When it comes to retirement plans, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for how to invest. While there are some basic strategies everyone should follow, it’s important to keep in mind retirement plans will vary, depending on one’s retirement expectations and goals.
When to retire?
One of the most significant decisions a person needs to make is determining the age they plan to retire. Career-minded people will need to have built up enough savings between their employer-sponsored 401(k) plans and other retirement savings plans or strategies. Business owners will need to have established their own savings plan through a SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, traditional IRA, and/or a Solo 401(k), along with an exit plan for their company.
Keep in mind, even if a goal retirement age is chosen, it’s important to keep flexibility as a part of the bigger retirement picture. While one can plan for everything they hope to do or achieve in their retirement years, planning for any potential uncertainty is essential. For instance, if a health condition, Social Security or Medicare change, job layoff, or an economic downturn occurs, any of these events could significantly impact a plan to retire at a specific age.
What kind of lifestyle is sought?
As people set their financial retirement goals, they’ll want to think about the type of lifestyle they desire. Is the dream to live a comfortable and simple life, or is it to live luxuriously and travel the world? Financial goals can be achieved down to the penny, but without an after retirement plan, one could be left feeling unhappy, empty, or unfulfilled when the time arrives.
What type of legacy to leave?
Many men and women probably don’t start to think about the legacy they’d like to leave until they reach their 40s-50s. Legacy means different things to many people. It can equate to the worth of assets left behind to children, grandchildren, and other loved ones, money given away in the form of gift tax exclusions while still alive, or the amount of charitable contributions donated in the family name.
It’s important to plan for some level of retirement planning at all ages because each decade of life is filled with different monetary pressures and risks. Some general rules of thumb:
- Every 1% of income saved can lead to thousands of additional retirement dollars.
- Higher levels of debt are usually incurred during the 20s and 30s, it’s important to have a plan to pay down this debt.
- People in their 20s and 30s usually can afford to make a few riskier high-growth investments.
- Financial safety becomes more important as people reach their 40s-50s and focus turns to planning for long-term growth assets and securing proper insurance.
Experts consistently state starting young is the best way for a person to adequately save enough to live on in their retirement years. Realistically, people should start saving in their 20s, but even if they don’t, it’s never too late to start planning for the future, whether you’re a Millennial or one of the Gen Xers. The sooner savings begins, the easier retirement planning is to do, but late planning is better than no planning.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.