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What Do I Need to Retire?


Having been a financial advisor for nearly two decades, I’ve helped with planning retirement for people from all walks of life: agriculture business owners, medical professionals, school teachers, firefighters, and many others. 

Some people have been planning for years, with a large retirement nest egg to show for it. Others haven’t asked themselves the tough questions, and don’t know what they truly need to be saving, or don’t have a plan at all.

While it’s never too late to start saving, the problem is that there is such a thing as “too late” in terms of planning for a comfortable retirement. Regardless of what a person does for a living or how much money they make – a lack of planning can result in missing retirement goals. So, I’ve learned that tackling the tricky questions about your retirement sooner rather than later is crucial.

First, determine how much money you’ll need to live – and thrive. “Happy” and “comfortable” are very flexible, and only you can decide your ideal retirement lifestyle.

Second, ask yourself where the money will come from for your retirement fund; do you currently have enough invested, and if not – are you on the right plan to eventually reach your goal? If you need help coming up with the numbers, a financial advisor can help.

Also consider any extra income that may be coming to you in retirement. Some folks who start saving later in life may be able to reach their goals through other means.

For example, are you planning to work part time when you retire? You may simply enjoy continuing to work, or you already know it will be necessary. Other additional income sources could include Social Security payments, rental properties, leases on agricultural land, or a profitable business.

The stark reality is that it takes an enormous amount of money to retire; more than most think, and it’s better to take action as early as possible. This involves not only asking yourself the meaningful question of how much you need in retirement – but also how you must save and plan to get there.

This column is sponsored by Allen & Company, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.

BIO: Born and raised in the Central Florida area, Eric Greenhow strives for excellence — embodying the spirit and core values of Allen & Company.  He is nationally recognized for his industry leadership and community service and is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and CFP®. For more information about Eric and the Allen Investments Team, call 863.294.7411 or visit AllenInvestments.com/GoGreenhow.