Retirement planning is more than crunching numbers. It starts with dreaming, figuring out what aspirations are important to you and using those to define specific, observable goals. Because the reality is that if we’re not emotionally invested in our plans, we’re much less likely to stick to them.
Action, for most of us, comes more from emotion than logic. But we can use our logic to help create beneficial emotions, resulting in positive actions.
A scientifically tested process to help achieve long-term goals was discovered by Dr. Gabriele Oettingen of New York University and the University of Hamburg. Called MCII, it has helped inform EP Wealth’s Peace of Mind (POM) Planning Model.
Start by sketching out what you really want out of life. Do you desire time to retire and travel? Do you want to fund your child’s education? Do you want to spend more time with family?
Next, consider why you want each goal. How would achieving that goal and doing those things make you feel? Liberated? At peace? More loved? More purposeful?
Your goals will be your destination, and those emotions will be your fuel.
This is where negative thinking comes in handy. If you have one of those minds that can pick apart any
situation, then this is the time to use it. What are all the realistic things that you need to accomplish and
overcome before you can reach your goal?
For example, in planning for retirement, there are six major questions that individuals need to account for:
EP’s Lynn Ballou says, “Many people think Medicare will cover their medical expenses in retirement and are surprised, even shocked, with how much they still have to pay out of pocket.”
The average 65-year-old retired couple can expect to pay between $265,000 and $395,000 in healthcare costs over the course of their retirement. AARP has a calculator where you can generate your own estimate:
Separate from medical expenses, long-term care includes assisted living and nursing homes that many people need later in life. The average cost now runs about $7,000 a month or $84,000 a year, so considering long-term care insurance is a good idea.
Make sure you have a well-diversified portfolio that builds in more stable assets as you get closer to retirement. If you need help reviewing your portfolio, contact an EP Wealth Advisor for a free portfolio review.
Be clear on what you’re paying advisors and financial brokers, because that takes away from your return. It’s why EP Wealth Advisors has a fee-only model, so you know exactly where you stand.
Once you have the motivation and can see your steps and challenges, you can make a plan that solves the problems you’ve identified and helps you achieve your goals. Your plan should include your current budget plus known issues like medical costs, long-term insurance, and a buffer for market volatility. Constructing a comprehensive plan can become an overwhelming task, however. So if you need help, please feel free to contact an advisor.
The EP Wealth Advisors financial planning process starts with the relationship between you and your financial advisor. How do you value a financial coach? Developing a partnership that ensures we understand your goals lets us help you prioritize and organize your financial decisions—so you can achieve peace of mind and live your life.
Wealth management tips and news for all people