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You work and save for 35+ years and now it’s time to retire. Your heart says yes but in the back of your head there still might be doubt.

“Will I outlive my money?” or “Do I have enough money?”

With a well thought out and constructed plan, you’ll have those answers in front of you. Retiring is a huge decision. Don’t just wing it or have the “I’ll deal with it when the time comes attitude”. Have a plan! But that plan does NOT have to be complicated or confusing!

 

Here are steps that will allow you to retire with confidence


Know your numbers  
If you don’t have an intimate relationship with your money, then it’s time to get one. It amazes me how many people put their retirement plan on autopilot and figure if they keep “socking away” that everything will just take care of itself. In reality that approach might work if you’ve “socked away” a lot of money however, you won’t truly know until you do some planning. On the other hand, maybe you’ve over saved for the lifestyle you want and you can retire sooner.

Using a financial advisor can be great if you’re too busy to invest your money on your own, but don’t just write a check and walk away. For 24 years I managed client’s money and I always told them that this is a partnership and I need them to stay involved. Without that conversation, many would just disconnect and tell me “You handle it.” Let me get this straight. You are going to work the majority of your life, saving and investing money with the end goal being retirement but you are going to put all of your hard earned money in the hands of someone you don’t personally know and only check on your money occasionally? WRONG. Stay involved with your money. Know how much risk you are taking, know if your funds are outperforming their index, know the fees you are paying, set goals and make sure you are hitting them. Get involved and stay involved with your advisor and your money.


Lifestyle Planning
  What many financial advisors get wrong is they fail to incorporate your wanted lifestyle in retirement.  For most people this omission is okay because their lifestyle isn’t going to deviate too far from when they were working.  However, if you plan on retiring, and hitting the road traveling, then this new lifestyle needs to really be examined from a number of perspectives. It’s time to make some projections as close as you possibly can because you want to eliminate as many surprises as you can. Make sure your new lifestyle fits your budget.


Check your Budget
  How much do you spend on monthly expenses now? How much are you going to spend in retirement? If your lifestyle is going to be different in retirement, do some projections to make sure you’ll have the income to cover them.


You have a retirement PLAN, right?  
A hope and a prayer is not a retirement plan. A true retirement plan is one based on your real numbers such as your debt, how much income you’ll need, your current assets and the cost of your lifestyle. Check out the simple explanation of My DIAL System. It’s an evaluation of your entire financial picture to ensure you have enough to carry you forward for the rest of your life.

Your retirement plan doesn’t have to be a 125-page, $2500 document that is reviewed once in a while. What it needs to be is a carefully thought out process that you make sure all your needs are going to be met over the course of the coming decades of your future. Hire an advisor if you need help but please don’t skip this step.

When you have an intimate relationship with your money and your budget fits your lifestyle, your retirement can be solid. You’ll know if you will have enough money and whether or not you’ll outlive it. Retire without worry and with confidence. And as always…

Live free my friends,
Eric Gaddy

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Investment Advisory Services offered through Shankland Financial Advisors, LLC, Registered Investment Advisor