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The importance of retirement planning

As they begin retiring in greater numbers, baby boomers are likely to be less prepared for post-professional life. According to a number of media reports, the recent recession and benefits losses have put them in positions where they may not have the same financial flexibility as their parents did when they retired. This presents a unique conundrum given that baby boomers are projected to live longer thanks to advancements in medical treatment and better living standards.

Also, baby boomers are the first generation of retirees that will do so without pensions. Indeed, most will rely (in some form or fashion) on 401k savings accounts, but this reliance has contributed to the problems that plague them today.

Because of this, retirement planning has become much more important, especially when considering how to incorporate legacy planning into a post-professional lifestyle. Before walking away from professional employment, prospective retirees should have a solid plan in place that compensates for a reduction in income, security for market changes and balances for the passing of a legacy. Suffice it to say, retirees should be secure in the lifestyle that they will have while being able to pass on important values (either through money or property) to their heirs.

This may include conversations with financial planners as well as estate planning attorneys, but it is important to avoid the apathy of “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll keep this on my radar.” Without proper planning, a person could be forced into retirement without the proper details to enjoy a post-professional life.

Source: Businessweek.com, “Baby Boomers: Poorer in old age than their parents,” Carol Hymowitz, January 2, 2014 

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