Meeting Your Investment Goals: Are You on Track?
Determining whether or not your retirement plan matches your ideal retirement and investment goals depends on what you want to do once you're free from the responsibilities of a career. Your dream retirement will influence how much of a nest egg you need.
You may be ready to retire if your existing savings can support your ideal retirement lifestyle. But you may want to make a pre-retirement checklist to make sure that's the case. Here are a few ways to determine where you stand.
Imagine Your Ideal Retirement
Again, to see if you might be ready to transition into retirement, you need to start by outlining what that retirement looks like and how much it will cost. Housing and healthcare will likely be the two biggest line items in your retirement budget.
Will you stay in your existing home or are you ready to travel the world? Is it time to downsize? And what about your healthcare needs? According to CNN Money, a couple planning to retire will need about $275,000 for healthcare costs. Are you healthy and plan to lead an active lifestyle, or are you currently facing health issues that could lead to large medical bills? Use your answers to estimate some of your retirement costs. This is an important factor to consider when reviewing your retirement goals, especially if you're married.
Think about the rest of your retirement funds in relation to your goals. Retirement is an excellent time to travel more, spend time with family and friends, and partake in hobbies you may not have had the time for in the past. Continue asking questions about what your ideal retirement will look like. What big purchases do you want to make?
Allocating Your Existing Nest Egg
Think about what a typical day in retirement will be like. Perhaps it involves spending time in your vacation home in Tuscany with family or maybe you'd like to take art or cooking classes to stay sharp. For others, it might be exploring Asia or traveling to and from board meetings. Everyone's dream retirement will look different.
While evaluating, consider how you would like to allocate your nest egg and potentially help it to continue to grow. Alternatively, if you want to give back, perhaps you'd like to allocate some of those funds toward philanthropic efforts.
If you'd like to see your funds grow, investing in new business opportunities or starting a new business of your own may be a good fit for you. Getting in on the ground floor of an up and coming business can grow your retirement savings while also affording you the opportunity to share some of your knowledge with others.
A useful guideline is the 3 percent rule (previously known as the 4 percent rule), which you can use to see if your investments will be enough. This guideline will give you an idea of how much you can safely withdraw without exhausting your nest egg. If you have $1,000,000 in your portfolio, you could safely use $30,000 of that per year in retirement. If that's enough of an income for you, you could retire with $1,000,000 today.
Try automating your investments, investing often, and investing in what you know. By doing this, you'll see your money thrive.
Identify All Sources of Income
Benefits such as Social Security start to kick in when you've reached the full retirement age of 66. If you earn any kind of additional income that allows you to take less from your retirement savings, you could retire sooner. Or you could set smaller investment goals, knowing that you won't need to depend entirely upon your savings in retirement.
No matter how you envision your retirement, be sure to review your nest egg regularly. That way, you can guarantee the retirement you've always dreamt of.