I recently read the article, “ Five Steps Young People Should Take to Prepare for Retirement ” from FoxBusiness.com . Not surprisingly, the article emphasized the importance of saving early in life (see our related blog post “ Compound Interest and the ‘Rule of 72′ “ ) and staying out of debt. But the step that kind of slapped me across the face was the first – “Develop a clear plan”. So simple. So easy, right?
My confession to you today is… I really don’t have a plan. Yeah, I started saving and investing fairly early in life (401(k) & Roth IRA), I watch my expenses, and I don’t have much debt to speak of…but as far as a master plan? I got nothing. It’s embarrassing and hard to admit, especially considering my profession. But it’s true.
It makes me think of that ING commercial. You know the one, with the neighbors discussing their target retirement numbers, and one suggests that his is a “gazillion”. I feel like that sometimes, knowing you want a large amount of savings in your retirement years, but having no real specific goals as to how much you truly need, and how exactly you plan on getting there.
I tell you what. I vow to work on my retirement and savings plan this month if you do. Take time to think about your goals, how you want to live in retirement, and discuss what it will take to get there with a financial advisor if you need some help in developing your plan.
See our post “How Much Do You Need to Retire ” for links to some great tools that will help you estimate how much you will need in retirement and how much you need to save to get there.
No more of this “throw money into the pot and see what happens” nonsense. It’s time to get serious.