Halfway There: Evaluating Your Retirement Progress in Midlife

Check in on your retirement planning progress in midlife and make needed course corrections to stay on track.

While your retirement plan isn’t your complete financial plan, it’s a significant aspect and it heavily informs your strategy. You likely have particular milestones you’d like to meet, and it’s essential to periodically evaluate your retirement planning progress. Midlife is an ideal time to assess your financial goals and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable retirement. If you’re in your forties or fifties, here’s how to evaluate your retirement readiness and make the most of the years ahead.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Assess Your Retirement Goals

There’s no one-size-fits-all retirement blueprint, so begin by revisiting your retirement goals and objectives. Are they still relevant, or have your priorities evolved? Whether you aim for early retirement, a significant travel budget, or pursuing new hobbies, understanding your goals is the foundation of your retirement plan and will inform the choices you make going forward.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Review Your Retirement Savings

Perhaps the biggest predictor of whether you will get to enjoy the retirement of your dreams is whether your retirement savings accounts, such as your 401(k), IRA, or pension plan have reached healthy thresholds by midlife. There’s no magic amount to save, since every person’s situation is unique, but take the time now to calculate how your current savings stack up against your retirement goals. Consider increasing your contributions to bridge any gaps. It’s better to find out now that you’re behind on your savings plan than to reach near-retirement only to realize you need to continue working.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Understand Your Investment Portfolio

A diversified and balanced investment portfolio is crucial for retirement security. If you’re not in the habit of regularly reviewing your asset allocation and assessing whether it aligns with your risk tolerance, begin now. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure your investments remain on track.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Calculate Your Retirement Expenses

This is a tricky step if you have not yet clarified your ideal retirement lifestyle but do your best to estimate your expected retirement expenses. Take into account living costs, healthcare, travel, and leisure activities. Knowing your expenses helps determine how much income you’ll need in retirement.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Debt Management

It’s ideal not to walk into retirement with a burden of debt on your shoulders, so take pains now to get your accounts out of the red. Work on reducing or eliminating high-interest debts first, like credit cards and loans. This can free up more of your income for savings and retirement contributions.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Health and Insurance

Review your options for health insurance and long-term care plans in retirement. Work to understand what Medicare will pay for and what you’ll need to pay for out of pocket. Ensure you have adequate coverage to protect your health and assets during retirement.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Social Security

Understand your Social Security benefits and when it’s best to claim them – there may be more options than you realize! Delaying benefits can lead to larger monthly payments, so consider the optimal timing based on your individual circumstances.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Estate Planning

Update your estate plan and ensure your beneficiaries and legal documents reflect your current wishes. It’s important to note that your will won’t overrule your beneficiary designations, so both are critical to keep up to date. Proper estate planning can safeguard your assets and provide for your loved ones.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Tax Planning

Taxes are one of the certainties of life, but don’t pay more than you have to! Evaluate your tax situation and explore proactive, tax-efficient strategies for retirement. Consider factors like Roth conversions, tax deductions, and tax-advantaged accounts.

Retirement Planning Progress Check: Set New Milestones

Whether you’ve crushed your retirement planning milestones up to this point or it’s become clear that you need to reevaluate your roadmap, midlife is a good time to set new or refreshed retirement goals. These milestones can help motivate and guide your financial decisions as you approach retirement.

Are Your Working to Solidify Your Retirement Plan for Mid-Life and Beyond?

Evaluating your retirement progress from time to time is essential to ensure you’re on the right path to your retirement goals, and midlife is a smart time to undertake a review. By making strategic adjustments and staying focused on your financial objectives, you can make the most of the years ahead.

Halfway to retirement is an excellent time to reflect, adapt, and look forward to a prosperous and comfortable retirement. Now is also a smart time to partner with a trusted financial advisor if you aren’t already doing so. Professional guidance can make all the difference as you work to set yourself up for a retirement that is free from financial anxiety. Schedule a free consultation today to learn about the services Cash Financial offers. We look forward to hearing from you!

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