If you’re planning on retiring within the next ten years, you likely have a mix of emotions from relief and excitement to apprehension and worry about whether you’ll be financially ready when the time comes. Fortunately, there are some retirement income planning steps you can take to ensure a happier and more stress-free retirement.

 Senior couple smiling in a park.

Define Your Retirement

While you likely have some idea of how you’d like to spend your retirement, it’s still a good idea to make a list of your main objectives and goals. This could include things like where you want to live, travel, volunteer, etc. Basically, how do you envision living your retirement?

It’s okay if your goals and objectives are vague for now. This is an opportunity to really outline how you plan on spending your retirement. Something most people don’t realize is that the best retirement plans and those most successful at creating them don’t always follow a traditional route. There is a study by the social security administration that says if you follow 100 people through a 40 year working career, here's what you'll find: One person is wealthy, four are financially free, five are still working well into their retirement years-not because they want to but because they have to, 36 died before the could retire, and 54 end up broke and dependent on friends, family, or the government to get by. This goes to show that if you just follow the crowd and do what most people do, you may end up getting what most people get. That is, less than they really desire and had hoped for. 

Since you’re writing down your objectives, this is also a good time to create a retirement budget and have an idea of how much retirement income you are going to need to live the retirement life you envision for yourself. Your budget should include how much money will be coming in and what you will need to do now to reach your goals including how much debt you need to pay off.

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Take Inventory of Your Assets

Many people keep track of how much income they’re bringing in each month, or how much money they have in their various bank accounts, but they don’t usually keep track of their other assets that could help fund their retirement. Think about all of your assets, even the non-traditional ones. Perhaps you have a rare collection of antiques, musical instruments, or a classic car? Take inventory of all of your assets, even if they seem small or insignificant right now.

Evaluate Your Current Financial Health

In order to get the most out of your retirement, it’s important to be as financially healthy in the years leading up to your retirement. Evaluating your current financial status and determining ways to bring you closer to your long term goals is important. Even making small adjusts to your short term goals now can have a big impact in just a few years.

Find Additional Ways to Earn Money During Retirement

Many hobbies and skills can be turned into actual income during your retirement years. Think about all of your hobbies and skills to determine if any of them could morph into a money making endeavor later on. What do you enjoy doing for fun? It could be anything from sewing to playing the piano. You’d be surprised at just how many hobbies and talents you can turn into additional income producing opportunities.

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Start Cutting Down Your Debt and Expenses

Now is the time to start cutting down your expenses and downsizing your debt if you have any. The more money you can save now, the better. If you’re unsure on how to get started, contact Safe Money Partners today. Getting a solid handle on your retirement income planning now will keep you on track for the retirement you’ve worked so hard for and deserve.

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Jeff Mohlman

By Jeff Mohlman

Jeffrey has developed a comprehensive network of financial planning and estate planning experts who work for their client’s short-term and long-term goals. Today, the approach he incorporates for his clients follows three basic tenets: 1) being debt-free, 2) maximizing after-tax retirement income, and 3) protecting their estate from unforeseen risks.