Retirement Planning: Taking the first steps
Retirement Planning: Taking the first steps

Retirement Planning: Taking the first steps

As we, and those around us, age, it can be a very wonderful time in our lives. However, when we don’t spend the time planning for retirement, we’ll miss out on some of the best moments of growing older. Retirement planning isn’t just for the elderly, but can be done at a young age for ourselves, or for the loved ones in our lives who are aging. Let’s look at how to take those first steps for retirement planning and why it can make such a big impact on our lives today, as well as the future.

Hiring a professional

When you, or a loved one, has decided it’s time to start planning for retirement, you can choose whether you want to hire an elder law attorney for extra protection and knowledge, or if you want to start on your own. Some will enlist the services of a financial expert, others will hire an estate planning attorney, and there are those that will seek the advice of loved ones who have been through the process. As you get started planning for your retirement, you’ll understand where you have strength in planning skills, and where you need help.

Each person is different in what stage of life they start retirement planning, and that’s just one reason some people immediately bring in an estate planning attorney, and why some people wait until they have almost completed the process. It’s truly about what your specific needs are. If you know you need help but aren’t sure whom you should ask, schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney. It’s usually good to consult with an attorney sooner, rather than later.

Financial and Estate Planning

When you begin retirement planning, you’ll be taking a very close look at your finances and your assets. You’ll want to ensure that you save enough for your future, as well as leaving something behind for your loved ones. Financial and estate planning can get very complicated, and it’s recommended that even if you don’t hire an elder law attorney right away, that you do bring in a professional as you get more involved in the process.

Living arrangements

While you can’t predict how you’ll be living in the future, you can make a few decisions now. You can start saving for nursing home care or assisted living. If you know that you want to hire in-home health care in the future, you’ll want to have a plan in place. There will come a time when you aren’t able to drive, or you won’t be able to mow your lawn, so remember these expenses to help you understand future living arrangements and how much you need to save for them.

Understanding your benefits

You need to understand your benefits when planning for retirement. Not all retirement benefits can be used when you may think. Talk to your elder law attorney about when you can take out benefits and from which account, so you don’t have to pay higher taxes or unexpected fees. The more you understand your retirement benefits and when you can use them, the better your plan will be for when you age.

When to quit working

It can be difficult for many of us to make the decision about when to retire. When you make a solid plan for retirement, though, you are giving yourself more control of this situation. Some people want to work into their seventies while others will be ready to retire much earlier. However, when you don’t make a retirement plan, you may end up working much longer than you anticipated.

Investments and savings

Once you have your retirement plan in place, you can start thinking about what to invest in and how much you should be saving on a monthly and yearly basis. Your investments and savings plan will have a huge impact on how much you have when you retire. Take the time to look at each aspect of your retirement plan to ensure you’re saving enough money. And remember to be realistic in your numbers. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they have more than they actually do.

Don’t wait to get started with retirement planning. It’s something that many of us spend way too much time worrying about when we should just get started. By taking those first few steps, you’ll be on your way to a peaceful and calm aging process because you’ll know you’ll be taken care of in the future.