Ever find yourself bogged down or intimidated by all the things you're supposed to have done to prepare for retirement? It's true that's there's a lot to consider as you plan for retirement. But sometimes, as my mother used to say, "It's hard to see the forest for the trees."
In other words, it's easy to get too involved in the details of retirement planning and fail to look at your situation as a whole.
So...when you think about retirement planning, take a deep breath, stand back and think about the two factors you absolutely must manage to be able to get to retirement and to stay retired:
Number One: Your income
Number Two: Your expenses
That's it! It sounds simple but I meet a lot of folks who have been working to build their retirement assets, but have not considered their retirement expenses.
For example, if you believe your monthly spending in retirement will be $4,000 per month but it's actually really closer to $6,000....well...that's $2,000 per month or $24,000 per year more than you think you'll need for retirement!
How long do you think your retirement savings can handle an extra $24,000 per year in after-tax dollars that you didn't include in your retirement planning?
Retirement is not an event. It's another phase of life and it requires clear thinking and planning.
Start with the big concepts. Figure out your retirement income and outline your anticipated expenses - including healthcare, travel, visiting the grand-kids and whatever else you've been looking forward to in this phase of life.
The key is to manage both your retirement income and your expenses. If you do this, you'll go a long way toward building a retirement plan that will last.