Retirement may be a ways off for many of our readers, but it’s never too early to begin planning. However, we know how daunting it may feel to begin planning for your retirement. After all, there are many financial retirement services out there, but not all of them offer the same advice. In fact, some retirement guidance may not be applicable to your current situation and therefore not be the best first steps for a comfortable future.
Help You Retire is here to offer you proven advice to successfully plan your retirement. While each retirement plan is different, we’ve found that individuals and partners alike can benefit from taking similar steps in the beginning to prepare for their financial future. Follow this retirement planning checklist to get started on your secure financial future today.
Your Retirement Planning Checklist
Get a Clear Timeframe
Whether you’re just now considering retirement or you’ve been putting off planning for some time, it’s essential you take your current age and anticipated age of retirement into account when you begin planning. In short, the longer you plan, the stronger your portfolio is to withstand any shocks or setbacks.
More risk-prone investments, like stocks, have a better chance of withstanding shocks than, say, bonds. This gives you more flexibility and potential return on your investment. This is especially important if your retirement plan includes multiple, life-changing events, like paying for a child’s education and your own relocation.
In short, start planning and saving early, and reach out to trusted retirement financial services to get moving.
Pinpoint Your Spending Needs
While many future retirees assume that their spending habits will decrease when they retire, this is usually not the case—and can set you up for a challenging retirement. You should plan for a retirement where you spend exactly how you do now. If you spend less, you’re still in good shape. If you spend on par with current amounts, you won’t find yourself frustrated and in a challenging spot.
This is especially important if you plan to relocate to a more expensive area. This isn’t always the case, but cost of living rises each year and, as you travel or invest in new hobbies when you retire, having the savings to support your new lifestyle is key.
Evaluate Risk Tolerance Vs. Investment Goals
Similar to our first point, balancing risk and return is essential for supporting your new lifestyle. It’s important to determine just how much risk you’re willing to take on to reach your goals. While you can figure this out yourself, it’s often best to consult a retirement planning specialist to help guide you through this element of your retirement plan.
Don’t Neglect Estate Planning
Estate planning is often overlooked when it comes to retirement planning, especially by younger individuals and couples alike. However, it’s an important aspect, especially for those with children or those planning to have children. Life insurance is also an essential component of the retirement process and, when coupled with estate planning, ensures your assets are left with those identified in your plan. By doing so, you are making sure that they do not experience undue hardships when you pass.
Another key component is tax planning, especially for those who wish to leave assets to either family members or charities. Tax requirements for each should be discussed with your retirement or financial planning advisor, as they should be compared.
Make the Most of Your Retirement
This checklist is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning for a long, comfortable retirement. We know you likely have many questions, and we’re happy to help you understand your options when it comes to planning for retirement. Reach out to us today to learn more and to start planning for the retirement you deserve.