Real-life retirement lessons
Getting tips on retirement planning from financial experts can be extremely helpful. But it's also good to talk to other people like you to see what they would do differently — and what they'd do the same.
Our survey shows that:
- 38% of pre-retirees wish they'd calculated their needed retirement income sooner
- 30% wish they'd calculated their estimated expenses sooner
- 29% would have evaluated their portfolio allocation relative to their goals
- 27% regret not working with a financial professional
Now let's look at someone who did a lot of things right. Sue Amosson retired three years ago at the age of 64. Sue and her husband saved throughout their careers. And in their early 50s, they started getting professional advice on their financial strategy.
Each year, Amosson and her husband met with their financial professionals to make sure they were still progressing toward their goals. "Having them help us provided such assurance," Amosson says. "I kept worrying, 'Are we doing enough now to do everything we want later?' And they would walk through things with me. Of course, nothing is exact when you want to retire, but it helps to feel you've done all you can to prepare."
The planning paid off, and Amosson now enjoys a very active — and very fun — retirement. From vacations in England, France and China to house renovations to frequent outings with friends, she's able to live the retirement of her dreams.
She continues to meet frequently with her financial professional — about once per quarter. "He's done a great job," she says. "He keeps on top of things for me, and we change things around as needed."
Amosson's advice to those who are still working? "Meet with a planner," she says. "They lay everything out for you — your budget, your income, your goals. Then save all you can, because it's well worth it."
Listen to the lessons
Because Sue began working with a financial professional in her early 50s, she calculated her needed retirement income, estimated her expenses and evaluated her investment allocation. Whether you're 15 years from retirement or around the corner, you can take steps to prepare.
To help yourself get on track, work with a financial professional. You can also learn more through our Planning Center.
- Pre-Retiree Participant Survey conducted by the Principal Financial Group, March 2012.
Insurance products from the Principal Financial Group® are issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in New York) and Principal Life Insurance Company. Plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life. Securities are offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, 1-800-247-1737, Member SIPC. Princor®, Principal National and Principal Life are members of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.