For Mark Roberts’ Use: Many of us tend to view retirement as the end. It’s certainly the end of your working years (unless you take up a second career in your sixties). But it’s also a beginning; once you retire, you have the time to begin new hobbies, move to a new location, and revamp your daily life.

With that idea in mind, planning for retirement can be a bit like planning for college or any other important life change. You should ask yourself how you picture the future so that you can adequately prepare for those plans.

For example, working Americans who were polled on their expectations for retirement reported that:

  • They want to spend more time with friends and family (57 percent)
  • They hope to travel (67 percent)
  • They intend to pursue hobbies, either old or new (48 percent)
  • They want to engage in volunteer efforts of some kind (26 percent)
  • They plan to continue working in some capacity (30 percent)

You might have noticed something: The activities can vary somewhat from one person to the next, but most likely they will cost at least some money. The exception, of course, is working part-time in retirement; that will actually contribute to your budget.

Aside from activities in retirement, another important question looms: When will you retire?

Keep in mind that currently, many people anticipate retiring at a later age than they actually do. This could be because they met their retirement savings goal early (good for them), or it could be because illness or some other event forced an early retirement. Plans should always be slightly flexible, and the right insurance options considered, to accommodate unforeseeable changes in circumstances.

Of course, the main consideration with regard to retirement timing is money. We want you to be able to accomplish your goals, and protect your streams of income well enough that you don’t risk outliving them.

Social Security is another important consideration. Retiring earlier will mean a reduction in benefits, but a longer retirement in which to pursue your goals. Retiring later than your full retirement age will result in larger benefit checks, but less time.

It’s easy to see how many people become overwhelmed when balancing their retirement dreams with timing and budget concerns! Give us a call, and we can help you evaluate all of these factors separately, then put them together to create a comprehensive, but flexible, long-term retirement plan.