Managing your financial life is not just about money.

What’s the biggest financial decision that you will make in your life?


Question: What is the biggest financial decision that you will make in your life?

Answer: Determining when you can retire comfortably and confidently.

What follows is a list of questions everyone who is planning to retire must answer.  I am going to spend the next few articles that I write in this paper helping my readers answer these questions.  And because the answers to these questions are mighty important, I am going to go a bit above and beyond just writing these articles.

First, I will post all of these questions and answers on my website …. so you don’t have to cut out this article and save it somewhere.

Second, if you have any questions or comments for me, email me at I promise that I will respond. This material may be a bit more meaningful for you if there is a bit of interaction with a Certified Financial Planner Practitioner.

Two more things. This article will appear every other week in the Mariner, so be informed and be ready. And, oh yes, you have a little homework before you read my next article in this series.  It is to have a serious discussion with your spouse (or yourself) as to what you want your retirement to look like and when it will begin.  Such discussions might be more productive over a bottle of wine on a weekend evening after a nice quiet dinner.

So, here’s to your retirement!  Talk to you in a couple of weeks.

  1. When do I want to retire?
  2. Will my spouse retire at the same time as I do?
  3. Do I choose to work part time in retirement?
  4. Can I retire with a mortgage or home equity line of credit outstanding?
  5. How long will I live?
  6. Am I living in my retirement home?
  7. If I am living in my retirement home, how much do I have to spend to get it ready for retirement?
  8. What will I do with my other property?
  9. Do I plan to use equity in my home(s) for retirement?
  10. If I needed to use that home equity in retirement, would I?
  11. What is my income now?
  12. What are my expenses now?
  13. What will my expenses be in retirement?
  14. What do I do about healthcare expenses?
  15. What do I do about potentially significant nursing home costs?
  16. What about children who are still dependent upon me?
  17. What expenses don’t I know about in retirement?
  18. What do I use for an expense inflation number?
  19. What will my guaranteed income be in retirement?
  20. How much of that income will be left after taxes?
  21. How much income, before and after taxes, will I need from my nest egg?
  22. How big does my nest egg have to be to last for my lifetime?
  23. If my nest egg is not big enough, what do I do?
  24. What do I do about “sequence risk”?
  25. How much do I need in Emergency Reserves?
  26. Do I want to leave anything for my kids?
  27. How should my nest egg be invested in retirement.
  28. How do I take money from my nest egg in retirement?
  29. What about life insurance?
  30. What about legal documents?
  31. What do I tell my kids?
  32. Can I really do all the math on retirement myself?

Mike McNamara - McNamara FInancial

Michael J. McNamara, Ph.D., CFP®


*Any financial advice in this article is intended to be generic in nature. Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before implementing any advice or suggestions above.



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