Creating a Retirement Planning Checklist

Retirement generally occurs at some point during your 60s. Whether you are close to this stage of your life or not, it is important to come up with a planning checklist in order to assess your goals and to figure out how to achieve them. The things you need to accomplish for retirement can vary by age, depending on how early you start investing into the future. It is also realistic to expect changes to your plans, based on certain life and financial changes. In order to ensure that you are on the correct path to retirement, you should go over your checklist at least once a year.

Planning by Age

Your personal retirement checklist is first dependent on your age. Generally, the earlier you save and invest your money, the easier it is to reach your retirement goals. This is due to the fact that you still have several years ahead of you in which you can still save to retire.

When you are in your 20s, you are still getting started in your career. You might even start a family during this stage of your life. This is also a period during your lifetime in which you might have accumulated some debt in an effort to live on your own, or even to build some credit. No matter what your personal circumstances are, it is important that you focus on building assets and to start your investment portfolio during your 20s. Even if you do not have any particular retirement goals in mind, starting this kind of plan now will make the transition easier.

Due to financial constraints, many adults skip on investing until they reach their 30s. This is still a good time to start investing because you have decades between now and retirement. At this point, you should seriously start paying down some debt so that you have more cash available to invest in your retirement portfolio. You might also want to purchase a home during this time if you can afford it, so that it can be paid off by the time you reach retirement.

Investing in your retirement during your 40s and 50s is still doable, but many adults at this age make the mistake of skipping out on investments because they have the misconception that it is too late. It is never too late to start saving money for your retirement, but now is the time to take matters more seriously. In order to reach your savings goals, you might have to cut certain things out of your lifestyle, such as vacations and shopping sprees. If you start your retirement portfolio during this time, you will also want to refrain from major purchases unless they are absolutely necessary.

Changes and Goals

Figuring out your retirement plan also depends on life changes as well as your overall future goals. Life is unpredictable, and certain changes, such as marriage, divorce and a job loss can all impact the ways in which you save for the future. Sometimes you are not able to invest as much as you would like to, due to unanticipated expenses. Instead of getting discouraged, you should take care of what is at stake and then refocus your attention back on your checklist when you are able to.

Your personal retirement goals can also dictate the way in which you plan out your investments. During early adulthood, you might not know what your retirement goals are yet and that is okay--instead, you should focus on investing as much as you can. When you have a clearer vision in mind, you can reassess your retirement planning checklist.

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