What is Your Retirement Plan?

What is your retirement plan?


Picture it big sprawling beach with your toes in the sand. The cook is in the house and the cleaner is making the beds and you are reading a good book without pictures. This is how I picture my life when I retire the problem is how do you get from the dream to the reality? The answer is simple get a financial planner without a good retirement plan you will never reach your dream. I think at this rate we could live the dream above for a year. I am looking for twenty. That means I need a plan.

You will need to meet with a financial planner and bring all the information you have. That means your bank statements, debts, and assets, and dreams. You will want them to do the following things.

Check Your Taxes
Verify that you’ve paid enough into the IRS for income taxes. Now, I’m not a proponent of paying a lot of extra money into the IRS; that’s like loaning them your money without getting any interest. But, unless your expecting your tax return this year to be drastically different than last year’s return, you should have paid in at least as much as you owed last year. You can quickly check this by looking at the YTD amounts on your W-2 and comparing them to the total tax amount on your tax return. You should determine your refund amount if any and try to place it in something that will provide the most return on investment. You need to think about your house on the beach after all that is more important than that amazing dress.

Review Your Retirement Fund
Make plans to contribute to more to your retirement fund than you did last year. If you’ve been doing it all along through your employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, that’s great. If you don’t have access to that kind of luxury, though, you’ll want to put some thought into opening a traditional IRA or Roth IRA for yourself. This is something that a financial planner can help you determine. They have so many tools to enable you to make the right choice for your future. Although you don’t have to make these contributions before the end of the year to take advantage of the tax benefits (you have until April 15th), it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about it now. I say if you are able to cut the expenses you have now and use that money for your future do it! I am on the $5 savings plan and I really like it.

Ponder and Reflect
Take a moment to reflect on the past year. Now is the time to decide what things worked for you and what things didn’t work in terms of your financial tragedy?  Did you take a stab at the envelope method or the denial method, but then realize that using nothing but cash didn’t work for you and not owning up to what you bought was worse than knowing? What went wrong? Maybe you can try a modified version of it next year. How did you do with your savings goals? Did you save enough? What things should you planning to save for next year? Congratulate yourself on the things that went well and look for ways to salvage the attempts that didn’t go as smoothly. Either way, you probably learned a lesson or two about your finances. I read an article which advises to set realistic goals when planning for retirement. You need to project your retirement expenses based on your needs, not rules of thumb. It is important to be honest about how you want to live in retirement and how much it will cost. I believe true success if found by having goals and sometimes we need the help of others to meet our goals. A good financial planner  and a system can make the difference between having a cook and being the cook.

For my own retirement plan, I found Genworth Financial retirement income worksheet to be very useful in helping me know what I have to pay for the life I want in retirement. It’s a budget calculator that estimates the cash flow to cover my “have-to-haves” and “nice-to haves,” a simple but huge first step in making my dream plan to reality.

Disclosure: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions and content of this article is mine.

Topic: Retirement

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  1. Meredith says

    I’m not really old enough or in a position to start retirement savings (single mom + self-employed = no $ for anything) but I might need to show some of this info to my mom!

  2. Ruth chu says

    I have been thinking about this lately and this is why i am looking at getting back to work couple years quicker then planned.

  3. Tina says

    Thanks for the fabulous tips I am going to check out Genworth for sure. Thanks for sharing this post with this amazing content that everyone needs to know. Thanks again.

  4. Sharon Siqueiros says

    Thanks for a great post, I will also be checking out Genworth Financial!! My husband and I need to find extra outlets to help us toward retirement

  5. Sarah Hayes says

    thankfully Im not having to plan this yet but its a great post with really good tips. this can get so confusing so Its nice to have someone explain it

  6. meegan whitford says

    great ideas I currently do not have a retirement plan so I should get to working on something!!!

  7. Charlotte Raynor says

    I guess I don’t have to really worry about my retirement. I’ve been on social security disability for the past 15 years. Once I turn 64, it will just go from disability to social security. I never did have any retirement plan. Thanks for the information.

  8. Kristi Cartwright says

    We have already started a IRA and at age 24 having had that open for over a year I feel pretty confident that we are on the right track! Our goal now is to knock out our student loan debt, which is atrocious! We are currently taking the Dave Ramsey “financial peace university” course….HIGHLY recommend!! 🙂

  9. says

    Let me tell you even with doing all of the right things, retirement is going to be tough in this economy. We have been sort of forced into an early retirement because my husband has been out of work pretty much for 3 years now, he’s a union electrician and this has screwed up our plans, and with rising education costs, my son is just finishing up college, his tuition had taken a big jump and chunk out of our savings. So good luck is all I can say.

  10. terri tillman says

    unfortunately i do not have any sort of plan. i am so poor that i cant even pay attention. at 53 i am really scared about getting up to retirement age.

