opportunities to recover from mistakes and recoup losses.


Getting the "big picture" and undertaking a thorough planning of your financial future during retirement requires taking stock of your current situation.


The necessary first step is taking inventory of the various assets, liabilities,

A word about pronouns -- The language throughout these Information & Tools pages is generally consistent in referring to “you” or “your” situation as an elder, that is, someone already in the retirement phase of his life.  In fact, we understand that we may often be speaking to you, an adult child, who is trying to help an elder parent or may even be seeking information for your own personal planning.


So, in the one case, “you” make in fact be you, who is either looking for ways to ease your personal financial management chores, or perhaps are comfortably managing in retirement, but want to prepare for the day when your ability to manage financial tasks may ebb.


In the other case, you may be seeking assistance in helping to manage the financial affairs of a parent or other loved one.  In either case “you” in these pages refers to the person whose financial affairs are being managed.

income sources and expenses which you currently face.  Further, this is a good time to locate, organize and safely file numerous non-financial documents so they are readily available when needed.  Disorganized records inevitably result in financial decisions being put off or ignored.  Having them in good order will give the lay of the land, increase clarity, and your energy to deal with creating or improving your financial plan.  Also, it will help the executor of your estate better fulfill your wishes when the time comes.


Get started with our checklists of Documents and Records.

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