Questions to Consider While Retirement Planning

Article excerpt

I have had the pleasure in spending a good amount of the past thirty years conducting retirement planning seminars for large corporations throughout the Chicagoland area. Perhaps you even attended one. If you did, you will recall that I started the program by asking the group to write down as many retirement goals as they could. I gave everyone five minutes to work on it.

You would think attendees would be up for the task. Although many were, others couldn't list a single retirement goal within that time. Was the time limit pressure so great that their minds just went blank? Maybe, but I don't think so. I just think people get so caught up in their daily lives at work and at home, they find it easier to tackle other "issues" of the day, and put longer range concerns like retirement planning on hold for a later date.

Although defining realistic goals is the starting point for constructing a retirement plan, there are also critical decisions that will have to be made prior to retirement. Some include choices regarding pensions, investments, and social security. Others deal with considerations such as housing, lifestyles and planning for your overall financial security.

To help you think about your retirement goals, I have listed a few questions that you should consider. The better you answer them, the more prepared you will be in achieving your retirement dreams. The questions are as follows:

What age would you like to retire? Some of you will say that you don't know. If so, at what age would you like to have at least the opportunity to kick back and call it quits?

How much income will you need once you retire? If you don't know, look at your take home pay after all your deductions such as taxes, and 401(k) contributions are taken out. If that is what you live on, then use that figure as a starting point to add or subtract anticipated retirement expenses. …