(Article not intended for those just started working and already want to retire)
What does it mean to be ready for retirement? How do you answer that question? It turns out that while others can help you with answers about your financial well-being or guide you through benefits options, a large part of the answer is dependent upon your vision of retirement.
To be “retirement ready” you first need to define your vision of retirement. Is your vision to ease into retirement and work part time or to create a life from which you don’t need a vacation? Once you know how you’d like to spend your retirement, then you can begin to answer the question of how ready you are to retire and/or what steps you need to take to be ready.
If you’re looking for a way to estimate how much money you’ll need for retirement, cruise on over to www.opm.gov and use the Federal Ballpark Estimate tool under the Retirement section. This resource projects your Federal annuity and Thrift Savings Plan benefits to provide insight on how much you’ll need to save. Whether you’re covered by CSRS, CSRS-Offset, or FERS, the Federal Ballpark Estimate is applicable as long as you plan to retire under the voluntary age and service rules. Full details are available at www.opm.gov.
Creating a Retirement Budget
Okay, perhaps creating a budget isn’t the most exciting activity. But without at least a rough idea of what your day-to-day expenses will be in retirement, how will you know how much is enough? And if you’re looking for less stress in retirement, relying on hope as a plan is not advisable.
There are plenty of useful budget tools online – if you Google “creating a retirement budget” you’ll find many resources including budget templates. For a quick and easy way to do a budget, simply create a spreadsheet of your anticipated income and your estimated expenses.
Define your vision of retirement – what does retirement look like to you?
Check out the Federal Ballpark Estimate tool – how will you fund your retirement vision?
Create a retirement budget – how much can you spend in retirement?
The information contained herein constitutes general information and is not directed to, designed for, or individually tailored to, any particular individual or circumstance. This article is not intended to be a client-specific analysis or recommendation. Do not use this article as the sole basis for any financial decisions. Consider all relevant information. Information should not be considered as tax or legal advice. You should consult with your tax advisor and/or attorney regarding your individual circumstances.
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