5 Helpful Steps to Start Retirement Planning

Steve Lear |

Whether you’ve just landed a position in your long-term career, are curious about how to start planning for retirement, or are realizing you haven’t given it enough thought, it’s never too late to begin. Our retirement and investment planning professionals have put together a few helpful tips to guide you through the process so that you can build a solid retirement plan.

What Is Retirement Planning?

Once you begin settling into your career path, it’s time to start planning for retirement. Creating a retirement plan early-on is highly recommended, as it sets you up for success at the end of your career. It all starts with determining how much money you’ll need to save for life after retirement. After you figure out a rough estimate, you can use many different strategies to reach your goal. When you’re first starting your retirement planning, it’s recommended to consider a few critical factors, such as:


  • Medical expenses and long-term care requirements
  • Retirement age
  • Life after retirement
  • Types of retirement accounts
  • Funds needed for after retirement
  • And more

Regardless of whether you’re married or single, having a clear goal to work toward will inspire you to take action and make moves to reach it. If you’re unsure of where to start with your retirement planning, it’s recommended to seek guidance from an experienced investment and retirement professional. These professionals are familiar with retirement planning and can answer questions while helping you formulate an effective retirement plan based on your unique situation. For now, we’ve provided five helpful steps to get you started with your retirement planning.

1. Know When to Start

It’s recommended to start planning for retirement as early as possible because the earlier you start planning, the more time your money will have to grow. However, it’s also important to remember that it’s never too late to start. The sooner you develop a plan, even if you haven’t given retirement much thought, the more savings you’ll have for retirement. If you’re beginning to save for retirement at an older age, you may need to save more to reach your goals and it may be difficult to make up for the lost time.


2. Set Your Retirement Goals

Take some time to think about what you want your life to look like after retirement. What are your dreams and aspirations? You’ve spent most of your life focusing on your career, and now that retirement is nearing, you can participate in the activities you love. Identifying your retirement goals will not only help you stay motivated but will help you plan realistically so these goals can be met. It can be difficult to figure out how much money you’ll need by the time you retire, but there are many different online tools available to help you estimate. Keep in mind; it’s generally better to save more early instead of risking not having enough funds saved for your dream retirement.

3. Seek Guidance From a Financial Advisor

Part of retirement planning is practical investing. However, investing isn’t necessarily a solo activity. When you’ve decided to start forming your retirement plan, seeking guidance from a financial advisor is a good idea. They will help you create a retirement investment plan that is both realistic and suitable for your life and goals. Whether you’ve already started investing or are just beginning, many details need to be factored in, and getting advice from a financial advisor will help you maximize results. Having enough funds for life after retirement is vital, meaning retirement planning is nothing to take lightly – you don’t have to do it on your own.


4. Invest for the Long-Term

Patience is the secret when it comes to investing for your retirement. While it’s not uncommon to feel fear, anxiety, and even impulsiveness when investing, it’s best to dismiss these emotions so you can get results. It’s best to think of your investments as long-term, rather than short-term, and place the investments at the back of your mind. The stock market naturally fluctuates, meaning the funds you invest in will too. Investing funds in the stock market early on will allow for more opportunity for growth over the years. We understand how intimidating the stock market can be – especially if you don’t understand it. Our retirement and investment planning professionals are here to help you make smart investments so that you can be prepared to enjoy life after retirement.


5. Choose a Retirement Savings Account

There are many different types of retirement savings accounts available that you can choose from once you begin planning. They are all good ways to save, if available, based on your tax and employment status. Each retirement plan account type listed below has its benefits, but ultimately, it’s recommended to choose one that provides tax advantages and/or additional savings incentives. Today’s employers commonly offer a 401(k) plan to employees after an allotted time frame along with a percentage match. Unfortunately, not all employers provide this incentive which means you may want to consider an alternative. Below are a few of the retirement planning options offered at Affiance Financial:


  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Simple IRA
  • Solo 401(k)


Begin Your Retirement Planning Today

Planning for your retirement doesn’t have to be stressful or daunting. Instead, you should be excited because you’re setting yourself up for an enjoyable life at the end of your career. Retirement is a time for you to do the things you haven’t had the chance to yet, like traveling the world, spending quality time with your grandchildren, or building and tending to a large garden. It’s never too early to begin organizing your retirement plan, and if you’re ready to start, we encourage you to contact Affiance Financial today. Our knowledgeable retirement and investment planning professionals will give you the necessary advice, guidance, and tools to get you started.


Please Note: There are no assurances that the content made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog post will be profitable, or suitable for your individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing conditions, the content is only reflective of current opinions or positions and is subject to change at any time and without notice. Moreover, you should not assume that this article serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Affiance Financial. Please remember to contact Affiance Financial if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives.