Planning for Retirement? Seek Advice from a Financial Planner, Survey Says

By Gabriel Fiest on June 24, 2019 from Financial Corner with Gabe Fiest via

Provided by Gabriel Fiest, a financial advisor with Voya Financial Advisors, Inc.
Navigating the maze of decisions leading up to your retirement can be daunting. When is the best time to start planning? How do you prepare for future or unanticipated expenses? How do you make sure your investments support your goals for retirement? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to consider.
According to a recent survey, the majority of Americans working with a financial advisor are more prepared when it comes to making various decisions about retirement, in comparison to their peers who do not seek professional advice. The survey* — commissioned by Voya Financial— addressed several topics including budgeting for income and living expenses, particularly housing and healthcare; having a sound investment strategy leading up to retirement; and managing lifestyle changes.
Estimating income and expenses
The sooner you start budgeting, the better the potential outcome will be in your retirement years. Pre-retirees should consider estimating income and expenses as long as 10 years before retirement, or around age 55. Voya’s research showed that individuals without an advisor are postponing the budgeting process, sometimes until the same year they retire. But delaying the budgeting process makes it very difficult to course correct if needed, and adjust current spending to reach future goals. One major benefit of having a financial advisor is their ability to help you create a preliminary budget today, so you are prepared for daily spending decisions in retirement.
Voya’s research also showed that 94 percent of individuals working with a financial advisor feel at least somewhat prepared when it comes to making decisions about estimating their monthly income in retirement, and 80 percent in this group believe they are at least somewhat prepared when it comes to estimating health care costs.
Regularly Re-evaluating Investments
Retirement planning should also include steps to make sure your assets are protected against potential economic downturns. You may also want to evaluate strategies to “cash out” your retirement accounts in a way that avoids financial penalties from withdrawing too early or too late. Voya’s study showed a significant gap between those who get professional financial advice and those who don’t, specifically in regard to investment and retirement income strategies. 76 percent of individuals working with an advisor plan to make adjustments to their investments leading up to retirement. In comparison, only 35 percent of individuals who don’t receive input from an advisor plan to do this.
Managing Lifestyle Changes
Americans are, understandably, focused on financial goals for retirement, but there are many social and emotional aspects of the transition that need adequate attention. One example is how you plan to fill the 8+ hours of your day that you previously spent at work. According to Voya’s survey, 83 percent of individuals with an advisor have thought about how they will fill their time in retirement, while only 56 percent of those without an advisor have considered this shift in their lifestyle.
So what are the key takeaways? First, take a holistic view of your future retirement including income, investments, healthcare and lifestyle. Second, start planning early — as soon as 10 years before you plan to retire. And last but not least, consider seeking out advice from a financial advisor to help you navigate the many decisions you will need to make so you can enjoy a financially secure retirement.  
* Survey results are based on findings from an online CARAVAN® survey commissioned by  Voya Financial and conducted by Engine (formerly ORC International) of 1,004 adults in the U.S. ages 18 and older. Responses were collected between Aug. 20 22, 2018.
Gabriel Fiest is a financial advisor with Voya Financial Advisors, serving businesses and individuals with financial planning, investment options and wealth protection, as United Security Agency based in Bridgeport, WV.  Gabriel Fiest can be reached at 304-848-2645 or
Gabriel Fiest is an Investment adviser representative and registered representative of and offers securities and investment advisory services through Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (member SIPC)
United Security Agency is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors.

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