If you want to retire someday, you’re going to need a plan to get there. Your plan will include how much money you need to save each month, where you make investments, and where you’re going to live. Meeting with retirement plan consultants is the best way to ensure that you’re financially secure and have the retirement you want. Before you meet with your retirement consultant, you need to be prepared. Our team at Help You Retire has compiled a list of a few things you need to do before your first meeting with a consultant.
Write down financial goals
It’s difficult to achieve your dreams if you don’t know what they are. Clearly write out your financial goals, so you know where you want to be in 10, 20, or 30 years from now. Your retirement plan consultant can help you identify which goals are realistic for your financial situation, goals you can easily achieve, and goals that will stretch your financial stability. Writing them down always makes it easier to visualize what you want to help you work toward it.
Outline income vs. expenses
A big part of planning for your future is understanding your current situation with income and expenses. Your retirement consultant will assist you with outlining your budget and finding areas where you can trim the fat a little bit or treat yourself here and there. While your finances might change between now and the time you retire, you can project where you’ll be by looking at where you’re at now. Ultimately, your budget will be what play a role in establishing what’s realistic for your future in retirement.
Consider your family’s needs
Planning for retirement is important. However, it’s also to consider your current needs. If you have a family, there are certain financial obligations you need to meet first. Your retirement plan consultant will assist you with putting together your budget in a way that will meet your current needs while meeting your future goals for retirement.
Gather financial documents
A great way to plan your finances is by looking at what exactly you have available. Gather your financial documents to bring to your consultant so you can create a clear picture of the state of your finances. Documents like your mortgage, 401(k) account, tax returns, pay stubs, and your budget will help to create an overall picture of what you’re working with for finances. You can clearly see where your finances stand and forecast where they’ll be when you approach retirement, so you know what you need to do between now and then.
Understand your financial strengths and weaknesses
Not everybody has the same strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money. For instance, you might love spending money eating takeout for dinner a few times a week, while others prefer to spend money on accessories for their vehicle. For some, saving is easy, but they’re not willing to invest. Expensive hobbies and poor money habits can make it difficult to save money, which means you don’t have money in the future. Your consultant will assist you with identifying habits that are counterproductive to your goals of saving for retirement and finding ways you can turn your weaknesses into strengths.
Write out some questions
One of the most important things you can do when meeting with your financial consultant is come prepared with some questions. Write down questions as they come to you, so you don’t forget, then bring them with you to your meeting. You can ask anything from getting to know your consultant and their approach to saving for retirement to getting honest opinions about your current financial state.
Contact a retirement plan consultant
At Help You Retire, we recommend you get in touch with a team of retirement plan consultants. Schedule a meeting with a consultant at OWLFI today to get started planning for your retirement.