GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – If the 4th of July got you thinking a lot about independence, that can also carry over to your finances.

Justin Halverson of Great Waters Financial stopped by the KARE 11 News at 4 to talk about tips to achieve financial independence.

Halverson has insight on five of the most commonly overlooked expenses in retirement and how to plan ahead to combat them.

Sequence of Risk

Market volatility can dramatically impact the longevity of one’s retirement assets. Pulling money out of savings and investments when the market is down will deplete assets at a much faster rate. As you approach retirement be sure to evaluate your risk exposure and adjust your investments accordingly.


The out-of-pocket medical expenses such as insurance premiums, co-pays and prescription drugs can add up to more than $200,000 per couple in retirement with traditional Medicare insurance. This does NOT include long-term care, which statistically one out of two adults will require in retirement. Don’t underestimate the cost of healthcare in retirement. Plan ahead by considering long-term care insurance. If you qualify, you may also want to consider opening a heath savings account.


The cost of living will continue to increase in retirement. Planning ahead for an increase in daily living expenses, a new car, home repairs and even leisure activities is crucial to maintaining financial independence in retirement. Simply savings cash won’t help you stay ahead of inflation. To stay ahead of inflation you may want to consider investments such as annuities or bonds. You may also have to be realistic about adjusting your spending habits in retirement. If you don’t want to sacrifice your quality of life, then you’ll need to find ways to bring in more income before you retire.


Rarely does the cost of taxes goes down. Even though your tax bracket may be lower in retirement, it doesn’t mean that the rates will stay that way forever, or that your circumstance will not change as you age. Tax planning should be a year-round practice so work with a qualified professional to review your entire financial house and see where you can implement tax-advantageous strategies such as charitable giving.


Retirement could be 30+ years, and even without the other four obstacles above, outliving ones assets can be a real possibility if longevity is not planned for well in advance. There are many ways to offset longevity, including working longer rather than retiring early. Planning ahead can help you find ways to make your money stretch over 30 or 40 years.