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4: Make a Plan

Formalize Your Retirement Goals

goal cloud

Retirement goals are influenced by the eight key decision areas that have been discussed earlier in this course. Hopefully, as you’ve analyzed the eight areas, you’ve thought about how these areas will impact the ideal retirement you laid out early in the course.

So, go back to your visualization of your retirement. How do the eight key areas help you achieve that retirement dream? What goals do you need to set for yourself to reach that state for retirement?

Reach Your Retirement Goals

Take a moment to write down three goals for your ideal retirement. For example, you might want to travel with family in your retirement. So, your goals could be something like this:

  1. Have enough saved in my employer-based defined contribution plan to pay for a family trip every three years.
  2. Be in good enough health to enjoy traveling with my family.
  3. Use my Social Security benefits only for living needs, not traveling.

Now align these goals to the eight key areas that can influence retirement:

  1. Goal 1 aligns to investing in retirement plans long enough (and hopefully at a high enough contribution) to maximize your savings and earnings.
  2. Goal 2 aligns to having adequate health insurance coverage in your retirement so that you can see a doctor regularly, addressing any medical issues that arise.
  3. Goal 3 aligns to working long enough to maximize your Social Security benefits as well as keeping your debt down, so your benefits are used only for daily living expenses.

Ready for the next step? Let’s look at using the eight key areas to make these goals happen.

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