Planning for retirement can seem like a daunting task, as there is so much to consider. Individuals in their 50s should start seriously assessing their strategy to for living comfortably in the golden years. And while figuring out where to begin and how best to go about improving a plan can be tough, a recent article from Forbes highlighted some questions you should answer.
When will you retire?
The retirement age is typically 65, but these days, Americans are often working beyond that age. While this aspect of your retirement may be out of your control, it's best to have a general idea when you want to retire, then try to do everything in your power to meet that goal. And while much of this will rely on external factors, like how the economy is doing, other parts will vary from person to person. For example, there is typically a date in which the maximum amount of benefits can be obtained from an employer's retirement fund. This means that it actually might be well worth working an extra few months, in order to get paid more for that plan.
"When you approach retirement, you really have to sit down and look at your financial situation and try to estimate what your income will be and what your expenses will be," said Stan Hinden, a former financial writer for the Washington Post. "It seems to be more and more people will find that their expenses may be more than their income."
Will I get Social Security?
The topic of Social Security has been a hot-button issue in politics. And as voters are quick to lash out against any politician proposing some sort of reduction in Social Security benefits to baby boomers, it appears that any changes will be unlikely, especially for those over 55.
Will your children support you?
Another important question you will want to answer prior to retiring is whether children will be there to help you. Many baby boomers are supporting their children along with their parents, leaving them to question who will be there to care for them when and if the time comes. This is a critical question to have answered when deciding how to plan for retirement. If children won't be in the picture, it's likely more measures will need to be taken to adequately prepare, like long term care insurance, for example.