Help Maximize Your Retirement: 8 Strategies to Help Secure a Financially Sound Future

Ensuring a financially stable retirement can require careful planning and informed decision-making. Here are 8 essential strategies to help provide clarity and confidence in navigating complex financial topics.

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Retirement may be quickly approaching for baby boomers. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 20% of the U.S. population will reach age 65 by 2030, ensuring that a financially stable retirement may be a top priority. However, it can require careful planning and informed decision-making. For those nearing retirement, understanding essential strategies can help provide clarity and confidence in navigating complex financial topics. Here’s what you need to know.

Assess your current financial situation

A cornerstone of creating a solid retirement plan is assessing your current financial situation.

According to the Athene Retirement Planning poll fielded by Kiplinger, 42% of pre-retirees plan to pay down debts such as mortgages, credit cards, and other high-interest debt during retirement.

It’s a common approach and can help you create financial security in retirement.

When you understand your financial strengths and areas that need improvement, you can focus on building a financially sound future and preserving your hard-earned assets. 

Set clear retirement goals

Defining your retirement goals can help shape your financial strategies. Consider the lifestyle you want, including potential travel, hobbies, or charitable endeavors. Keep in mind that retirement doesn’t always go as planned. Job loss and health issues caused 16% of respondents to retire early, and 53% say inflation is higher than expected. Set goals but be flexible. You may, for example, have to trim your travel budget if you experience a job loss, or you might decide to work — and save — a little longer if your nest egg needs a boost. 

Diversify your investment portfolio

A diversified investment portfolio can be a fundamental strategy to help manage risk and maximize returns. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you may want to invest in various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and annuities. 

Annuities can offer a guaranteed income stream in retirement, helping provide an added layer of financial security. Depending on your individual needs and risk tolerance, considering an annuity as part of your diversified portfolio might be a smart choice.

Brokerage accounts are a popular tool for diversification too. They can give you an advantage by offering a wide range of investment options beyond what might be available in a typical retirement account. You might invest in individual stocks, bonds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Consider meeting with a financial professional. They can help you design a personalized investment portfolio that aligns with your risk tolerance and retirement savings goals. 

Consider delaying Social Security benefits

While you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits as early as 62, delaying your claim until full retirement age or waiting as long as 70 could help maximize your monthly benefits. You may not be able to wait — it depends on your personal and financial situation.  Yet it appears that pre-retirees are seeing the benefits of delaying Social Security. Our poll found that only 11% of pre-retirees expect to claim Social Security at 62, while 30% plan to wait until 70.  

Plan for healthcare costs

Healthcare expenses tend to increase with age, making it a good idea to include them in your retirement plan. Medicare will cover some medical costs, but not everything. Our poll, for example, found that 13% of people are counting on Medicare to pay for long-term care, although the program doesn’t cover it. You might want to consider purchasing a supplemental health insurance plan or health savings account (HSA) to help bridge the gap. 

Minimize tax liabilities in retirement

Taxes are an inevitable part of life, even during retirement. Even though tax-saving opportunities can help you keep more of your hard-earned money once you retire, 38% of respondents have no plan to minimize taxes in retirement. It’s complex, but a financial or tax professional could help you reduce your tax burden. 

Pre-retirees should consider exploring tax-saving opportunities like Roth conversions, strategic asset placement, and tax-efficient withdrawal sequencing. It can help you reduce your tax liabilities and retain more of your money in retirement.

See 3 strategies to help maximize tax efficiency in your retirement.

Ensure a legacy with estate planning

Estate planning can ensure that your property and belongings are distributed according to your wishes, helping to provide a lasting legacy for your loved ones. It’s an important aspect of financial planning, but not all respondents have taken the necessary steps. While 56% have a will, a notable 24% have done no estate planning according to the Athene poll. 

To help ensure your assets get into the right hands and minimize potential conflicts among heirs, you might consider looking into creating an estate plan. You may need a will, beneficiary designation, medical power of attorney, and discussions about caregiving and long-term care plans.

Continuously review and adjust your plan

Life is unpredictable, and your retirement plan should be adaptable to changing circumstances. Regularly review your financial situation with your financial professional and make necessary adjustments to help ensure your future remains on track.

Working with a financial professional can provide you with the guidance and expertise needed to navigate the complexities of retirement planning successfully. Take charge of your financial future by reaching out to a financial professional today and set yourself on a path toward a fulfilling and financially secure retirement.

Also see “5 Ways to Help Fill Costly Holes in Your Retirement Plan.


Annuity contracts and group annuity contracts are issued by Athene Annuity and Life Company (61689), West Des Moines, IA, and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company (61492), Wilmington, Delaware, in all states (except New York), and in D.C. and PR. Annuity contracts and group annuity contracts are issued by Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York (68039), Pearl River, NY, in New York state. Payment obligations and guarantees are subject to the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Insurance products may not be available in all states. These companies are not undertaking to provide investment advice for any individual or in any individual situation, and therefore nothing in this should be read as investment advice. This material should not be interpreted as a recommendation by Athene Annuity and Life Company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York, or Athene Securities, LLC. Please reach out to your financial professional if you have any questions about insurance products and their features.

The term “financial professional” is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business with compensation unrelated to sales. Financial professionals will be paid a commission on the sale of an annuity.


Not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any governmental agency.

This content was provided by Athene. Kiplinger is not affiliated with and does not endorse the company or products mentioned above.

Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP® & RICP®
CEO, Blue Ocean Global Wealth

Marguerita M. Cheng is the Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠ and a Retirement Income Certified Professional. She helps educate the public, policymakers and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning.