Retirement can invoke a mix of conflicting emotions from anticipation to fear, excitement to anxiety. It’s one of the biggest life changes we experience in our adult lives. Most of us anticipate and save for it for decades. But, going from receiving a paycheck for most of your adult life to living off the wealth you have amassed is no doubt an unnerving transition.
Have I saved enough to live off of? How will I spend my time? Will I have a successful retirement?
How can you prepare for a personally and financially successful retirement?
Retirement success will look different from one person to the next, just like our ideas of workplace or lifelong success do. For some, retirement success may be starting an encore career. For others, it might mean helping out with grandchildren and spending time with loved ones. But no matter what your retirement vision looks like, it won’t be possible without the financial sustainability to make it happen. The key to retirement success is aligning your vision with your need and then building a financial plan to make that happen.
Get clear on your vision.
If retirement success aligns your personal plans with the ability to fund them, the logical first step is to gain clarity about how you will spend your time in retirement. Brainstorm the different things you plan to do each day, each week, each month, and each year.
If you enjoy golfing, how often will you plan to tee off? Will you want to buy a membership to a certain course or join a country club? If you want to travel to visit family, how often do you plan to go and how much will it cost?
The clearer you can get about what your day-to-day life will look like in retirement, the more prepared you will be to pay for it while still reaching your other financial goals.
Get clear on your needs.
One of the most daunting but important pieces of the retirement planning puzzle is trying to decide how much you will need to live off of annually. A common rule of thumb states that you should plan to replace 60-70% of your pre-retirement income. Of course, this is a fine place to start, but may not be the right amount for your retirement vision.
To get a clearer view, take a look at your current expenses and consider how they may change. Healthcare, work related expenses, paying off your mortgage, or no longer making retirement contributions will affect your need. Now add in expenses for the travel or hobbies you put in your vision plan. If you want to travel or purchase a second home, your retirement budget may be higher than 60-70% of your pre-retirement income. In reverse, you may find that your projected retirement lifestyle may allow you to live off less than the guideline.
Next Steps: Putting a Plan in Place
The next step is to merge your vision with your resources. This takes careful consideration and planning to get right. You’ll need to decide which investment vehicles will best suit your wealth building and tax management needs both now and in retirement. You’ll need to build the framework from which you will create a predictable income after you stop receiving a traditional paycheck.
We specialize in helping individuals and families clarify their retirement goals and craft a flexible retirement plan that we’ll monitor and adjust along the way. When your life changes, we will be there to help keep your retirement plans on track.
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