There’s a lot of talk about retirement planning, what to do, what not to do, and maybe not so much on the why and how.
You’ve probably asked yourself:
- “Do I retire at 62, 67, or 72?”
- “Do I save 10% of today’s income, 15%, 20% or more?”
- “How much will social security contribute to my retirement income?”
The answers to the above questions are different for everyone. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating a successful retirement plan. Despite the many planning calculators and tools you can, you still need to take time evaluating what you want in retirement, how you plan to get there, and much more. In creating your retirement plan, be honest with yourself, and play to win.
There are many personal factors that affect the numbers you use. For instance, the age you project for retirement will depend on a number of factors, such as health, career goals, and family consideration.
Another thing to take into consideration is the amount of income you’ll need in retirement. If you aren’t working every day, expenses such as auto, clothing, and food will most likely change. What you spending today might not reflect your spending priorities in retirement. Approach your retirement strategy open to the many factors that will influence a change or adjustment throughout this period of saving and prioritization.
And don’t forget social security income. How much can you expect and how do you include this amount in your retirement income projections? The longer you wait to claim social security can increase your income, but by how much and what will you forego in your personal life as a result of potentially postponing retirement? Can you retire and hold off on claiming social security? The answer to this question depends on your personal financial situation – not a number that comes from a pre-existing formula.
Establishing realistic, achievable goals is an important part of developing a successful retirement income plan. It’s most definitely a numbers game, but the numbers in play revolve around your expectations, abilities, and priorities. It’s a game you can win when you have the cards stacked in your favor, and to do so you must not only set goals, you must make saving a priority as well as monitor your progress.
And winning looks different to each person. For some, it’s being able to retire at a young age, for others it’s retiring from work to be able to afford lifelong hobbies, there’s many takes on retirement income planning, your biggest priority is to establish a game plan that works best for you!