Thinking about your days after you leave the modern workforce and the relaxing life that retirement brings can be an exciting daydream. It can also however quickly become overwhelming and potentially stressful with all of the options, questions, and information out there telling you what to do and what not to do when it comes to retirement planning.

Before delving into the details and technicalities of your retirement needs, you should start off with 3 very basic, and easy steps. This can help get you started in the right direction, gain planning momentum, and make it easier for you to understand the bigger picture when it comes to your retirement, without you getting overwhelmed with all of the little details.

Define Your Financial & Retirement Goals

The first thing you should look into when starting to plan for your retirement is your overall financial and retirement goals. Knowing where you want to be in life financially, and what kind of retirement you want to enjoy can help get you started with planning the retirement that you have always dreamed of.

No one can answer the question of how you want to spend your days enjoying your retirement, and the question comes down to your individual goals and needs. With a clear picture of how you’d like to spend your days after leaving the workforce, you’ll be able to start planning to achieve whatever it is you want out of your retirement.  The more vivid the vision for your retirement, the more your excitement will help you invest the time to make that dream retirement a reality. What are you most excited about?  What goals or bucket list items are awaiting your graduation from the workforce?  Where do you want to Live? What hobbies are going to bring you fulfillment?

Assess Your Retirement Spending Habits

The next step is trying to understand what the dream retirement will cost and determining if we are on a path to be able to afford it. Taking the time to assess your spending habits both now and during retirement can help you plan a more accurate, and financially stable retirement.

Everyday Expenses

Consider what your everyday expenses are going to look like in the future. Do you plan on eating out more? Or perhaps you want to pick up a new hobby that costs money such as restoring a classic car?

Taking into consideration your everyday expenses can help you be more precise and accurate when planning for your retirement. Things such as bills, gas for your car, groceries, and other everyday expenses add up over time, so keep this in mind when planning for your retirement.  People often start with their current budget to get a baseline grasp of their current spending and then they create a second budget including any updates or changes they anticipate in retirement. 

What Kind of Lifestyle You Want

If you’re planning on spending your retirement traveling the world and seeing the sights, you’ll want to factor that into your monthly cash flow plan. Depending on what you want to do in your retirement, the lifestyle you want to have plays a critical role in determining whether you’re ready to retire. George Foreman famously said, “It’s not what age but what income you retire at that truly counts!”.

Planning For Emergencies

Unfortunately even during retirement emergencies can happen, and they may bring an unexpected cost with them. Whether it’s a hospital bill, or your car has broken down and you need emergency repairs, factoring in an emergency budget can help you be prepared if an emergency should happen during your retirement.  Make sure you are reviewing your portfolio to ensure that there are sufficient emergency funds to keep your long term goals on track even if there are minor hiccups and hurdles along the way.

Finding The Right Retirement Plan For You

Once you have a general understanding of how you’d like to spend your retirement and what kind of financial goals you have, you’ll then be able to look into designing a retirement plan that can help you best achieve those goals.

This is where things may start to get a little overwhelming with so many choices, options, and factors that go into planning for a successful retirement. But by simplifying your objectives and focusing on the big picture, you’ll be able to find a retirement plan that will help get you to where you want to be.

There is no “one plan to rule them all”, and it comes down to what works best for you not only in the future but in the present day as well. Whereas some retirement plans will work wonderfully for others and their goals, staying focused on what YOU want out of your retirement can help you find the best retirement plan that works for your individual needs and future goals.

Professional Retirement Planning With Walker Capital

At Walker Capital, we’re the go-to professionals when it comes to planning a successful retirement. The right team with the right tools to help you get the most out of your financial goals whether it’s tax planning, insurance planning, or retirement planning, we cover it all. Helping you find the best options that suit your individual needs so that you can take on your retirement with confidence, and stability.