Dear Dr. Don,
I just read your advice to a 48-year-old with just $6,000 in retirement savings and thought I'd ask your opinion about my situation. My wife and I are 60 and 58 years old, respectively. We have $1,050,000 in Roth individual retirement accounts, traditional IRAs and 401(k) plans. Neither of us has a pension. We also own three properties free and clear, one of which is a rental bringing in $950 a month. The three properties are valued at about $500,000 in today's market.
My wife is retiring in August. I will work up to four additional years. I plan to take Social Security at age 62 and she will get my spousal benefit. At 67, we will switch to her Social Security and I will take her benefits. Are we on the right track with all of this?
-- Jerry Justright
While I haven't reviewed your portfolio specifics, a million dollars in retirement accounts and a half-million dollars of real estate without debt sure sounds like you're in good financial shape overall.
As you make the transition from making contributions to taking distributions, make sure your portfolio meets retirement income needs for both of your lifetimes. From my follow-up, I understand you would like to have up to $4,500 monthly in retirement income.
I also understand after retirement and before Medicare, you'll buy health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. I'm concerned that you don't have long-term care policies. You don't want to put your financial standing at risk without having long-term care coverage.
Simply put, what you told me doesn't add up on the Social Security timing. Please do a little more homework to ensure you have the right timetables in mind. A little professional advice on that issue alone could be worth the peace of mind. My sense is you can afford to pay for it.