Should you have a Retirement Plan in writing?

By Bill Gordon, AIF®

Many individuals invest vaguely for the future. They know they need to build up money for retirement, but when it comes to how much they will need or how they will do it, they are not certain. They will “wing it,” hope for the best. How do they recognize they are sufficiently adding to their retirement accounts? Would they feel less anxious regarding their future if they had a written strategy?

Without question, a written retirement plan sharpens your focus. It fine-tunes desires into goals and provides an approach to seek them.

Think about it, if you were to go on vacation, wouldn’t you want a road map to know where you are headed?  Not only do you need directions, but you want to be sure that you pick the best route to reach your destination.  Your financial road should be no different. 

A created strategy promotes self-confidence and gives you the feeling of control.  When you are in control, you can also change the course.  As important as it is to draft an initial plan, being able to amend your plan equally important.  In today’s world, if you have the GPS going in your car and there is an accident ahead, you get alerted.  You then decide to stay the course or amend your current path.  That’s what you can allow yourself to do by writing out your financial plan.  Sure, in the beginning you are going to make assumptions, but as you move forward you always have the option to update your plan.  Maybe you get a raise, lose your job, get married, have a baby, etc.  All these events affect your initial retirement plan.  However, since you already had a tangible plan that you were following, all you do is make a few updates.  If there are no big changes in your life, be sure to still address your plan once a year.  Checking your progress can help you feel confident that you are on the right track.  If you realize you are off track, you can take action to rectify that. 

The key is getting started, if you lack a written retirement plan, speak to a financial professional about creating one.  Take the first step toward the retirement life you have dreamt of by putting it down on paper.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual

Securities and Retirement Plan Consulting Program advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.  Other advisory services offered through Redwood Financial Network, a separate entity