This is a checklist of the likely four most important decisions you need to make as you plan your retirement:
Decide on your retirement age. This is easiest for many people, but the age you choose should align with your retirement savings and Social Security benefits. At a minimum, use Social Security payments as a baseline for your retirement income.
What kind of retirement lifestyle do you want? Jot down your estimated retirement expenses, like housing, food, insurance, medical expenses and a Medigap policy. The better you plan these estimates, the more you can project your lifestyle expenses.
Do you have a savings plan in place? Save at least 15% of your annual income, and you'll probably be able to handle most of your retirement expenses. Use a retirement calculator to see if you'll attain your savings goals.
Call an expert, because this is complicated. Most of us think, "I got this." A can-do attitude is great, but when it comes to retirement planning, a professional will be able to help you create a realistic plan that might address things that you simply aren’t aware of. Your life will go through any number of changes, like a new career, health issues or a divorce. Plan for these and other variables by drafting a secure plan with an estate planning attorney.
Reference: Forbes (February 13, 2017) “How Much Do You Need To Retire: 4 Things For Your Checklist”
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