No matter how far away you are from retirement, smart financial planning can be your pathway to ensuring that you have the money you need when that day comes.
In the same way that you visit your primary care physician regularly, meeting with your financial planner can help you keep your retirement savings on track. As you prepare to check in with your financial planner about your retirement accounts, here are some good questions to bring to your meeting.
How much do I need?
If you haven’t already, start by asking how much money you will need upon retirement. This number depends on many different factors, and considers your future costs during retirement, your current financial goals and life plans, and when you’re planning on retiring. Discuss your plans for your future and your retirement goals with your financial planner to determine the right number.
What costs should I consider?
While some retirement costs are similar for everyone, and may include housing, health care, and day-to-day expenses, you may also have costs that are unique to you. These can include travel, entertainment, cost of moving, paying for big life events for other family members, and more. Build in all the potential costs important to your retirement goals when consulting with your financial planner.
How much can I contribute now?
Saving for retirement also may require balancing your current expenses and plans for you and your family before retirement. Work with your financial planner to establish a realistic contribution to your retirement funds that allows you to achieve your current life goals while still saving for the future.
When should I retire?
Some people retire as early as they can, while others prefer to retire later. Whether you know exactly when you’d like to retire or not, establishing a timeframe with your financial planner can help you determine how much you should contribute toward savings now so that you can retire when you want.
Are my savings on track?
After you determine what you need, what your costs might look like, and when you think you’d like to retire, ask if your savings are on track to hit your target retirement amount in the timeframe you’re looking at. Financial planners can help you adjust your contributions, select different investments, or change your financial plan.
How should I withdraw from my retirement accounts?
Withdrawing from your retirement accounts may look different for everyone. If you have one retirement account, the process might be more straightforward. And if you have several retirement accounts, your financial planner might advise that you withdraw from them in a specific order. With intentional financial planning and advice from a tax professional, you might be able to make tax-efficient withdrawals from your accounts.
Always ask questions
When planning for retirement, you can put your best foot forward by asking your financial planner these questions and being open about your current and future goals.
All investments carry risk.