Thanks to Forbes for this useful article, “How Much Do You Need To Retire: 4 Things For Your Checklist,” that includes a look at some items that must go on your retirement planning list:
Decide on your retirement age. This is easiest for many people, but the age you choose should align with your retirement savings and Social Security benefits. At a minimum, use Social Security payments as a baseline for your retirement income.
What kind of retirement lifestyle do you want? Jot down your estimated retirement expenses, like housing, food, insurance, medical expenses and a Medigap policy. The better you plan these estimates, the more you can project your lifestyle expenses.
Do you have a savings plan in place? Save at least 15% of your annual income, and you'll probably be able to handle most of your retirement expenses. Use a retirement calculator to see if you'll attain your savings goals.
Call an expert, because this is complicated. Most of us think, "I got this." A can-do attitude is great, but for retirement planning, a professional can help you create a realistic plan that might address things you simply aren’t aware of. Your life will go through many changes, like a new career, health issues or a divorce. Plan for these and other variables by drafting a secure plan with an estate planning attorney.