If you’re worried about whether you will have enough saved up for a comfortable lifestyle after you stop working, retirement planning is a step you shouldn’t overlook.

It might feel like it’s too early for retirement planning, but even if that stage is far away, you can still take proactive steps today. Preparing for retirement is something too many people choose to ignore until it is too late, and the consequences of delaying can be severe. You might be unable to keep your desired lifestyle after retiring, or worse, you may have to go back to work! By taking the right steps ahead of time, you can potentially avoid situations like this and stay financially independent after you’ve left the workforce.

Q: When Should I Begin Saving for My Retirement?

A: Starting up your retirement savings early gives you a significant advantage. You get much more time to save, and even a little bit of time can translate to a much larger payoff in the end. If you begin saving just a few years before someone else, assuming you both set aside the same amount each month, in the same investments and everything else being equal, you would have a substantially larger sum saved up in comparison. A good way to diligently save is by treating your retirement savings as an expense that takes priority. Set aside the money first, instead of taking care of it with what’s left after you’ve paid your monthly bills.

Q: How Much Will I Need to Save for My Retirement Plan?

A: This is a question that doesn’t have any one specific answer. It will depend on what retiring means to you, and this can vary greatly from person to person. Financial planners can help you understand your needs and the goals you should set in relation to them, but what it really boils down to will be your personal preferences and lifestyle.

The amount of money you spend every year in the present will be a factor, as well as the timeframe you’re looking at for retirement. Retiring earlier means you’ll need to have saved more since you’ll spend more time living off your savings. Of course, other factors like investments and Social Security will also play a role in the amount you’ll need to save.

Q: Won’t Social Security Provide Enough for a Comfortable Retirement?

A: Social Security is a critical part of any retirement strategy, however, it won’t be the bulk of your financial future. Social Security accounts for a percentage of what you’ll have available after retiring, but not all of it. As such, you’ll need to have a healthy amount stored in your personal retirement savings.

While you can’t control the way Social Security benefits change in the coming years, you can control when you claim them. This timing will have a notable impact on what you end up receiving. If you choose to claim your Social Security benefits before reaching the traditional retirement age of 65, you will face a benefit reduction. On the other hand, claiming them after the age of 65 can increase the benefits available to you.

If you’re seeking a better understanding of what retirement will bring and what you can do to prepare for it, there is help out there. At Cornerstone Financial Management, LLC, we can analyze your savings and investments to come up with a strategy that will help you work toward your goals. We’ll factor in your income sources, and we will incorporate different retirement accounts, such as Traditional, Simple and Roth IRAs, as part of your plan based on your situation and needs specifically.

Contact our team today for more information about how we can assist you with retirement planning.


Financial freedom begins with a recognition. It is then followed by a decision to leave where you are in pursuit of where you want to be.

Bob Deaton, CFP, CMFC

It isn’t how much money I’m making that will determine my financial success. Rather it is how much I’m keeping and how hard it is working for me.

Jay Brown

If we are planning for our future, we have to begin with the present. If we don’t identify our starting point, we will not have a direction to walk towards.

Ken Calcutt, CMFC

In the pursuit of our financial goals, we must be willing to adjust our strategies.

Robert Templeton, CKA, CRPS, CMFC