For as complex as retirement planning can sometimes be, it ultimately boils down to a simple question: How will you continue to pay for your everyday expenses once you leave the workforce and start enjoying your golden years? Even after you step away from your career, you’ll still have costs associated with food, travel, housing, healthcare, and beyond. This is to say nothing of estate and legacy planning. Shrewd retirement planning encompasses all of this, and ensures there are income sources available for you to live a safe and comfortable life.

As you think about your own retirement, it may be worth considering the four basic sources of that retirement income. Your own retirement plan may include all four of them, or perhaps just a couple of them, allocated in differing degrees. That’s something to discuss with your financial advisor. For today, simply consider the available options:

Social Security. While there is always a lot of discussion and speculation about the real future of Social Security, the fact remains that an overwhelming majority of retirees receive Social Security payments, and some actually depend on those payments. In fact, among Americans aged 65 and older, most receive about half of their total income from Social Security. As you consider Social Security, talk with your advisor about the age at which you should plan to take distributions from it, as waiting until you are 70 will ultimately increase the amount of your monthly checks.

Retirement savings vehicles. There are many forms of retirement assets, but for most investors assets will be contained either in a Roth or a Traditional IRA. Speak with your advisor about which one is best for your needs, and also about how you can balance regular payment distributions with the need to keep money in your account to grow it further and further.

Retirement benefits. Not all investors have employer-sponsored 401(k)s, but if you do, it’s worth talking with your advisor about whether or not you should take advantage of it, or else roll your 401(k) investment into an IRA.

Continued work. Just because you retire doesn’t mean you cannot continue working on a part-time basis, supplementing your savings with some continued income—but will this impact your eligibility to receive Social Security checks or IRA distributions? That’s a great question for your advisor.

What’s important is understanding not just the income streams available to you, but the ways in which they intersect with one another. Speak more about these different options by contacting a Stonepath Wealth Management advisor today.