Retirement Planning: Check Your Status

What do you need to do to reach your retirement goals? Preparing for retirement should begin as early as possible. If it’s a task you have been putting off, now is the time to start making plans. Use the following seven-point checklist as a general guide to help you plan for your retirement needs:

• Analyze your financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. (If you keep regular budget and expense records, this is where the time you have invested in the past can really pay off—the information for your analysis will be right at your fingertips.)

• Find out how much income you can expect to receive from such sources as Social Security and your retirement plan(s).

• Estimate potential income from interest earned on savings.

• Review your life, health, and disability insurance policies and determine if they are meeting your present and future needs.

• Determine which of your expenses are likely to decrease after you retire and which are likely to increase.

• Strive to pay off large bills now to avoid facing them when you retire.

• Determine the amount of savings you must begin setting aside monthly and yearly to close the gap between your retirement income goals and your potential retirement income. When settling your monthly bills, follow the maxim: Always pay yourself first.

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