For most of us, retirement success means achieving some version of living comfortably, while being as worry-free as possible during our retirement years. However, reaching this goal is often easier said than done. Even though we work hard, act responsibly, plan, and save, we may still come up short of reaching our goals. Sometimes this shortfall may not be due to the choices that were made prior to retirement, but rather the choices that were made after retirement.
Prior to retirement, investors tend to focus mostly on the investment component of their financial plan. With our investment information just a click away, we can easily check on them any time of day. Hours a week can be spent sifting through the latest mutual fund or stock reports, newsletters, or watching the investment news channel. For some, investing has become a form of entertainment; grabbing our attention, holding on to it, and distracting us from other important issues. However, we believe that investments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a successful retirement plan.
Planning is often the part that lies beneath the surface and yet will have a large impact on our future success. As we only have one chance to get retirement right, proper planning is important and necessary. Coming up short of our goals is never a pleasant experience; especially, when it comes to our finances. If a shortfall occurs prior to retirement, it may mean working longer, saving more, or spending less in the future. None of these options are painless, yet we must recognize that at least there is a choice. If a shortfall happens after retirement, the only remaining option is also the most painful: spend less.
The purpose of this workbook is to demonstrate the value of planning. Retirement planning, as we define it, means effectively integrating investments, tax, social security, and cash flow planning. Then fine tuning each of these mutually dependant variables to work to your greatest advantage. We believe this framework will help you make better choices about your retirement plan and, in turn, will help you gain more control over your financial future.Read More (PDF)