Five Things to Ask Yourself about Your Retirement

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

My mom flew in from Michigan last week to spend some time with us here in New York. We just went out for dinner celebrating the anniversary of her retirement and how smooth and easy this transition from employed to retired has been. She was beyond thankful for the crucial-yet-easy-breezy questions I had her answer many years ago, to make sure she wouldn’t hit any bumps on her way from the workplace. For those in a retirement state of mind, I thought I should share.

1. Have you taken a thorough look at your retirement needs and wishes, and translated this into dollars? Make sure you consider things like living expenses, airfares for visiting family, vacations, transportation, food including restaurant visits, and of course a realistic number for medical expenses.

2. Are you contributing enough to retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans and IRAs for your retirement goals to be realistic? Meaning, at the rate you are setting money aside and that your money is growing, will you have enough when you retire?

3. Are your investments suitable for your risk tolerance and time frame?

4. Do you use the ideal type/s of retirement account/s to make the most out of your invested money? Are there other types you should consider?

5. Do you review your investment portfolio regularly to make sure your investments bring you the best possible returns? If they don’t, do you rebalance your portfolio?

Don’t sweat if you have answered “no” to some of the questions above. It’s better to implement some changes now than later. Working with the right financial planner – or simply a financially savvy friend or family member – you, too, can transition successfully from career woman to the retirement of your dreams.


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