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Retirement Planning Guide: What You Need To Know To Accomplish Your Retirement Goals

Introduction to Retirement Planning

Retirement is a time in life when most people hope to be free from the stresses of everyday work life and can finally relax and enjoy life to the fullest. However, retiring comfortably requires a lot of planning beforehand to ensure you have enough money to cover your expenses. Retirement planning is an important part of financial management that everyone should consider. It involves setting retirement goals and creating a retirement plan to achieve those goals, evaluating your investments, and considering potential retirement income sources. In this guide, we will cover each of these steps in detail to help you effectively plan for your retirement.

retirement goals

Create Retirement Goals

Saving for Retirement

The first step in planning for retirement is to determine your retirement goals. This involves envisioning what you want your retirement to look like, such as where you want to live, how much money you need to support your lifestyle, and any specific activities or hobbies you want to pursue. It's important to remember that retirement is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and your goals may be vastly different from someone else's. This step is the foundation for all your retirement planning.

To create effective retirement goals, it's important to consider the following factors:

  • Your current age

  • Your desired retirement age

  • Life expectancy

  • How much money you will need to support your lifestyle in retirement (Here is a great resources for a retirement calculator:

  • Any potential healthcare costs or long-term care needs

  • Your risk tolerance for investments

  • Potential sources of income in retirement (more on this later)

Once you have answered these initial questions and have gained a clear understanding of where you want to be when you retire, then you can move on to creating your retirement plan.

Creating Retirement Plan

Strategy For Retirement

The first step in creating a retirement plan is to establish a strategy. This involves setting realistic retirement goals and determining the timeframe for achieving them. Consider factors such as your desired lifestyle during retirement, healthcare costs, and any potential financial risks.

Some common strategies for retirement planning include:

  • Saving a certain percentage of your income each month

  • Investing in stocks, mutual funds or other assets

  • Paying off debts before retirement

  • Downsizing your current home to reduce expenses

It's important to review and adjust your strategy regularly, as life circumstances and financial goals may change over time.

Financial Risk Assessment

One of the key aspects of retirement planning is assessing the potential financial risks that could impact your savings. These risks may include inflation, market volatility, or unexpected expenses. By identifying and understanding these risks, you can take steps to mitigate their impact on your retirement funds.

Some ways to minimize financial risk include:

  • Diversifying your investment portfolio

  • Purchasing insurance for potential health issues

  • Creating an emergency fund for unexpected expenses

It's also advisable to consult a financial advisor to assist with this process and provide expert guidance in managing financial risks.

Retirement Contributions

Another crucial component of retirement planning is making regular contributions towards your savings. This can be in the form of employer-sponsored plans, such as a 401(k) or pension plan, or personal retirement accounts like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). It's important to contribute as much as possible and take advantage of any employer matching programs to maximize your savings and ultimately help you achieve your retirement goals.

Additionally, if you're self-employed or your employer does not offer a retirement plan, it's essential to set up and contribute to your own retirement account. This will ensure that you have enough funds to support yourself during retirement.

In conclusion, creating a retirement plan involves developing a strategy, assessing financial risks, and making regular contributions toward your savings. By taking the time to plan for your retirement, you'll be more likely to enjoy your golden years.

Evaluate Your Retirement Investments As you near retirement age, it's essential to assess the performance of your retirement investments regularly. This evaluation allows you to determine if your investments are on track to achieve your retirement goals. Additionally, it helps identify any areas where adjustments may be necessary.

How to Evaluate Your Retirement Investments

The first step in evaluating your retirement investments is understanding the different types of investments and their performance. Traditional investment options for retirement include employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and annuities.

To evaluate these investments, you should review your account statements and assess the following factors:

  • Performance: Look at the percentage of growth or decline in your investments. Compare it to market trends and other similar investment options.

  • Fees: Evaluate the fees associated with each investment option. High fees can significantly impact your overall returns.

  • Risk level: Consider the risk associated with each investment. Higher risks may lead to potentially higher returns, but they also carry a greater chance of loss.

  • Diversification: Assess if your investments are well-diversified across different asset classes. A diversified portfolio can help minimize risks and maximize returns.

Consider Retirement Sources

In addition to your personal savings, there are several potential sources of income in retirement that should be considered when creating a retirement plan. These may include:

  • Social Security benefits: If you have contributed to the Social Security system during your working years, you may be eligible for monthly benefits in retirement. The Social Security Administration offers a great resource for calculating your Social Security distributions:

  • Pension plans: If you have a pension plan through your employer, this can provide a steady stream of income in retirement.

  • Personal investments: This includes any individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, or other personal investments you have made throughout your career.

It's important to carefully consider and plan for these potential sources of income in order to accurately estimate how much money you will have available in retirement.

Choosing An Advisor

Retirement planning can be complex and overwhelming, especially for those who are not well-versed in financial management. That's why it may be beneficial to seek the help of a professional financial advisor or financial planner. When choosing an advisor, consider their experience, qualifications, and fees. It's also important to find someone who you feel comfortable working with and who understands your goals and risk tolerance. If you have any questions about hiring a financial advisor please contact Todd Mann.


In conclusion, retirement planning is a crucial part of financial management that requires careful consideration and ongoing evaluation. By creating clear goals, developing a solid retirement plan, regularly evaluating investments, and considering potential income sources, you can effectively plan for your retirement with your long-term goals in mind. Remember to seek professional advice when needed and regularly review and update your retirement plan as circumstances change. With a well-thought-out plan in place, you can confidently work towards your retirement goals.

Disclosure: Investment advisory services offered through Brookwood Investment Group, LLC, a registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

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