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Planning Life’s Biggest Vacation: Setting Retirement Goals

Like a summer vacation, ‘life’s biggest vacation’ requires detailed planning. Retirement goals differ for everyone as they are dependent on your current lifestyle and how you see yourself living post-retirement. Making informed decisions when setting retirement goals will help you create a plan and guide you toward the happy retirement you’ve always dreamed of. Use these tips to start planning your retirement today!

Set Your Retirement Goals Early

Goals cannot be achieved if they are not identified ahead of time. When setting your retirement goals, consider where you would like to see yourself after retirement. What would you like to be doing? Where do you want to live? What are the interests and passions you would like to pursue? Answering these questions will allow you to begin road-mapping your retirement plan and solidifying your financial security. 

To most effectively plan your retirement, ensure your goals are specific, measurable, and attainable. The earlier these objectives are set, the sooner you can begin saving and investing. You will be able to establish a solid foundation for a secure and enjoyable retirement early on, keeping your options open and avoiding unnecessary financial strain later on in life.

Create a Retirement Timeline

When do you plan to retire? Once you decide, you can set or adjust your goals to match your ideal timeline. To determine if this period is realistic, assess your current financial situation. Get a clear picture of your financial health by taking a look at your assets, liabilities, and investments. Use this information to make informed decisions about saving and investing for retirement.

Work backward from your ideal retirement age to set milestones along the way. These could include saving amount targets, investment goals and strategies, and other financial decisions that will impact and contribute to your long-term retirement goals. 

Know How Much You Need to Save

When determining how much you need in your retirement fund, consider your basic needs, emergency funds, and leisure. Additionally, factor inflation and healthcare costs into your goals, as the cost of living tends to increase as time progresses. A general rule of thumb is to aim for between 70 to 85 percent of your pre-retirement income to maintain your lifestyle post-retirement. 

It is important to know where these funds for day-to-day living expenses and beyond will come from without a steady paycheck. Keep in mind Social Security, pensions, and individual retirement accounts. Take advantage of any plans offered by your employer such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Contribute as much as possible to these accounts, especially if your employer will match your contributions. Also, think about diversifying your portfolio of investments, and considering risk along the way.

To calculate how much you need in savings, assess your current savings and estimate your future retirement income from various sources like Social Security, pensions, and rental properties. Calculate the retirement gap by subtracting your estimated future retirement income from your current savings. This will give you the amount necessary to bridge the gap. Divide the retirement gap by the number of years until retirement to determine your necessary annual savings. Remember that these calculations are just a starting point. It is important to regularly reassess your progress and adjust as needed. 

Setting retirement goals allows you to take proactive steps toward achieving financial freedom and a comfortable retirement. Remember, retirement will not look the same for everyone. Your plans will differ depending on your age and aim and should be reviewed and adjusted periodically to stay on track. Planning your retirement can be overwhelming but talking to a financial advisor can significantly help you in your journey. Here at Blakely Financial, we want to help you embark on life’s biggest vacation fully prepared and ready to make the most of your years in retirement. Contact Blakely Financial today to get started. 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.