6 factors to consider when planning for your retirement

While it may seem like your working years last forever, retirement still has a way of sneaking up on you. As the years go by, what once seemed like a far off dream can suddenly feel incredibly close.

Planning for your retirement might seem like something you can put off until tomorrow–or next year–but the earlier you do it the more time you’ll have to make sure your finances are in order.

When it comes time to step away from your career, make sure you’re prepared for this exciting new phase in your life by considering the following:

1. Longevity

Depending what age you retire, you could live decades after you’re no longer earning a regular income. Scientists are pushing the aging process further all the time. That’s all well and good, but it means you have to plan to live well into retirement.

Be generous when estimating how long your life could be after you finish working. With the wonderful quality of life we enjoy, you might be around longer than you think. Make sure you’ve got financial resources to draw from so you can enjoy it, stress free.

2. Inflation

Few things in life are certain, but inflation is one of them. A dollar spent today will likely stretch farther than a dollar spent 10 years from now.

How you earn money in your golden years will hopefully match the cost of living, but inflation is still an important consideration. Work with a financial professional to go over some scenarios of what your retirement could look like in different inflationary climates. Then adjust your financial plan accordingly.

3. Health care costs

Depending on where you live, having a plan to pay for your health care could be critical. It’s almost a given that you will become more expensive to care for as you age.

Make sure you have an affordable way to get the help you need. Don’t forget about prescriptions, vision care, and other costs such as equipment or alternative medicines. Also, consider whether you’ll have to travel for medical care. If you live in a big city, transportation may not be as much of an issue. But if you’re in a small town, you may have to prepare for longer trips as your medical needs become more complex.

4. Unexpected events

It’s unpleasant to think about, but recovering from significant events later in life can be challenging. For example, consider what would happen if you lost your spouse and how that would change your financial picture. Or how you would support a child or other relative going through a crisis. It’s natural to want to step in and assist, but the reality is that it might be hard to do so in old age.

Serious health problems or injuries could also derail your plans. So could an unexpected major repair or a complete loss of your home due to disaster. Review your insurance policies and ensure you understand what would happen if you suffered an unexpected loss or expense.

5. Market volatility

Many people hold investments when they reach retirement age, which is good. Continue investing wisely, but also think about what could happen if those investments suddenly lose value.

As you near retirement, reevaluate what level of risk you’re comfortable with. If the markets go south, you don’t want to be left with nothing. Many people choose to convert their investments into financial vehicles with less risk and a lower reward to protect what they have. In your later years, your focus is less about accumulating wealth and more about protecting it.

6. Desired lifestyle

You’ve worked hard for this time to rest – enjoy it! Imagine how you would like to spend your retirement years and create a financial plan to get there. Then, revel in the idea of growing old and what you would do with this time.

What hobbies would you pick up? Where will you travel? Which loved ones will you spend your days with? Where will you live? There are no wrong answers. Pick the things you would love to finally have time to do, and then make a financial plan to do them.

Final Thoughts

While it is difficult to plan for a future that remains unwritten, there are parameters to guide you to a happy and secure retirement. Give us a call to start planning for this very important and exciting season of your life.

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