LUBBOCK, Texas, Sept. 11, 2012 — If you started retirement planning early in your career, it’s good news by the time you hit your 40s. But for those 40-somethings just thinking about retirement – it’s like halftime in a football game.
Since football season is upon us, we’ll use the gridiron analogy. Let’s face it; working in your 40s really is like halftime in the big game. Your career is about half over, and it’s time to stop the game, assess where you are and make any necessary adjustments to your plan. You have 20 years of work behind you, and roughly 20 years of work ahead. If you haven’t been saving for retirement, it’s time to get started. If you’ve been socking money away for years, then it’s a good time to reassess where you are, and what you need to do over the next 20 years.
“Now more than ever, it’s important to have both an offensive and a defensive game plan,” said Brian Pitaniello, a partner with PFG Advisors. “In your 40s, you still need to have an offensive strategy to continue building dollars for the future. On the flip side, a defensive strategy is still just as important to have in place for the possibility of premature death, disability, economic crises and other unforeseen financial needs.
“Just like any football game, you have to have that half-time ‘locker-room talk’ about preparing for the worst but hitting the field with the mentality – and the tools – for ultimate success.”
Pitaniello explained that if you’ve been ignoring retirement for some reason, or delayed facing the reality that you may one day be retired, then now is the time to act. It’s halftime. It’s time to regroup and prepare yourself for the second half of your career. No matter the age you begin, Pitaniello and PFG Advisors recommend the following checklist in creating a retirement strategy:
- Plan – At this point in your career, you should have an excellent feel for when you’d like to retire, how much you need in those retirement years, and where your current career is likely to take you. For that reason, you should be able to create a very accurate retirement plan.
- Do – At 40-something there is simply no time to waste. Once you’ve figured out what you need to do; just do it.
- Check – If you’re playing catch up, then you’re going to need to check your retirement plan every two years or so. Because of the relatively short time between now and when you retire, you need to pay close attention to things such as the return on your investments to make sure they agree with your planning assumptions.
- Act – As you check your plan, you may need to make adjustments to things such as retirement age and your rate of savings. Since you have half your career behind you, during each of these cycles you should only be tweaking your retirement plan.