It’s a term most commonly reserved for football, but the red zone can also be applied to that crucial time right before retirement.
When you think about what’s most important in the red zone, the connection is pretty obvious between football and financial planning. Getting those final yards and maximizing your production is the difference between winning and losing. It takes the perfect combination of strategy and execution to capitalize on the opportunity.
The final decade before you reach retirement is often referred to as the financial red zone, and it’s arguably the most important time for planning. Not only is it typically your highest-earning years of work, but the window for getting your retirement in order is closing quickly. With that in mind, we wanted to take a little time to lay out some of the keys to converting in the financial red zone.
First up is planning. If you haven’t taken the time to sit down with a professional and get your affairs in order, it’s time to make it a priority. The clock is ticking and the sooner you are able to build your plan and begin executing your strategy, the better your chances will be for success in retirement.
As you’re building that plan, you should also be thinking about how you want to spend retirement. What lifestyle do you want to live? What will it take to support that lifestyle? Getting a clear picture of that now is vital for knowing what kind of expenses you’ll have and determining what income you’ll need to support all your goals.
With a shorter time horizon in place for your investments, now you should really be evaluating the risk in your portfolio as well. Are you still investing like you did in your 20s and 30s? Taking on some risk is okay but keep in mind that you have less time to recover from mistakes. By limiting your risk, you also minimize your exposure to large losses. Protecting what you have is just as important as adding to your nest egg, and that should be a priority at this stage of life.
These are just some of the things to be thinking about as you enter the financial red zone of your career. If you are diligent with your planning during this period, it’ll set you up for a long and happy retirement.