The first step to a successful retirement is planning. You’ve worked hard your entire life and now it is time to reap the fruits of your labor. Life is about more than just sitting at home and watching TV for the rest of your life. Retirement isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of new opportunities.
To come up with a plan, you need to envision what your retirement will ideally look like. From there, you can establish goals and actions that need to be taken. Before you can run into your dream retirement, you need to walk through the following questions:
1. When Would My Ideal Retirement Begin?
- Obviously, this isn’t set in stone, but this does help map out a timeline and get a better visual on the ideal numbers needed.
2. Do I Want to Continue to Work in My Current Profession?
- Many professionals will stay engaged in their field but as a consultant or part-time employee.
3. What Do I Want to Do With My/Our Time?
- Do you have any hobbies? Are you planning to travel? Are you going to be spending more time with your grandkids?
4. What Retirement Income Would Be Required to Maintain That Lifestyle?
- What are my streams of retirement income? Are you going to continue to work part-time? Additional/constant income gives you more options during retirement and certainly adds a level of comfortability and reassurance.
Once we have a solid grasp of your current expenses and your retirement budget, we can begin to evaluate your retirement income streams:
1. How Much of My Lifestyle Budget Is Provided by Social Security and My Pension?
- When do you plan on taking your social security? Tip: Taking your Social Security at 62 isn’t always the best choice. Interested in learning more about Social Security? Download our FREE guide to Social Security & Medicare Benefits.
2. Do I Have Any of the Following Retirement Income Streams?
- Retirement Account
- Home Equity
- Rental Property and Royalties
Learn more about the top sources of retirement income.
3. Do I Need to Consider Continuing to Work in My Field or Take on a Job in Retirement?
- This is becoming increasingly popular and that’s fine. Some people like the insurance of the income and many want to stay active.
4. What Assets Have I Accumulated to Fund My Lifestyle Through Retirement?
- Evaluate your investments and continue to invest (conservatively).
5. How Much of My Lifestyle Is Left to Fund Through My Own Savings Efforts?
- After combining all of your income streams and other assets, how much do you need to rely on your current savings account? Do you have enough?
Once all the questions above are answered, a more clear vision of retirement comes into focus.
For some, expectations will need to be tempered because reality settles in. Maybe you won’t be ready to retire as soon as you thought – it’s okay!
For others, maybe you’re fairly confident you’re still on track and you just need some fine tuning and an organized plan. Either way, we’re here to help.