Anna D. Banks, Basic Author

By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Many people put off planning for their retirement thinking that since it is years away in the future they can wait for some more time before giving thought to it. However, by delaying it you could end up losing substantial amounts of money. This, in turn, could be the decisive factor of whether your retirement will be a comfortable one or whether you barely get by.

Planning for retirement, therefore, ought to be begun as soon as possible. By beginning early, not only will it give you more time to create a portfolio of investment that will generate a comfortable income during your retirement, but also take care of other important matters like health.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning for your retirement:

Set Goals
One of the first things to do is making a list of some of the goals you have for your retirement. Are you planning on traveling? Do you want to move to another place because of the climate, or to be closer to family? Or perhaps you just want to stay in the same place and pursue your interests and hobbies. Irrespective of what your goals may be, you will require money for it from an income. It is projected that baby boomers will have retired lives that will last for 30 years, and perhaps even more. Hence, you will have to make a plan that generates income for that many years. It could include taking up another career after retiring, to augment your retirement income. You can use retirement calculators to find out the amount of money you will require for your retirement.

Make a Budget

In case you have not already done so, make a budget. If you have no idea about your monthly expenditure, start jotting down every dollar you spend for two to three months in a journal. You will be able to manage your expenses better once you find out exactly what you are spending on. Payments you make toward your retirement plan should be included in your budget.

Include other Members of the Family
Talk about your plans for retirement with your spouse and other members of your family. It is likely that both you and your spouse will retire around the same time, hence both of you should be in accord about the kind of retirement you want. If both of you are working, both will be making contributions to the funds you are putting aside for your retirement. Hence by deciding together, you will create a plan that both of you will find acceptable.

Don’t Bust your Plan
Regardless of how well you plan for the financial aspect of your retirement, it will come to naught, if you use it frivolously to buy yourself luxuries that you can do without. If you are going over your budget, it is probably because you are mistaking luxuries to be necessities. Does every member of the family really require a cell phone and a pager? Do you really require another phone line, or caller ID? Small things add up, making you go over budget. While you do not have to deprive yourself, it is always better to spend your money wisely.

Aim for Health and Fitness
Age related ailments affect your healthcare costs along with your insurance premiums for your retirement. Your premiums will be substantially higher, or you could even be denied coverage, if you have any pre-existing health condition. That will hit you hard when you will require funds for healthcare the most. Hence, plan for being healthy and fit into a ripe old age by eating well and exercising regularly.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF, is a passionate advocate for baby boomers in exploring their priorities, planning and setting goals for the next stage of their lives. Assisting her clients to attract and build a professional and personal life consistent with their values is not just a goal of Anna’s, it’s her passion. Her diverse work experience in business, education and financial services enables her to help the diverse population of baby-boomers with their life, career, and personal finance coaching needs. Anna is currently Adjunct Faculty at Essex County College, where she teaches Career Development & Management. Please place a post on or email your questions to me at
Author’s Note:

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