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Your Bank > Education and Advice > CNB University

Determining Your Retirement Income Needs

N Bowes 2014
Nancy E. Bowes, CFP®
Vice President, Wealth Advisor
(585) 419-0670 x50673

The Prelude

Let’s assume you are happily married, your adult children are self-sufficient, and you and your spouse are healthy. Congratulations, you are lucky! Now you both are in your late 50s, and it’s hard to believe how quickly you got here, but it’s time to create the vision for your “golden years”. 

What will retirement look like? Try putting it in writing and compare notes with your spouse. Your results could be very enlightening. Do you sell the house, downsize, and rent? Find a fun job? Finally buy the expensive RV to take those cross-country expeditions you never had time for? Can you afford to live off your Social Security and savings? How do you know?

Do Your Homework

Your first step is to review your sources of retirement income and estimate your fixed costs and your “wants”. There are helpful tools available to retirees. For instance, if you want to buy that smaller (albeit not less expensive) house, consider using a reverse mortgage to purchase the home as a way to preserve cash flow. 

Medicare is another benefit you’ll receive when you reach 65. Be proactive in choosing your health plan. Medicare plans change every year without notice. If you aren’t paying attention, you may have coverage that isn’t working for you. Did you know most Medicare health plans have preferred providers resulting in lower prices for prescription drugs? It’s not widely publicized, so you need to ask. 

It’s common to have little or no income right after you retire and before you start your Social Security. Take advantage of your lower tax bracket by converting as much of your 401k/IRA to Roth as you can afford. If you take that part time job, you can also make additional contributions to your Roth while converting in the same year. Roth conversions will lower your required minimum distributions down the road and will build up your after tax savings.

The Transition to Retirement

It’s natural to feel you don’t have sufficient resources to live on for the rest of your life. You can blindly keep on working and saving. Don’t lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish. Saving the most shouldn’t be your end game. You don’t want to reach the end having never played the game. If you don’t plan on how to spend your time in retirement, you can waste a lot of it doing nothing. Be thoughtful to engage in those things that truly bring value and enjoyment to your life. Find quality time for the people you love. Most of us get one shot at retiring – make it the best you can. 

If you don’t know where to start, seek out a financial planner to help you think it through.

How CNB Can Help

If you would like to discuss in more detail, I am available to answer any questions you may have. Please call me today at (585) 419-0670, ext. 50673 or

This material is provided for general information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future investment results. Any investment involves potential risk, including potential loss of capital. Before making any investment decision, please consult your legal, tax and financial advisors. Non-deposit investment products are not bank deposits and are not insured or guaranteed by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust or its affiliates, or any federal or state government or agency and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested.

Tax information presented is not to be considered as tax advice and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your personal tax advisor, attorney, or accountant for advice on these matters.