Despite research that indicates that one out of five Americans would rather jump out of a plane than plan for retirement, a plan is exactly what is going to make you feel great about your financial future — no matter what is going on in the economy.
We recently polled NewRetirement Planner users and more than half of them were able to say that they don’t even have to change anything about their plans right now!
People with a plan have got retirement “under control” — despite the massive turmoil the world is experiencing.
And, the other half of respondents report that they only require relatively minor tweaks or enhancements to their plans like:
Below are some notable quotes about planning and how they apply to your retired future.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Most of us have a goal of retiring. However, according to Fidelity, only a mere 18% of Americans have a written retirement plan.
Sure, many people manage their pre retirement finances month to month or year to year. This is okay when you have income from a job.
However, when your goal is to live off existing assets for 20-30 years (retirement), then you really need a plan.
“In preparing for battle, I have found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Mmm… what did Eisenhower mean?
He knew that good plans are active and living. You should have a plan, but you need to keep planning — make updates, be flexible, and keep reacting to whatever gets thrown your way.
You need to start by creating a retirement plan. But, you will only be successful if you continuously (once a month or quarterly) update your plans with new information and make tweaks to make sure you can still achieve your goals.
“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” (Earl Nightingale)
Sometimes a plan is not quite enough. You also need courage. Often that courage can be found in checking and double checking your plans. And, in many cases, it can be useful to get some reassurances from a second party that your plan is reasonable and rational.
Many people with a financial advisor use the NewRetirement Planner to get that reassurance. They test the advisor’s suggestions and assumptions out for themselves.
And, even more people use the NewRetirement Planner and then have their plan reviewed by a Certified Financial Advisor to make sure that nothing was overlooked. NewRetirement offers a flat fee plan review designed to give you the reassurances (and some additional insight) you need.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” (Alan Lakein)
Perhaps the best way to plan for retirement is to visualize your future — really think about the details of who you will be, where and why. Being able to imagine now who you will be in the future and what your needs and desires will be at that time is perhaps the most important aspect of planning.
Here are 7 ways to bring your future into the present for a more reliable retirement plan.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (Unknown)
Retirement can last 20 or 30 years or more. And, it is best if you spend 40 or 50 years saving and preparing for it.
However, There is LOTS you can do if you are approaching retirement age, but still don’t have a comprehensive plan. The reality today is that most people kind of wing it until they are within five to fifteen years of the big day.
Here are a few catch up resources:
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream. Not only plan but also believe.” (Anatole France)
Do you want to know one of the biggest retirement planning mistakes (apart from not having a plan)?
Too many people only plan their finances, not what they want to do with their time in retirement. Retirement is not an end, especially these days. Today’s retirees are starting businesses, finding second careers, volunteering and developing engaging hobbies.
To avoid depression, stay vital and maintain physical, mental and emotional health, it is really important to have a plan for what you want to do in retirement (not just how much money you are going to spend). In fact, knowing what you really want to do and setting priorities, can have a tremendous impact on your retirement budget and overall finances.
Here are some of NewRetirement’s favorite articles for planning what to do:
“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” (Sun Tzu)
Planning is a process. Many people think that planning, especially retirement planning is a matter of simply figuring out how much you need to save. And, other people think that retirement planning is too big of a task and too complicated to do themselves.
Neither is right. Retirement planning is a something where you should start small and build your knowledge base and plans over time.
For example, many people start retirement planning by asking, “how much do I need to save?” And, that question will lead to more questions.
You will start thinking about how much you want to withdraw every month when you retire. And when you figure that out, you might realize that your saving goal is too high or too low. And then you start to think about your asset allocation and why it is too risky or conservative. And, that you need a detailed bucket strategy or an investment policy statement. And, so on.
Every retirement planning action you take and every answer you find, will lead you to more questions and opportunities.
It may be best to think of planning as an educational journey. And, starting small is a great place to begin!
Get started or continue with your plan today with the NewRetirement Planner.