How To Replace Your Monthly Paycheck In Retirement

As much as you’ve planned and saved for retirement, giving up that regular paycheck can be scary. Terrifying, even. The good news is, you can set up a steady stream of income that gives you the security you’ll miss. There are a few good strategies that can help you create a retirement paycheck.

Stephanie Faris
Published July 26th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Leaving a regular paycheck behind can be unsettling, but there are strategies to create a retirement paycheck to replace your previous income.
  • You can use annuities or various investing techniques to create a retirement paycheck to supplement your Social Security check.
  • Retirees often need to monitor their portfolios and rebalance things to make sure their assets are still performing the way they want.

As much as you’ve planned and saved for retirement, giving up that regular paycheck can be scary. Terrifying, even. You’ve probably gotten used to having money drop into your checking account every couple of weeks or monthly, and that’s something that will vanish when you’re no longer working.

The good news is, you can set up a steady stream of income that gives you the security you’ll miss. There are a few good strategies that can help you create a retirement paycheck.

Top Retirement Paycheck Strategies

There’s no right or wrong way to create a retirement paycheck. Here are some approaches to consider as you’re deciding the best approach for you.

Single Premium Immediate Annuity

The concept of an annuity is fairly simple. You hand money over to an insurer with the understanding that you’ll get that money back in fixed payments.

But there’s plenty of wiggle room as to how and when you’re paid. You can typically choose for it to start paying immediately or to delay it for a period and then start paying. You can also sometimes choose between a fixed amount or an amount that gradually increases over a specific timeframe.

An annuity is a great way to generate a retirement paycheck. It’s important to consult a financial advisor before selecting an annuity to make sure it’s the right one for you.

Interest & Dividend Investing

There are certain investments that can pay steady dividends in retirement. The trick is to find those assets.

Investing in bonds is a low-risk way to create reliable income in retirement. Dividends can be low-risk, as well, but keep in mind that during economic downturns, payouts on dividends can tighten, leaving you with reduced income.

Total Return Investing

If you’re a skilled investor, this approach could be a great way to generate income. With a total return approach, you first set up a diversified portfolio that is well balanced with the rest of your portfolio. This, as a result, helps give you a reliable resource you can tap into regularly for a paycheck, no matter what the markets are doing. If the economy takes a downturn, you can rely on the bonds you have in the portfolio, then switch back to stocks when your stocks start earning again.

Managed Payout Funds

If you’re a retiree, a managed payout fund is built to your unique needs. Managed payout funds are a type of mutual fund that is built to generate steady income. Unlike an annuity, though, there’s no guarantee of a set income each month. Managed payout funds are also subject to income tax, so you’ll need to set some money aside to pay taxes on the funds each year.

The Bucket Strategy

You don’t need an insurance company or dedicated stock portfolio to issue you a steady income. You can create a retirement paycheck yourself. One way is through the bucket strategy.

With the bucket strategy, you divide your money into buckets. You can organize this as you see fit, but typically retirees will put money they intend to spend soon in one bucket, keeping that money in accessible, low-interest accounts. The second bucket is for money you’ll spend two to 10 years from now, and this goes in investment vehicles like CDs and bonds. For money you won’t access for a decade or longer, there’s the third bucket, and those funds should stay in dividend-earning assets.

With the bucket strategy, you always have those later buckets to dip into in an emergency. Then you can set a monthly income, building in some extra for emergency, without worrying about tapping out your savings.

Final Thoughts

The best way to ensure you’ll have money in retirement is to set a budget and stick to it. A certified financial planner can sit down with you and help you create a paycheck that will ensure your savings lasts throughout retirement.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a writer for a credit card processing service and has written about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on Money Under 30, The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, E-commerce Insiders, and GoBankingRates.

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