Where you see yourself at age 60 shouldgreatly determine how you save andinvest today. Do you see yourself touringItalian vineyards or spending relaxing days with yourfamily at a beach house on the coast? Maybe you stillsee yourself working long days—and not anticipatingretirement for another 5 or more years.
Perfect Picture of Retirement
If you picture yourself traveling or owning abeach house, then there are many more questionsyou will need to consider to achieve those luxuries:Do you know how much you should be saving andinvesting to retire early and comfortably? Dreamretirements rarely happen without a plan.
Judging by some of the latest estimates, you'renot alone if you don't have a plan. If trends continue,half of the baby boom generation will not beable to maintain their standard of living in retirement,even if they work longer. A study sponsoredby Allstate reported that only 25% of baby boomersconsider themselves "very prepared" financiallyfor retirement.
Before you start any hand-wringing or resigningyourself to a lengthier career than you had initiallyintended, with proper planning, you can be in the top1%. But notice the caveat: "with proper planning."
You may still be paying off a hefty debt from medicalschool, and that is a debt many of you have carriedor will carry well into your 40s. But don't let thatdiscourage you from saving, investing, and benefitingfrom compounding interest.
Checkup from the Neck Up
What better time to give yourself a financialcheckup than the beginning of a new year? Addressingthe following issues are the first steps in afinancial checkup:
This list continues, but the point is you shouldthink about your finances now. Get started. The firststep you need to take is to figure out where you wantto be at age 60. Then you can map out a plan thatwill get you there.
Katherine B. Paal, MBA, CFP®, CTFA, is a Certified FinancialPlanner™practitioner at Heritage Financial Consultants inLutherville, Md, and is an investment advisor representative,registered representative, and licensed insurance broker withLincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor andbroker/dealer (1300 York Road, Lutherville, MD; 410-339-6675). She welcomesquestions or comments at kpaal@LNC.com.