Planning for the future looks different for different people. Look at retirement for example.
Too often retirement planning is all about the numbers. Yes, those digits are important. But it helps to anchor those numbers to something even more important - your dreams! What does your dream retirement look like? Before diving too deep into the nitty-gritty numbers, focus on that dream. The numbers will follow. And bear in mind that this is an exercise that will change as you get older -- so do it every year. If you are married or partnered, it is essential to do it together.
While everyone's retirement dreams may differ, we all want to feel secure in our ability to achieve them. Sharing strategies is an effective planning tool (and another way that a community like Woman's Compass Forum can help!). We see this whenever Galia presents and analyzes our participants' (confidential) forecasts. It's always inspiring to hear how much this exercise helps our participants refine their plans ... and how much better they feel about where they are, too.
Dream then plan. Then share, refine and dream again! Here are some questions and tips to help you stay grounded in your dreams as you plan for the future. Your Dream
Do you want to stay in your home?
Where do you want to live? Different state? Out of the country? Near family members? City, Country?
Do you want to keep working (because you love what you do!)?
What do you look forward to doing the most in retirement? Buying a boat, learning to paint, playing golf, volunteering?
Do you want to spend money on experiences or material possessions (i.e., new car every few years vs. travel)?
Will your mortgage be paid off?
Do you really know your monthly expenses? Expenses in retirement tend to be the same these days. Although medical expenses are higher, people in retirement spend the same.
Have you gotten a recent social security statement? When should you start taking social security?
Do you still have kids' college to plan for?
Do you have a pension? Very few of us do but you might if you worked for a large corporation, non-profit or as a teacher, for example.
How long do you need your money to last? (Analysts use age 92.)
Check out this retirement calculator. It’s enlightening!
Make your retirement savings a line item in your monthly expenses. It’s as important as your mortgage or car payment.
Are all your old retirement plans in one place?
Keep your options. Saving for retirement creates choices. It doesn’t mean that you will or won’t work. It just means that you are creating options for yourself as you get closer to “retirement."
What does one million dollars look like to you? See really how far it goes to change your life.
Planning for retirement is just one way to feel more control in an uncertain world. Woman’s Compass Forum can help with this and more.
Get grounded for life with Women's Compass Forum.