As this article makes clear, everyone wants something different out of retirement. Figuring out exactly what you want can be incredibly difficult, but it’s one of the most important things you can do when preparing for retirement.
Your retirement income plan should be built around providing you the income to do what you want in retirement. If you don’t know what that is, you’re just taking a shot in the dark and throwing money at the problem.
Throwing money at your retirement certainly isn’t the worst thing you can do – it’s certainly better than not throwing money at it – but without a goal you won’t know how much risk you should take. There are certainly ways of estimating how much income you’ll need, and those can be a great start, but there’s no substitute for real goal planning.
This article provides a nice way of starting to think about what you want to do in retirement. Everyone may be unique, but we all tend to fall into broad groups. If you can identify which type of retiree you are likely to be, that will help you build your mental image of retirement, and how much it will cost.
No one said retirement planning is easy. It’s hard. But it’s important. If you don’t know where you’re trying to go, you’re simply hoping for the best. And that’s not how you want to prepare for retirement.
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