If you are like most people your attention is primarily in the “now.”
You work hard and you're making enough to meet the mortgage on a home that you really like, in the neighborhood that suits you. You might have a boat that you take out on the lake or the ocean whenever you can. When you have dinner guests over, you have a great space for entertaining. You drive a car that is reliable and that you appreciate the look of, and your spouse probably has a separate vehicle.
Have you given any thought to how this lifestyle might change after retirement? You may be the kind of person who loves their lifestyle, and would want it to remain the same once your working years have ended. You may want to keep that house, those cars and that boat and not want to “downsize” to something like a mobile home or an apartment.
"If you see yourself in this scenario, then the next step is to take a good, honest look at your approaching retirement years and ask yourself if you will have the income to support yourself in the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed," says David Lerner, CEO of David Lerner Associates.
Are you still going to be able to make mortgage payments for your home? Will you be able to make payments on a vehicle or vehicles of the sort that you enjoy driving? Will you have the wherewithal to pay the docking fees and payments on that boat?
You have worked hard all your life, and definitely deserve to engage in the lifestyle you really want after retirement. Like anything else, however, retaining your lifestyle takes planning. To achieve the retirement you truly envision for yourself tomorrow, you need to start examining the “hows and whys” today.
When you are making these plans it might be advisable to sit down with a professional financial planner who can guide you through your best options. If you are planning on living off of savings, you should figure out how much you are going to need after retirement. Following that, you should ensure that you are regularly putting enough away right now so that you meet that goal. In addition, there are numerous investments that you can make that might provide a steady income after retirement and keep you safe and secure.
How do you want to live after retirement? The time to answer that question is now, well before you retire—so you can maintain the lifestyle you want.