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  • Chad Lively

Retirement Planning Checklist: Building a Solid Financial Future

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

Set Clear Retirement Goals:

  • Define your retirement lifestyle and financial expectations.

  • Determine your desired retirement age and estimate your life expectancy.

  • Identify specific goals such as travel, hobbies, or supporting family.

Assess Your Current Financial Situation:

  • Calculate your current assets, including savings, investments, and retirement accounts.

  • Evaluate your liabilities, such as mortgage, loans, and other debts.

  • Determine your monthly income and expenses to understand your cash flow.

Create a Realistic Budget:

  • Track your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back or save more.

  • Allocate funds for essential needs, discretionary spending, and retirement savings.

  • Consider unexpected expenses like healthcare, home repairs, and emergencies.

Save Strategically for Retirement:

  • Establish a retirement savings goal based on your desired lifestyle and retirement age.

  • Contribute to retirement accounts such as 401(k), IRA, or employer-sponsored plans.

  • Take advantage of employer matching contributions and automatic savings options.

Diversify Your Investment Portfolio:

  • Understand your risk tolerance and investment time horizon.

  • Explore different investment options, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate.

  • Consider seeking professional advice to build a diversified portfolio aligned with your goals.

Maximize Tax-Advantaged Accounts:

  • Contribute to tax-advantaged accounts like Traditional or Roth IRAs.

  • Understand the tax implications and potential benefits of each account type.

  • Utilize catch-up contributions if you're 50 years or older to boost your savings.

Review and Adjust Regularly:

  • Monitor your progress towards your retirement goals regularly.

  • Adjust your savings and investment strategies as needed to stay on track.

  • Stay informed about changes in tax laws, retirement plans, and investment opportunities.

Remember, this checklist is a starting point for retirement planning. Consult with a Financial Planner to tailor it to your specific needs and circumstances.

Retirement Planning Checklist
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Retirement Planning Checklist


When should I start planning for retirement?

It's never too early to start planning for retirement. The earlier you start, the more time you have to save and invest, taking advantage of compound interest.

How much money do I need to retire comfortably?

The amount you need depends on your desired lifestyle, expenses, and goals. A common rule of thumb is to aim for 70-80% of your pre-retirement income.

What retirement accounts should I use?

Consider contributing to employer-sponsored plans like 401(k)s, IRAs (Traditional or Roth), and other tax-advantaged accounts based on your eligibility and financial situation.

How much should I contribute to my retirement accounts?

Aim to contribute as much as you can comfortably afford. At a minimum, try to contribute enough to maximize any employer matching contributions.

Should I pay off debt before retiring?

It's generally a good idea to minimize high-interest debt, but consider your overall financial situation. Some debt (like low-interest mortgages) may be manageable in retirement.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of certain Lively Financial personnel and are subject to change without notice. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to revision due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Any opinions, projections, or forward-looking statements expressed herein are solely those of author, may differ from the views or opinions expressed by other areas of the firm, and are only for general informational purposes as of the date indicated. Lively Financial believes that the content provided by third parties and/or linked content is reasonably reliable and does not contain untrue statements of material fact or materially misleading information. This third-party content may be dated.

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