ROAD TRIP! To me, these two words have always inspired adventure! As a child I enjoyed the many road trips our family took, and I especially loved preparing for them -- laying out maps to plan our sightseeing, checking the weather so I didn’t forget the essentials, budgeting time for maximum enjoyment each day, and so much more. I learned that a successful road trip must always be thoroughly planned and it was absolutely imperative to be prepared for the unexpected.
As a financial advisor, I encourage my clients to plan for their “road trip” to retirement. Each person gets to define what a successful retirement means to them. But everyone’s retirement can be even more prosperous with comprehensive planning and preparation for the twists and turns that may be encountered along the way.
Many people I talk with think they have a retirement plan, but what they bring to the table is simply an investment portfolio or a 401(k) statement. An investment portfolio is just one piece of the retirement plan puzzle.
A comprehensive financial plan organizes your financial inventory so you have a thorough understanding of how your needs, wants, and wishes are met to and through your retirement years. While building your plan, you should engage with your advisor to not only review investment allocation and investment performance, but your advisor should help determine a wealth accumulation strategy – creating a balance between tax deferral and future cash flow flexibility – and a tax efficient distribution strategy. You can project long-term / retirement scenarios to determine today’s annual savings goals, including education savings goals. Don’t forget to conduct a thorough insurance needs analysis, including an evaluation of your emergency savings program. Your plan should be stress-tested to show how you and your loved ones are protected in the event of death, disability, or loss of job. A good retirement plan is proactive, not reactive!
Financial planning is all about getting you to a place where you can see where you’re going – what are you on track for in retirement? What can you change today to improve your long-term outlook and achieve your ideal retirement? Once the road map to retirement has been created, the journey becomes much clearer. If you need to take a detour along the way, no worries, there’s always more than one route to get to your destination – life presents challenges, and a good plan can pivot with you!
So, do you have a long-term financial plan? Or are you just putting some money away and hoping it will be enough? It’s never too late to build your plan!
Reach out to our team – we’re excited to join you in planning your road trip to retirement!