Understanding Retirement: Five steps to plan with peace of mind.

Today is another article in from the Financial Advisor Blog Sharing Group. This group is made up of other like-minded financial advisors from around the country. The purpose of the group is to share useful content and spread the word about the virtues of Fee-Only financial advice. The second contributor in this series is written by Michael Garry of Yardley Wealth Management from Pennsylvania. He wrote an article with 5 Tips for a Successful Retirement. Michael is a great advisor so reach out if you are ever in Pennsylvania. Here's the Article:

Given the current economic climate, considering the financial future and retirement plans can be incredibly stressful. In fact, according to a 2014 PwC survey, just over half of Baby Boomers see their top financial concern as not being able to retire when they want to. The uncertainty that exists about the future does not ease the natural stress that accompanies saving and investing money for retirement. 

Using the five steps below to plan and visualize your retirement is a way to give yourself peace of mind about how to achieve retirement goals.

Setting Goals – Setting a goal is about visualization. Visualize the future and where you want to be and then consider what needs to be done to reach that place. While visualizing these goals, it is necessary to think about the financial support children or grandchildren might need – whether it be during your lifetime or through an estate plan. 

Budgeting –An effective budget can help you plan and track your regular household spending, so you can control your expenses and continue to live within your means while working towards reaching those goals. Keeping close watch on your spending and reducing any debt you is vital to the success of your financial plan for the future. 

Saving – Budgeting and saving work together in the financial plan and you can only save money you don’t spend. But rather than considering saving after expenses, making saving a priority in your budget can help you continue to build your nest egg even as your spending adds up.

Social Security – Social security filing decisions are largely permanent and irreversible and therefore, should be closely considered. For married couples, this decision is even more important because it can affect the income of the surviving spouse later in retirement.

Tax planning – Many retirees find tax time stressful and complicated but simplification of you income can go a long way and the time to do that is before retirement. Consolidating multiple tax-deferred retirement accounts will help make withdrawals easier when tax times happens down the road. 

Thoughtful planning and visualization leads to confidence about the financial future and your retirement. Try it.


About the Author: 

Michael Garry is a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and a NAPFA-registered Financial Advisor.  He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Michael is a frequent expert contributor to financial publications, and has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine. He has been married for 20 years, Michael and his wife have three daughters. He stays active coaching his daughters sports teams and participating in Marathons and Triathlons. Reach out if you are ever in Pennsylvania.

Check out the first Article in the Fee-Only Financial Advisor Blog Sharing Group by Greg Phelps about how After-Tax 401(k) Contributions can Become a Roth IRA.