Retirement Planning

Successful Retirement: Chance or Choice?

Winston Churchill said that “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” Do you feel that you are “destined” to have a successful retirement?  By Churchill’s way of thinking, you must decide to have a successful retirement in order to achieve it. While there are exceptions such as the occasional lottery winner or heir of a distant wealthy relative, most individuals must establish a specific plan to achieve a successful retirement. Here are the steps PATHFINDER WEALTH ADVISORS LLC uses to help our clients prepare their plan:

Define what “success” means to you for retirement. In our discussions with clients we often ask if they are planning to retire “to” something. It is amazing  how difficult it is for us to schedule meetings with our retired clients because they are so busy! Many of our clients would agree that a successful retirement involves having the financial wherewithal to participate in activities that make them feel fulfilled. Sometimes these are activities which they could only do on a limited basis prior to retirement. Now they can devote extra time to something for which they have a passion. Some of the activities we have observed include spending more time with family, especially grandchildren, pursuing athletics such as golf or simply getting in great physical shape. Many retirees volunteer time for charity such as a school or church. The common denominator is that they find activities that interest them prior to retirement and pursue them with vigor when their traditional working years are completed.

Next you have to gather the relevant financial data (investment statements, pension information, etc.) and work with us to examine scenarios based upon assumptions related to such items as your desired after-tax cash flow, anticipated rate of return, availability of social security and inflation. This process helps us as your planner and you as our client begin to understand what savings strategy may be needed to help you make progress in reaching a desired retirement goal. For example, we may advise you to increase your contributions to your company retirement plan and supplement those with contributions to a deductible or non-deductible IRA. Recommendations of this nature cannot be made in a financial planning vacuum. They must consider your other goals such as college funding or assisting an ailing family member.

Finally, once your strategy has been implemented you must commit to a regular review to ascertain if you are on the right track toward your successful retirement. This review continues during retirement. With the volatility of financial markets and the ever changing tax landscape, we help you to adapt your retirement strategy.

So is a Successful Retirement a Choice or a Chance? If you make the choice to develop a plan, you give yourself the chance to achieve your destiny: A Successful Retirement!

For more information on retirement planning, please contact us today.

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