When Should I Start Planning for Retirement?

As much as we all hate to admit it, procrastination is just part of the human condition, especially when it comes to weighty issues like retirement savings and estate planning. However, it’s crucial to get started as early as possible when you’re preparing for retirement, to make sure you’ll have everything in order when you’re finally off the clock.

At Carlson & Burnett, our skilled estate planning lawyers can help you draft important end-of-life documents like wills, revocable trusts and power of attorney. In order to do that, however, you’ll also need to have a solid understanding of your retirement plans, as these goals are often intertwined.

What Does Retirement Planning Mean?

Retirement planning can encompass many different tasks, depending on what specific stage of life you’re in. For people under the age of 45, effective retirement planning revolves around having a robust retirement savings account, often in the form of a corporate-matched 401k plan or Roth IRA. However, according to a recent study, as many as two-thirds of all millennials don’t have anything at all saved for their retirement yet.

While it’s true that all too many millennials struggle with significant student debt, rising medical costs, first homes, and other expenditures, retirement planning should also take a priority. Every single year can make a difference when it comes to your retirement savings accounts, because the value of your money compounds over time. This wealth-building effect is so powerful that if you start saving at age 20 and stop after only a decade, you may actually accrue more wealth than someone who saves every year after 35.

Retirement planning isn’t just about saving, however. It can also include the following:

  • Life planning for retirement: Even if you’re still 15 years away from retirement, it’s time to start thinking about what your life will look like after you stop working. This can include your future living arrangements, hobbies, relationships, volunteer or community work, travel choices, and the many other facets of a full life. You can’t predict everything ahead of time, but the sooner you start thinking about these needs, the better off you’ll be!
  • Looking closely at your retirement assets: Once you’re within a few years of retiring, you’ll need to take a close look at all your retirement accounts, stocks, assets, pensions, and government benefits. Working with a qualified financial planner can help you determine exactly how much income you’ll receive as a retiree, and then adjust your plans to match.
  • Applying for government benefits: There are many social programs and government-assisted pension plans available to you, so if you’ll need government benefits, it’s important to apply for them and square the details away. Although not everyone will be a millionaire in retirement, you should be able to live the rest of your life in peace and comfort.

Why Should I Plan for End-of-Life Needs?

For many people, old age can seem so far off that it’s simply not worth the effort of planning for it. This couldn’t be farther from the truth: Although your plans may change dramatically over the coming decades, you’ll need to be prepared financially, emotionally, and mentally for the end of your life. One of the best ways to supplement retirement planning efforts is to create a comprehensive estate plan, which will ensure that your loved ones and legacy are protected in the event of an accident.

At Carlson & Burnett, we offer full-spectrum estate planning and administration services, and our experienced legal team can help you prepare for the future. We know it’s daunting to tackle questions about mortality, but with our friendly staff, you can rest easy knowing that your family and loved ones will be secure after you pass. Whether you need help with long-term care planning, creating specialized trusts, or just writing up your first will, we’ll give you practical options and compassionate assistance.

For more information about our retirement and end-of-life planning services, just call (402) 810-8611 today! We serve clients throughout the Omaha Metro area.

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