Finance Blog

Planning for Retirement Beyond Your Savings Strategy

Written by Equifax Experts on December 6, 2011 in Retirement  |   5 comments

In this series, we will ask top experts for their retirement advice on the most common retirement questions from our readers. Every portfolio is different, but when it comes to your retirement planning, many people have the same retirement questions and make the same retirement…

planning retirement savings strategyIn this series, we will ask top experts for their retirement advice on the most common retirement questions from our readers. Every portfolio is different, but when it comes to your retirement planning, many people have the same retirement questions and make the same retirement mistakes.

How do I pick my retirement date?

Be able to answer these three questions:

  • Do I have enough?
  • Have I had enough?
  • Do I have enough to do?

The first question is about money, the second question addresses whether or not you’re ready to leave your primary career and move on to new experiences, and the third question relates to how you’ll meaningfully use the gift of time that retirement brings (and keep in mind that might be a gift of 30 or more years).

How much money will I need in retirement?

You’ll need what it will take to live a satisfactory lifestyle. Separate your needs from your wants so you can have a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C, and perhaps even a Plan D. This will give you more flexibility and help ensure a happy and successful retirement, even if you must ratchet down your expectations. Be sure to factor longevity (assume you’ll live into your 90s) and inflation into your planning.

What is the biggest mistake people make in their retirement planning?

Not considering the non-financial aspects of this transition. Be sure you’ve thought about social support, universal design concepts in your current or future home, and what you’ll do with 168 hours a week. Most of us like to have some structure in our lives, interaction with others, intellectual stimulation, and a belief that we contribute and make a difference. For many of us, work provides that. How will that be replaced? Travel? Volunteering? A new career? Hobbies? Sports? More time with family and friends? Moving to a new location? All of the above?

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Jan Cullinane has distinguished herself as an expert in the retirement arena. She speaks about retirement topics though her company, Retirement Living from A to Z, and is a retirement expert for the NABBW (National Association of Baby Boomer Women); a contributor to The Ocean Breeze and Ideal Destinations; and a retirement consultant. She has appeared on television both nationally and locally, has conducted more than 60 radio and Internet interviews, and has written or been interviewed for numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Her previous book, The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale, 2007 and 2004), reached the No. 2 rank on both B&N.com and Amazon, and was a book club selection of the Washington Post. The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement will be published in Spring 2012 (John Wiley & Sons). Cullinane has a B.S. and Master’s degree from the University of Maryland, is ABD from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and has taught extensively at the college level.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I rarely comment on articles, but this one caught my eye. All I really hear is will you have enough money to retire. I think the question of what will you do with 168 hours a week is just as good a question. I agree that both psychological and financial aspects need to be in place for a fufilling retirement.

  2. Joyce says:

    I actually read Jan Cullinane’s book on retirement a couple of years ago, and it was great. She looks at all of the factors. I like the idea of creating different retirement plans, aiming for the perfect retirement, but acknowledging that this might not happen due to future economic circumstances, health issues, etc. and feeling secure that you can reach your minimum goals in retirement. Her book got me thinking that retirement is much more than where you will live.

  3. Kelly says:

    It’s nice to actually see a Retirement article that mentions more than just the financial aspects. I agree tht finding a way to spend 168 hours a week is just as important!

  4. Jean says:

    I never seriously considered all the extra time I would have on my hands! I am presently retired and find, yes, there is very much still to do, and find, in fact, the Datebook still needs to be on the desk. I did not count on accounting for all those hours, but the older we get, the more organized it seems we need to be! Balancing the financial with the psychological — knowing you can still make a difference — is so very important, and one should be well prepared for all the changes about to occur.

  5. Jayne says:

    I have to completely agree that the psychological is as important as the financial. When I retired (and I loved my job, but was ready for the change, I was worried about how I would spend my hours that would bring me happiness and fulfillment. This requires a fair amount of soul searching.

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