Financial planner: It's never too late to prepare for retirement

Don't be afraid to start planning now.
Aug 01, 2008
By staff

You can construct your own retirement plan without outside assistance since you know your needs and spending habits better than anyone, says Joe Kain, CFP, owner of Sunflower Asset Management in Lenexa, Kan. But you've got to take the time to properly assess and quantify your retirement needs.

Joe Kain
Work out a projected retirement budget, including your sources of income such as social security, investment earnings, and so on. Then compare this to your estimated expenses. If it doesn't add up, don't panic. "You want to save and plan for retirement," Kain says, "but to obsess about it, worry, or save disproportionate amounts of money for a future that may never come is neither wise or prudent."

Strike a balance instead. Honestly assess your personal financial habits, circumstances, goals, and objectives. Take the planning process one step at a time and set goals along the way. As you progress you'll find reassurance that you're on track to a worry-free retirement. Here are some additional tips:

1. Stop wringing your hands and stressing. Decide now to take intelligent action and start saving.

2. Write down the following statement and post it somewhere prominent: "I will prepare a written formulation of my retirement needs and objectives, and I'll complete this within 30 days."

3. Set aside some time to properly assess and quantify your retirement needs, then call a financial planner for an appointment.

4. Remind yourself that it's never too late to plan for retirement. Repeat as necessary.