Writing Out Your Retirement Goals

Before you begin looking for a financial advisor to advise you on retirement investments, it helps to write out a list of retirement goals. The writing exercise forces you to think both concretely and abstractly about what kind of budget you will live on during your retirement. As an example of how this exercise can help you, this article provides a discussion of 3 thought-provoking questions for future retirees.

1. How much monthly income do you need to live on during retirement? This is a big question. You can start by thinking about the age you want to retire and how long you think you might live. For example, if you retire at 62 and live until 92, you have 30 years for which to save. If you retire at 70 and plan to live until your early eighties, you might only have 10 to 15 years for which to plan. You cannot predict the age you will die, but you can choose a ballpark number of years and calculate the necessary investments accordingly. Other considerations are how much you will need for living expenses. For example, you should know if your current mortgage will be paid off prior to retirement.

2. Will you be financing college education expenses in your retirement? This is a huge question because it depends on how old your children are. Some people also want to fund the college education of their grandchildren. To make this dream a reality, you have to carefully estimate how much you could pay for each child or grandchild and when you would need that money available in the future based upon their chronological ages.

3. What about medical expenses? Some adults approach retirement with prior knowledge about recurring medical expenses such as high blood pressure medication, diabetic supplies, and chiropractic care. When you plan for retirement, you need to include monthly income for prescription medications, doctor visits, and other recurring medical expenses. Many seniors have to work part-time during their retirement just to afford their medications because they did not anticipate the rising cost of healthcare in the 21st century.

As you continue to brainstorm and write down your retirement goals, you have the option to revise your list. You can also return to a financial planner again and again to realign your investments with your financial goals. Retiring in a lifestyle you have always dreamed about can become your reality. You have to plan and save early and resist the urge to cash in investments before you retire.

For more than a decade, Pamela has been helping women improve their personal and financial wealth through good financial planning. Pamela’s education and training enable her to help clients successfully navigate through the myriad of personal and financial decisions they face during their lives. She assists them in attaining a higher level of financial security through education, understanding and scenario planning. With this knowledge, she develops a customized approach for each client’s planning needs.