We all want financial security in our retirement years. In this new era of retirement, however, planning shouldn’t focus solely on finances. Without doubt, money is a huge part of retirement planning — probably the most significant part — but it’s not all of it.
When planning for retirement, having a balanced approach that considers both life (what it will look like on a day-to-day basis) and finances will help you achieve the most positive outlook. We need to prepare mentally and emotionally for what happens when we actually do retire.
What do you picture when you think about your retirement? What do you want to do? Make a list of your retirement objectives and important goals. And remember, it’ll be different for everyone.
Now its time to factor in the benefits you’ll have to help realize your retirement plans.
For many of us, Social Security is the biggest source of our retirement income, and deciding when to claim is an important decision. Working a little longer and delaying your claim will provide a much more secure retirement for life. Weigh the pros and cons of working longer, and then get comfortable with your decision. AARP’s Social Security Benefits Calculator can help estimate your Social Security benefits and show you when is the best time for you to claim.
The next steps will focus on filling income gaps that Social Security doesn’t meet so you can realize your goals.
Funding your retirement means seeing your overall financial picture. Look at how much you have in the bank, what you bring home each month, your savings rate and the size of your retirement account. Then plug those numbers, along with your estimated Social Security benefits, into AARP’s free Retirement Calculator. This will help you identify your savings goal.
Now that you’ve got a plan and worked some numbers, there’s plenty more you can do. AARP offers many helpful tips, webinars and publications where you can get answers straight from the experts. Find the answers you need to feel prepared. AARP is your ally in helping you realize and reach your retirement possibilities.