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Retirement Income Planning is a process, not a one-time event. There are actually three phases of retirement. Your retirement plan is not complete unless you plan for all 3 phases of retirement.


Retirement Income Planning is about dealing with all of the decisions you need to make prior to retirement as well as the ones in retirement. It's taking into account things like taxes, pensions, and cash flow and managing risks like health, longevity, and inflation.


3 Phases of retirement are Restart, Relax and Reflect. Each phase has distinct needs that must be addressed in order for you to be able to have choice in your future.

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members can help you move in the direction of your wants and needs.


Early retirement is also the best time to plan for the other two phases of retirement. There are ways to structure your finances to plan for the high price of long-term care. Whether it is using long term care insurance or simply having the funds set aside separately for that specific need, whatever your resources are, your Retirement Income Specialist can help create a strategy for managing that risk.


If you haven’t already done so, please make sure to get your will prepared and powers of attorney for both finances and health completed. A lawyer is a must for these documents.

It’s time to Restart, that is Early Retirement.
This is what we normally view as “being retired”. This is the time where you do all the things you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time. Your energy is good, your health is good and you finally get to enjoy being free! This is a time period that can last about 15 years. Your spending is at a moderate to high level relative to your pre-retirement income.


Early retirement is the best time to keep communication open with your family. Start having discussions about what is important to you so that when decisions need to be made later, your family



  • SPAN – up to 15 years
  • INCOME NEEDS – moderate to high
  • TOP EXPENSES – travel, hobbies & social

help, your income needs are usually relatively lower because your lifestyle expenses have reduced.


It is important in this phase to make sure your finances are set up in a way to simplify your estate. You want to make sure your financial structure is the best to minimize taxes and allow for your estate to do the things you want done. Also, be sure to keep communicating with your family members to make sure they know your preferences for care now or in the future. Make sure to have all your important documents in one place to easily access when needed.

Relax is what we call Middle Retirement. Life slows down a bit. This phase lasts about 20 years. Perhaps you are now spending more time with family and have done a lot of those things you had always wanted to do. It is a comfortable time period where you develop your own routines and spending often declines here.


Many people downsize during these years. In this phase, you very likely start needing more support. Whether it’s help around the house, medical care needs or simply a family member helping you out once in a while. You will likely encounter at least one of these during this phase. Even with the added



  • SPAN – about 20 years
  • INCOME NEEDS – low to moderate
  • TOP EXPENSES – home modifications & dental costs

people focus on investment risk and longevity risk. However, health cost risk is something to be very mindful of. It can impact your finances significantly. Health risk management is designed to protect income and assets and preserve dignity and lifestyle. You need to know, you will be ok financially no matter what happens. You will not be a burden on your family and your estate planning objectives will be solid.


You must always be comfortable with your financial decisions and know that your advisor is really listening to you. Buxton Financial provides a customized approach because needs are often different.

A time to Reflect occurs in Late Retirement. This lasts roughly 5 years but can vary. Spending during this phase may increase substantially. This is the phase where you often need much more support. You may need to look at bringing support into your home or look at options to move into a residence that suits your individual needs. Medical expenses can escalate quickly during this phase. It is usually difficult in this phase to get any of your important documents in place or make changes in your financial structure. Health often deteriorates so not much can be changed at this point. Plan ahead!  There are many risks to manage in retirement. Most



  • SPAN – approximately 5 years
  • INCOME NEEDS – high
  • TOP EXPENSES – care services, medical expenses & charities

Retirement Income Planning can provide simple solutions to complicated problems. Your retirement needs to be designed to allow you to have choices in your life. It is an exciting time period to plan for so you want to make sure you have choices along the way if your needs or wants change. It’s your money and your life. You can design it the way you wish. Health care risk can be managed, so you can live the life you want.

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