Partially Retired? Here’s How to Navigate the Spending Transition

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About Ben Kunes

Ben Kunes is the host of the Retirement & Income Radio Show and President and Founder of Safe Money Retirement Group LLC. Ben enjoys assisting his clients of all walks of life, with securing their financial future as they prepare for, and enter retirement. Calling on his over 28 years as a licensed professional, Ben specializes in strategies that assist his clients in achieving safety, security, growth without stock market risk, and lifetime income. Ben and his wife of 23 years, Fanny, reside in St. Louis, Missouri, where they are active members of the White Flag Christian Church. Ben and Fanny are blessed with four children, six beautiful grandchildren, and two dogs. In their free time, they enjoy St. Louis Cardinals baseball, St. Louis Blues hockey, and vacationing in Florida. Ben looks forward to meeting with you to share ideas about protecting your retirement money and securing a guaranteed retirement income.

As households transition from full-time work to partial retirement, they often encounter an awkward and challenging spending phase. This period may be marked by fluctuating incomes, uncertain expenses, and the need to balance a lifestyle that straddles both work and retirement. Understanding the intricacies of this phase is crucial for ensuring financial stability and peace of mind.

Understanding the Spending Phase

Partially retired households typically experience a unique financial landscape. They may still receive income from part-time work, but it is often significantly lower than their previous full-time earnings. At the same time, they begin to draw on retirement savings, pensions, or Social Security benefits. This dual-source income might lead to complexities in managing cash flow and budgeting effectively.

Income Fluctuations

One of the primary challenges is dealing with income fluctuations. Part-time work may not provide a steady paycheck, and retirement benefits might not cover all living expenses. This irregularity might make it difficult to plan and stick to a budget. Households may find themselves overspending in some months and struggling to make ends meet in others.

To navigate this, it’s essential to have a robust budgeting plan. Households should track their expenses meticulously and identify areas where they may cut back if necessary. Creating a buffer or emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses may also provide a safety net during lean months.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare expenses can be a significant concern for partially retired households. While some may still have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, others might need to purchase private insurance or rely on Medicare. Understanding the costs associated with different healthcare options and planning for potential medical expenses is crucial.

Medicare, while helpful, doesn’t cover all medical expenses, and supplemental insurance might be necessary. Households should explore all available options and consider enrolling in a Health Savings Account (HSA) if they qualify, as it may offer tax advantages and help cover medical costs.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Transitioning into partial retirement often requires lifestyle adjustments. While some expenses may decrease, such as commuting costs or work-related clothing, others might increase, like travel or hobbies. It’s important to reassess lifestyle choices and align them with the new financial reality.

Households should prioritize their spending based on essential needs and long-term goals. This might mean delaying large purchases, reducing discretionary spending, or finding more cost-effective ways to enjoy leisure activities. Additionally, staying active and engaged in part-time work or volunteer activities can provide both financial benefits and a sense of purpose.

Investment Strategies

Investment strategies may need to be adjusted during this phase. As households begin to draw on their retirement savings, it’s crucial to reassess their investment portfolio. A mix of conservative and growth-oriented investments might help balance the need for income and the potential for growth.

Working with a financial advisor may be beneficial in developing a strategy that aligns with the household’s risk tolerance and financial goals. An advisor may also help navigate the complexities of required minimum distributions (RMDs) and tax-efficient withdrawal strategies.

Long-Term Planning

Partially retired households should not lose sight of long-term financial planning. While the focus might be on managing immediate expenses, it’s essential to ensure that retirement savings will last throughout their retirement years. This involves regular reviews of financial plans, adjusting for changes in income, expenses, and market conditions.

Conclusion

The transition into partial retirement may indeed present an awkward spending phase for households. However, with careful planning, budgeting, and a clear understanding of financial needs and goals, it is possible to navigate this period successfully. By staying proactive and adaptable, partially retired households can achieve financial stability and enjoy a fulfilling retirement.

Take control of your financial future today! If you’re navigating the complexities of partial retirement, reach out to one of our expert financial advisors. We can help you develop a personalized plan to ensure financial stability and peace of mind. Contact a trusted advisor to take the first step toward a secure and fulfilling retirement.

Many people have learned about the power of using the Safe Money approach to reduce volatility. Our Safe Money Guide is in its 20th edition and is available for free.  

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About Ben Kunes

Ben Kunes is the host of the Retirement & Income Radio Show and President and Founder of Safe Money Retirement Group LLC. Ben enjoys assisting his clients of all walks of life, with securing their financial future as they prepare for, and enter retirement. Calling on his over 28 years as a licensed professional, Ben specializes in strategies that assist his clients in achieving safety, security, growth without stock market risk, and lifetime income. Ben and his wife of 23 years, Fanny, reside in St. Louis, Missouri, where they are active members of the White Flag Christian Church. Ben and Fanny are blessed with four children, six beautiful grandchildren, and two dogs. In their free time, they enjoy St. Louis Cardinals baseball, St. Louis Blues hockey, and vacationing in Florida. Ben looks forward to meeting with you to share ideas about protecting your retirement money and securing a guaranteed retirement income.

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