When you start planning for your retirement you need to sit down and think about just how you would like to live once you are no longer working. You might also want to include where you would like to live as well. Then calculate just how much you think that you will need to fulfill those goals.
You might even want to consider the idea that you might actually live a lot longer than you think you will which means you might be living on a fixed income for 20 or 30 years. That’s a long time to be living without an earned income coming in.
You will then need to make a financial plan. You can do this with a person who is certified in financial planning or you can get yourself some computer software that will help you create your financial plan your computer. In the planning, make sure that you also include any Social Security benefits you might get. This will help you decide how much money you should save back for your retirement years regularly.
Decide upon how you want to contribute to your retirement. Will be in a 401K or an IRA? Or will you be simply saving a certain amount out of each of your paychecks in a savings account. How you want to save and what you want to invest in is entirely up to you and depends upon your situation.
Add to your plan to pay off all your major debts as soon as you can. Those major debts could be a mortgage, any college loans you might have and whatever else that might be draining you of a lot of cash flow that you could be putting into your retirement fund.
You will need to understand that the closer you get to retirement the possibility of saving as much may not be there and that you need to try and save as much as you can as early as you can and never allow yourself to touch it no matter what might come up.
Note: Another thing you might want to consider is buying some long term care insurance in case you are in a situation where you or your spouse may end up being in an assisted living situation. You can never be to safe when planning for the retirement years.