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Create a retirement budget

Now that you're not counting on a paycheck, it's even more important to balance income and expenses as a primary focus of wealth planning.

Manage your cash flow

Pay close attention to your cash flow in retirement: Budget carefully, monitor income and expenses frequently, and take action whenever you see significant changes in income and expenses.
There are two basic tools to monitor and manage cash flow:
  1. A monthly budget providing itemized breakdowns of income and expenses
  2. An up-to-date net-worth statement
Review your budget monthly: Maintain itemized breakdowns of your income and expenses.
Review your net worth statement periodically: Get a snapshot of your assets, debt and cash reserves.
Read the news: Keep tabs on interest rates, market performance and inflation.
Use the Net Worth Estimator™
Factor in the added
costs of longevity in
your retirement budget.
Life expectancy
is projected to
rise 3.1 years
by 2050.Footnote 1

Consolidate your accounts

Consolidating your retirement assets into one easy-to-manage account is simple with a Rollover IRA. Consider all of your choices and learn if a Rollover IRA may be right for you.Footnote 2

Keep things simple

Use a simple system for documentation and filing so you don't spend a lot of time keeping your records up to date, and so you can find financial documentation when you need it.
Wealth management software could help you save time reviewing your monthly budget. You enter your expenses into simulated check registers, where you assign each expense to a budget category. You can create monthly or annual budget reports that automatically update each time you log in money spent or received.
Wealth management
software could help you
save time reviewing
your monthly
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Footnote 1 Global Financial Stability Report, Chapter 4: The Financial Impact of Longevity Risk." International Monetary Fund (2012, latest available data).

Footnote 2 You have choices for what to do with your employer sponsored retirement plan. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over an employer sponsored plan from a prior employer to an employer sponsored plan at your new employer, take a distribution or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment and provide different protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. Visit or call a Merrill rollover specialist at 888.637.3343 for additional information about your choices.