Monday, October 19, 2015

Are You Ready to Pull Back the Curtain on Your Retirement Savings?

Are you ready to pull back the curtain on your retirement savings?

Obviously saving any amount of money for your future is a good thing and definitely a step in the right direction. No question about that.

However, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me that just socking money away in your 401(k) or any other sort of retirement savings vehicles doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll hit your intended target unless you also take other deliberate steps. In this particular instance, it’s the deliberate step of ensuring that you are actually saving enough.

Far too often, I run into folks who have been saving for a lifetime but with such a huge gap between their intended output – in terms of what they expect to get out of their accounts – and their actual contributions. In almost every single instance I can recollect, when I inquire as to how they came up with the amount of their contributions over the years, the answers seem to suggest no deliberate planning of any sort.

Of course, at the end of the day, the situation on the ground as your life evolves will impact what you are able to do – or not do, for that matter. But the point is that we all need to know, depending on our specific circumstances and intended targets, how much it will take to get there. Just so we are clear, I’m not suggesting that you simply save more money. For all you know, based on your situation, you may be doing just fine or even be ahead of target. On the other hand, however, the opposite could be true – you may be way behind and not even know it. Unfortunately, that latter scenario seems to be norm for most folks.

Here’s the thing: not knowing whether or not you are saving enough, or by how much you are off or ahead, isn’t going to make anything better. It can only make things worse. Irrespective of where you are in life, I’d suggest you get to know – through deliberate planning, instead of the rule of thumb or your feelings – what you are facing and what it will take to get there.

My very best to you.
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