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Retirement Read Time: 3 min

How to manage your retirement income concerns

Are you confident about your retirement? If you’re even thinking about it, you probably have some unanswered questions. That’s normal — even good. It means you’re preparing. You think ahead and imagine the great things about not working — more time for family, travel, hobbies — and the not-so-great things, like no paycheck and rising costs. The first step to retiring with confidence is building a long-term financial strategy that addresses your questions and concerns.

Some of the questions that may be on your mind:

  • Will my savings last my full retirement?
  • Will Social Security income be enough?  
  • Will my investments provide enough income?

Here are several avenues to explore in your retirement strategy that can help ease your worries.

Apply the 75% rule

First, figure out how much money you need to support your current lifestyle. A good rule of thumb: it takes about 75% of your pre-retirement earnings to live comfortably in retirement. For example, if you average $100,000 in annual salary throughout your career, you’ll need about $75,000 in annual retirement income. 

Know your other Social Security number

To continue the example, if you average $100,000 a year and work to full retirement age, you can expect about $34,717 in annual income from Social Security benefits.1 Nice – but that still leaves $40,283 a year that will have to come from other sources to reach your $75,000 retirement income goal. The important thing: find out your actual numbers. Calculating Social Security benefits is complex. This estimator can guide you.

Delay retirement if you can

The age you activate your Social Security benefits makes a big difference. For people born in 1960 or later, full retirement benefits are payable at age 67.2 If you delay retiring until age 70, your benefits will keep accumulating until then. Great! However, if you retire early at age 62 your benefits may be reduced by a whopping 30%.2 That doesn’t mean early retirement is impossible, but you may need additional sources of income, such as annuities or whole life insurance, to cushion you against financial risk. You can talk to your financial professional to figure out the right strategy for you.

Go on automatic

Another way to limit your dependence on Social Security earnings in retirement is by increasing retirement contributions to both your IRAs and 401(k)s. Consider setting up automatic deductions if possible. Avoid taking early withdrawals from your retirement savings accounts so you can keep building your wealth and not incur costly penalties.

Consider an annuity

An annuity can be an efficient and confidence-building way to relieve concerns about outliving your retirement income. An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company that gives you guaranteed income in your later years.3 The key advantage: you can choose to continue to receive payouts no matter how long you live. Annuities can be structured in different ways, so be sure to talk with a trusted financial professional.

Discover your financial persona

Understanding your financial persona can help you make a practical strategy for retirement that fits your personality. Are you a Retirement Realist? A Day-to-Day Decision-Maker? An Ambitious Spender? Take our Financial & Emotional Confidence Quiz to find out, and start building greater confidence for your retirement years.


1 If you make $100,000 in average annual income, here’s what you’ll get from Social Security at 67, Nasdaq.com, September 24, 2022 

2 www.ssa.gov 

3 Guarantees are subject to the timely payment of all required premiums and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

Brought to you by The Guardian Network © 2019, 2022. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY.

2022-146954 Exp. 11/2024*Pre-approved content*


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