Important steps for good retirement planning

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Many of us are used to using a map to reach an unknown destination or following instructions to assemble an item. Think of the furniture in a certain Swedish store. Without the map we would have a hard time finding our destination and without the instructions we would have even more difficulty putting the furniture together.

Think of a financial plan as a roadmap to achieve a financial goal; it can be any goal, but in many cases it’s a map or directions to reach a retirement goal. If we don’t have a direction in mind, it will be very difficult to achieve this goal.

Here are some steps to help you reach your retirement goals.

Start early

Time is a commodity that we cannot buy or recover. When it comes to planning and investing for retirement, the more time we have to reach our goals, the more likely we are to achieve them. If we wait too long for start planning, we may be faced with an intimidating and unrealistic savings goal. If someone started saving 10 years earlier, they might be saving a smaller percentage of their overall income to complete their plan.

Another advantage of starting early is that the longer our money is invested, the more we profit from compound interest, which can be very powerful. An early start also gives us the opportunity to overcome unforeseen obstacles such as a job loss or a health emergency.

Define aims

Once we have decided to start a plan, it is important to set a goal. The goal may be that you want to retire at age 65 with 80% of your current or future income. Once you have set that goal, you can start working on how to achieve it. It might be a good time to

use the services of a professional advisor

who can work with you and describe how to achieve your goal. A CFP ® professional can help you create a formal plan that can include all aspects of your financial life.

Accounting for your assets and liabilities

To formulate a precise plan, you will need up-to-date accounting of your assets. This includes bank assets, investments and pension plans. It is also useful to indicate how much you are currently saving each month and on what types of accounts, such as IRA or 401 (k) accounts. Now is the time to also collect information about any debts you may have, such as a mortgage, car loan, or any other debt.

Knowing exactly what you are spending versus saving in the form of a budget is a valuable tool in retirement planning.

To watch

After spending time make a plan, it is important to periodically monitor this plan. This involves reviewing the plan to confirm that you’re staying on track, whether it’s saving enough, paying off debt, or staying on budget. This can be done as often as you like, but at least twice a year so you don’t end up too far from the course.

Whether you decide to go it alone or work with a CFP® professional, establishing a financial plan will help you achieve your retirement goals much more effectively.

About the Author – Ted Quillen, CFP®, AIF®

Ted Quillen is a financial advisor at WSFS Wealth Investments and provides securities and advisory services as a registered representative and investment advisor representing the Commonwealth Financial Network ®. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional. Mr. Quillen can be contacted at tquillen@wsfsinvestments.com.


This material is intended for informational / educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, solicitation or recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

WSFS Wealth Investments financial advisers provide securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network® member FINRA / SIPC, a registered investment adviser. WSFS Bank and WSFS Wealth Investments are not registered as a registered broker or investment advisor. WSFS Bank and Commonwealth are separate and unaffiliated entities. Fixed insurance products and services are offered by CES insurance agency.

The investments are not FDIC insured and are not deposits or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, a depository institution. The funds are subject to investment risks, including a possible loss of invested capital.

any system it can be on.


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