Counting Down To Retirement: Planning Retirement Finances At Every Stage In Your Career

Retirement planning is not one-size-fits-all.

Your unique factors—income, financial commitments, and lifestyle, to name a few—determine how much you can save and at what age you plan on retiring.

Planning looks different for everyone, and as life expectancy increases, saving for retirement becomes more expensive and urgent for us all. In fact, it’s projected that people in the U.S. will live 20 years after they retire.

This begs the question: Will you have enough to live the life you want?

If you’re unsure, as most Americans are, what should you be thinking about in each stage of your career?

Let’s take a look.

Stage 1—Early Career [20s]

At this point in your career, you’re getting your bearings. Retirement isn’t on the top of your priority list. After all, you just got started.

You can take the same approach with your retirement savings: just get started.

A problem for many young professionals is that they don’t feel like they have enough to save just yet. The burdens of school loans, car payments, rent, and other expenses have taken control.

If your budget is tight, you may decide to start saving “one day.” But, consider that your biggest advantage in this stage is time. The more time you give yourself to save, the better off you’ll be.

Allowing yourself to save early, even a small amount, will get you in the habit and will slowly build your account. Also, keep in mind that many employers match your contributions up to a percentage, doubling your savings.

Stage 2—Midway through [30s & 40s]

You’re well past your just-getting-started phase and have likely become more serious about what your retirement looks like.

The benefit at this stage is knowledge. You have a better understanding of your career path and what your long-term financial commitments might be. And, with this knowledge, you’re able to more easily see how much you will need when it comes time to retire.

It’s now time to see how you measure up. How does what you’ve saved so far compare to how much you will need? By taking a deeper look, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing where you stand. You can then adjust the amount you’re saving accordingly to stay on track.

Aren’t sure if your savings match your retirement plan? A financial advisor can calculate an estimate of how much you need for retirement and how close you are to your goal.

Stage 3—In the Home Stretch [50s and 60s]

Time flies, doesn’t it?

As you move toward retirement, it’s becoming less of an idea and more of a reality. You are likely now in one of two categories: excited or concerned. Maybe a bit of both?

No matter your circumstances, or your savings up to this point, a financial advisor can determine the steps you can take now to live out your retirement dreams.

It’s never too late to set yourself up for retirement. Don’t let the anxiety of uncertainty keep you from getting ahead of your retirement and checking in on your progress. Your financial advisor is there to calm your fears and create a plan of action.

Stage 4—Retirement

You’ve transitioned from saving for retirement to spending what you’ve saved.

In this stage, your top priority is ensuring that the money you saved lasts as long as you need it. A clear budget and financial plan are the keys to understanding how and when to use your money, without fear.

After all, you want to relax. Don’t spend your time concerned that if you enjoy it, you’ll be left with a shoestring budget.

Contact a financial advisor to give your finances the “wellness check” they need to stay in good shape.

No matter your stage in life, it’s never too early or too late to start thinking about retirement funding. Hiring a financial advisor can save you the confusion or fear that sometimes comes with talking about finances.

At Southwestern Investment Group, our team is always here to help—and never to judge. We pride ourselves on taking a holistic approach to help you reach your financial goals.

Contact us today to prepare for the retirement you deserve.



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