Define your goals and what you want to do when you retire
- Travel and other ambitions: Is there anything in particular you want to do when you retire?
- Work: Do you plan to take early retirement or keep working part-time?
- Lodging: Are you planning to stay in your home or downsize to a smaller place?
- Debt: Will you still have debt to pay off when you retire?
Predict your expenses
A good place to start when it comes to predicting your retirement needs is to evaluate your existing expenses and pinpoint those that are related to your work and will drop when you retire, such as clothing, eating out and gas, etc.
Also take into account any major debts, such as your mortgage. Will those be paid off by the time you retire? Or are you thinking of downsizing to a smaller house or moving into a retirement home? Decisions like these can have certain impacts on your expenses.
Estimate how long your retirement will be
This is an important aspect to consider. If your retirement were to stretch to thirty years, would you have enough money to live on? By putting off your retirement for another five years, your savings would only have to last you for twenty-five years, and you’d earn an extra five years of salary. This could make all the difference in your budget.
Emergency fund: plan for the unexpected
When planning for retirement, think about various scenarios that could affect your income, such as:
- Deciding to retire earlier for personal or professional reasons
- Significant unexpected expenses, such as urgent repairs to your home
- A serious health issue affecting you or a loved one that requires expensive health care
Try to assess the impact these kinds of events would have on your finances. This can help you to build up a realistic emergency fund for your retirement. Take this opportunity as well to check whether your life insurance and disability or critical illness insurance is sufficient for your needs.
Assess and reassess
Your goals, your health and your financial situation will all change as the years go by. The closer you get to retirement, the clearer your needs will become. It is therefore important to review your retirement plan from time to time to make sure you’re on the right track.
Don’t hesitate to call on a specialist for help to weigh up the various scenarios and determine a plan you’re comfortable with.