  11. Tammy Schweitz says

    I wish I had retirement fund. It will look into Roth or IRA accounts. I have too think more about retirement

  12. Mikki Cross says

    My retirement plan is to save up enough money in a IRA that I wouldn’t have to depend on the paltry Social Security payouts.

  13. Raine says

    Great tips, a lot don’t apply to me since I’ve been on and will be on disability permanently-but I still should save ‘just in case’. I will be passing this along to friends and family members. Thank you!

  14. sandy weinstein says

    i dont really have much of a retirement plan, i had to take early retirement 12 yrs ago to care for my mother. luckily, i saved alot, did the 401k match plan, have a pension and 2 annuities, have a great financial advisior. will get a little from ss, and have some properties that are worth some money. my only real expenses are day to day living, dont buy many clothes are luxeries, except for my 3 4 legged dogs, and only have a mortg which is more that half paid off….i do not need life insurance, only what my co gave me for retirement, b/c i am single, no kids, i looked into long term care, which was good to have many yrs ago, but the rates have gone sky high and may not be worth the expense, especially since they are raising the rates and if you dont pay the increase, you lose whatever you put in…..

  15. Samara Overturff says

    These are some really great tips! Thanks for the wonderful advice, I am only 20 but it is never too early to learn about retirement and what I will need to do.

  16. Rosanne says

    It’s also important that both in the couple are on the same page that one does not act like a juvenile

  17. Margaret Smith says

    Really great ideas. We have hopes of retiring in a little over 10 years, so we really are trying to be dedicated to our goals.

  18. Angela Hartness says

    My retirement plans include a 401K plan a IRA. Currently I am working on doing a Long Term Care insurance.

  19. Michele P says

    I haven’t even begin to think about retirement… I do have a 403b through work, and I know social security will either be cut or not grow in comparison to inflation by the time I am ready to retire. Hubby is from Guatemala and we’ve talked about retiring there, having a little rental income from an apt. house we will have built and extra income from his negotiations in the coffee, beans and jocotes (fruit) that he has planted.

  20. Sylvia Ortiz says

    Unfortunately, I never planned for my retirement while being employed (at the same job for 21 years – no less!) I am very disappointed in myself for not being “financially-minded”. I am not unemployed, after being laid off in 2007 (along with my husband!) We are very fortunate though, that we live “rent-free” in my husband’s parents backhouse – in addition to them helping us out with extra groceries for our family as well.

  21. Alison King says

    I’m 24 and have just recently made retirement planning a priority. It’s hard, because I don’t really have a concept of how much money i actually need to retire comfortably. On the other hand, I see older generations, like my parents, who waited too late to save for retirement and are starting to feel the strain or accepting that they’ll be working past regular retirement age. I wish they taught us more about this stuff in school because I’m really just trying to figure it out for myself!

  22. krista grandstaff says

    I think these are some great ideas… we’ve had to rethink our retirement strategies this past year due to my job being lost after downsizing at my company ( management was cut in order to expand the workforce…interesting strategy 😉 and my husband being in school full time after he lost his management position at his compamy… eventually, we’ll have it back on track, and some of these ideas will def work for us 🙂

  23. Jennifer Mae Hiles says

    We just finished our taxes. The only problem I had is that I did not save receipts for my charitable donations. I’m going to do that this year and see if it makes a difference. I do have a nice 403b plan through my work but they stopped our pension. So next year, I am going to contribute 7% instead of 6% to my plan.



  25. Melinda Dartmann says

    Our retirement is all set. My husband has retired after 30 years in the US ARMY and receiving his due, plus he also receives VA Dissability for life for his time served during the wars and got hurt. I have been doing a 401 k for the past 30 years and have not decided to retire for awhile. I’m still a bit too young yet! LOL

  26. laurie campbell says

    great information for planning for the future I’m already in retirement and also do things that bring in $ that are hobbies to

  27. Mary Fagans says

    You’re never too young to start to think about your future. Great time for me to start, thanks for the tips!

  28. Wendy Rhodes says

    I’ve invested some of my money in mutual funds and bonds. It’s just a part of my big retirement plan. I also plan on purchasing insurance but I haven’t made up my mind yet if I’ll purchase a hybrid policy of long term care insurance and life insurance or I’ll just go with the traditional ltci policy. I have family history of heart ailment and I just want to prepare for my future and make sure that everything will be covered. I don’t want to put the burden of taking care of me or paying for my care to my family. I can still prepare for it now, so I’m starting to looking for long term care insurance quotes online. I’ve read that this is the best way to find the most affordable and appropriate coverage for you. They even give free non-obligation quotes from top carriers here: http://www.ltcoptions.com/free-long-term-care-quotes/.

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