What are 5 ways you can prepare for retirement? Why can actively managed funds be risky in retirement? How does a divorce impact your social security? In the last two episodes of 2023, I plan on answering some amazing listener questions, including these. Listen to this episode of Retirement Made Easy for some rapid-fire answers to your questions. 

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • [2:40] Question #1: 5 Ways to prepare for retirement
  • [7:02] Question #2: The risks of actively managed funds 
  • [10:56] Question #3: Customer service should be top priority
  • [12:44] Question #4: How does a divorce impact social security?
  • [15:41] Question #5: Should I work with Fisher Investments?
  • [16:13] Question #6: How to pay for long-term care

5 Ways to prepare for retirement

Contact your retirement planner to fine-tune and update your retirement plan, starting with some of these things: 

  1. Understand how your health insurance will change: Is a spouse still working? Can you go on Medicare? Will you need to utilize COBRA? 
  2. Will you get paid out for your remaining vacation and sick days? Different employers have different policies.
  3. What is your income game plan for 2024? Does your income include social security or a pension? Have you filled out paperwork correctly? Will you draw income from your retirement accounts? When will you make withdrawals?
  4. What tax withholding will you have? Will you pay quarterly estimates? Or have them withheld from your income? 
  5. What are your monthly expenses in retirement? What is fixed versus discretionary? Budget carefully going into retirement.

What else might change when you retire? I could add a lot more to this list. You need to answer these questions carefully to adequately fund your retirement. 

The risks of actively managed funds in brokerage accounts

When people retire with actively managed mutual funds in a non-retirement account, you don’t have control. The portfolio manager may make choices that force you to take capital gains. There will be instances where you will have to pay unnecessary taxes. Your Medicare Part B premium may also increase significantly as your “income” increases. Owning an actively managed mutual fund with high turnover is less tax efficient.

Should you work with an unresponsive advisor? 

This listener’s father worked with an advisor for over 20 years and highly recommended him. But he’s sent him two emails and two voicemails and hasn’t gotten a response. What’s the best way to get in touch with someone?

Every advisor is different. But in my opinion, the lack of response seems unprofessional. I try to connect with people within 24 hours of receiving a message. If I can’t, I try to have a team member respond. Perhaps this person isn’t accepting new clients. You could also ask your dad to reach out and schedule a meeting together. But personally, I’d move on.

How does a divorce impact social security?

Danny was married to his ex-wife for 15 years. When he starts drawing money from his pension, she is going to get 50% of it. If she files for a spousal social security benefit, will it hurt his benefit? She received half of his 401k in the divorce and he’s still trying to catch up.

Because you were married for over 10 years—and as long as your ex didn’t remarry before their 60th birthday—they are entitled to spousal and survivor benefits. This equates to up to 50% of your benefit at full retirement age. So if your benefit is $3,000, they can claim up to $1,500. Luckily, it will not reduce your benefit whatsoever. 

What are my thoughts on long-term care? How do you pay for it? Listen to hear my thoughts!


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