Here are the key considerations for developing your retirement planning strategy:
- Financial Foundation. Do you have an adequate emergency fund? Will your insurance coverage be enough so you don't have to depend on your retirement funds in case of death, serious illness, or unexpected disaster?
- The Cost. How much money will you need to retire? Will it be enough to maintain your present standard of living? What effect will inflation have on your retirement savings?
- Sources of Income. Where will the money come from? What can you count on from Social Security and your pension? To what extent will you have to rely on your personal savings?
- Savings. How much will you have to save monthly? What if you have other financial priorities? When is the best time to start making contributions?
- Funding the Plans. What if your present contributions come up short? How can you find the money today to fund your future income needs?
- Retirement Plans. Where are the best places to put your retirement contributions? Are company plans better than IRAs? Should you ever consider an annuity?
- Managing Your Money. How can you make your money work as hard as you do? Can you keep your money safe while trying to get a higher rate of return? Should you keep your money in growth investments?
- Designing Your Retirement. If you're less than five years away from retirement, you might want to do more in-depth planning. What will your retirement lifestyle be like? Do you plan on working part-time or traveling to far-off lands? Will your expenses be higher or lower than they currently are?