Retirement looks different to everyone. For some, it means having the time to travel the world and start checking off things from a bucket list. For others, it means spending time at home with grandkids and finally having time to connect with friends. It can mean relocating. It can mean downsizing. It can mean paying off debt and finally living the dream of financial freedom!
Whatever retirement looks like for you, you’ll have a better chance of reaching your goals if you have a comprehensive financial plan to get you there. It’s important to establish your end result – what do you hope to do in retirement; where do you plan to be at that point in your life – and then create a strategy to get you there – how much money will you need to retire when you want; do you have the right tax strategies in place?
It’s also wise to have a professional take a look at what can happen along the way – the roadblocks, if you will. Do you have an estate plan in place to care for your family if something is to happen to you? Have you set aside enough money for big expenses, such as your children’s education or a wedding?
These are important questions, and working with a financial advisor can be a huge benefit. Based on your answers, an advisor can then add practical advice to develop a financial plan roadmap to help make your financial dreams a reality.
If planning to handle your finances on your own, ask yourself:
Do you understand the ins and outs of the industry?
Do you know what you’re looking at when watching the market?
Are you up-to-date on all estate and tax laws?
These can have a huge impact on your retirement.
Financial planning is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. As you grow in your career and life, your financial responsibilities and obligations grow along with you. You may get married, have children or simply decide the career path you’ve chosen isn’t satisfying and make a change. It’s important to revisit your plan on a regular basis to make sure your goals and strategies are still right for you. For example, are you still taking the right amount of risk?
You’ll also want to consider the long-term. Do the important people in your life (i.e. a spouse, partner, friends or roommates) understand your definition of financial freedom and your goals? We see a lot of people who have completely different definitions of what retirement looks like than their spouse or partner, and this can be a real problem.
At Financial Freedom, we offer fee-only retirement planning for 3 phases:
Phase 1: Building wealth when you’re young
Phase 2: Managing your portfolio with a retirement date in mind
Phase 3: Helping ensure your post-retirement needs are met
After gaining an in-depth understanding of your needs, a financial advisor can help develop retirement planning projections that include necessary savings, inflation, taxes, health care, a timeline, any special goals as well as sources of retirement income. If you’re not sure what retirement means to you, take some time and think about what it would look like in your life. And discuss these plans with your family as well as a financial professional. A common mistake people make is waiting too long to really think about what retirement means to them, eventually accepting a “One Size Fits All” definition and then not being able to put the right financial habits and plans in place to make that dream a reality.
Successful People Need Help Too
Think wealthy people have all the answers about money? That’s not necessarily true. Many business owners, for example, have their company’s finances accounted for down to the last penny. However, when it comes to their personal finances – their estate plan and retirement plan – they’re clueless. They’ve put all their energy into making their business a success.
We’ve met with many business owners who just assume their successful business will carry them through their Golden Years, but we ask them: What happens if the company has a down year? What if you decide you don’t want to work anymore? What happens if something happens to your health?
Remember, money isn’t everything. It’s your dreams and life goals that really matter. That’s why, at Financial Freedom, we don’t just focus on numbers and investments. It’s important to take a long-term, big-picture view to really help you get on the path to the retirement life you envision.
Whatever your path – letting your financial advisor know your definition of retirement and financial freedom can help get you there. At Financial Freedom, our job to take every aspect of your finances into consideration – as well as your future goals and plans – and work with you to make a plan and help you execute it. Contact us today for more information.