Happy Senior Couple Sitting on a Sail BoatThroughout your career, your thoughts regarding retirement have probably focused on establishing and meeting a savings goal. But as retirement nears, it’s time to start thinking about the other side of the coin. How will you spend your money in retirement? Once you begin taking distributions from your retirement fund, you need to make sure that money will last for the rest of your life.

The following strategies can help you spend your retirement savings wisely.

Schedule regular meetings with your financial professional. Retirement isn’t a “set it and forget about it” proposition. Along the way, you may need to readjust your goals, spending, and budgeting strategies. Keep in touch with your financial professional, and put that expert guidance to use so that your spending habits match up with your financial capabilities and life expectancy.

Establish a system. Analyze your budget for living expenses, and designate a portion of your guaranteed income to that purpose. Keep in mind, of course, that your budget may change depending upon life circumstances. Set aside some money in a liquid fund for emergencies. Once you’ve taken care of these two things, money left over can go to luxury purchases or be re-invested for future income. Make sure your plan is reasonable enough so that you can stick to it.

Treat yourself. When you first retire, you may be tempted to treat yourself to that splurge purchase you’ve always wanted. Go ahead! You’ve certainly earned it. Just be sure to incorporate that splurge purchase into your overall plan for retirement, so that you don’t deplete your resources too early in the game.

Account for health care. Your health care costs may rise considerably in just a few years, so don’t assume that today’s budget for medications and procedures will work out in five or ten years. Make sure you have purchased the appropriate insurance, such as long-term care insurance, and remember to save more for out-of-pocket medical expenses as you grow older.