If retirement is well and truly on the horizon, then it’s absolutely essential you start planning properly. That means more than just contemplating how many rounds of golf you’ll be able to put in each week; it means understanding how much money you’ll need to enjoy your twilight years. Of course, people’s plans will differ slightly, but there are some things everyone can do to ensure their retirement gets off to the best start. Read our quick four-step guide to retirement planning to learn more.

Know your income

The most essential part of retirement planning is getting a handle on how much money you’ll be able to use for income. Add up the amount in your various pension pots – including those in your spouse’s name, if applicable, and then take a look at how much money you have in any other accounts you have. Do you have any annuities? If so, get it all on the table.

Understand your expenses

After you’ve found out how much money you have to fall back on, you need to tally that with what you actually need to spend money on. Do you still have a mortgage to pay off? Are there any outstanding loans? Will you still be using credit cards? How many cars are you going to be running? Are you going to be paying membership to any clubs? All of these things add up, so don’t leave anything out!

Balance out the expenses and income, and see what’s left

This could go one of two ways. Either you’ll figure out that you’ve already planned efficiently, or you’ll realise that there’s still more planning to be done. Regardless of the outcome, it’s better to be in the know when there’s still time to make adjustments if they’re required.

Speak to an expert

Of course, the best way to ensure your retirement planning is on the right track is to speak to an expert. Accountants and financial advisers have built their careers on ensuring people can live happily once they reach retirement age, so it makes sense to get advice from people who know what they’re talking about.

Financial planning isn’t easy, nor is it a task that should be undertaken lightly. Make sure that you prepare properly and speak to the right people to ensure you can live happily, and achieve everything you want, once you stop working.

Retirement planning – where to find out more

If you’d like some help with planning for your retirement, please get in touch with us.

Image: Front of Piggy Bank with Dollars by ota_photos licensed under Creative Commons 4.0