Retirement Planning – When should I start saving for retirement?

At WestStar Prosperity Partners we’ve seen many people wait until they’re nearing retirement before coming to us for personalized retirement advice. We’ve discovered that many are under-funded for the retirement they have in mind.

We’ve asked ourselves why more people don’t embark on financial planning sooner – with professional and affordable retirement advice readily available. After all, the earlier in life you begin, the longer you have to build the financial foundations you’ll need to fund the retirement you dream of.

You do not want to wait until you’re about to retire before seeking retirement advice.

A 2020 Statista study showed that only 29% of Americans worked with a financial advisor. 2021 personal budget statistics from Gallup show that around 2 in 3 of us do not use some sort of household budget plan. A picture emerges of the large majority of Americans leaving their financial future to chance.

We’ve all heard the age-old saying: “Failing to plan means planning to fail.” For this reason, just as most people would never embark on an important lifelong journey without a plan; it’s unusual to start something as important as saving for retirement, without seeking advice and instruction beforehand.

What prevents people from seeking retirement financial advice?

Pride is the common factor that prevents us from getting advice in any situation, and the same is true for our finances. Nobody wants to be in a poor financial situation, but it happens to more people than you would imagine. When they first come to us, many clients find it difficult to admit the situations they are in, both to themselves and to us.

Perhaps you’re somebody with more questions than answers right now, and that’s perfectly normal. Uncertainty about tomorrow is a great reason to begin planning today.

“Some of the big questions that I help my clients with include: ‘Am I saving enough to achieve my goals and successfully fund my retirement? How should I save for my children’s college without sacrificing my retirement savings? How can I best protect my retirement savings as I approach the end of my career?’” – Jason Hewett, Financial Consultant

We find that the way we see ourselves shapes the way we think, in the context of our lives, situations, responsibilities, and goals.

This thinking can lead to the 6 assumptions we encounter most often.

  • I can do my retirement financial plan on my own
  • I don’t have enough money to invest in a retirement plan
  • I’m too busy to think about my retirement plan
  • I can’t afford financial advice for retirement
  • It’s too early to start saving for retirement
  • I don’t plan to retire

Let’s unpack each assumption and learn why challenging our thinking matters to our future.

I can do my retirement financial plan on my own

The financial services industry has grown exponentially in size and scale over the past two decades, making it a complex field to master alone. This complexity has given rise to the number of professional financial advisors who can help in any situation.

However, over and above helping you navigate thousands of products and investment options, a financial advisor (at WestStar we call ourselves Financial Consultants) also plays a vital role in helping you maintain composure when investment markets are in turmoil, and preventing you from making emotional financial decisions. Building your confidence and assuring you that you’ll no longer be alone in your decision-making are significant benefits.

“Most people don’t realize how vast and complex managing finances and creating sustainable financial plans can really be, and often times they allow their emotions to influence the decision-making process without realizing it when it comes to their own money. I help educate clients, so they can make the best decisions possible for themselves, and show them how their investments and various management strategies will benefit them in targeting their goals.”- Joe Parent, Financial Consultant

While many people will try and go it alone, a professional financial advisor will help make getting to retirement in good shape a lot easier, and funding your golden years more certain.

I don’t have enough money to invest in a retirement plan

Some people share a common misperception that professional financial advice is only for wealthy people. Retirement financial advisors are often mistakenly seen as wealth guardians, rather than professionals who guide us on our financial journeys towards our goals and help protect us from the storms that life may bring.

I’m too busy to think about my retirement plan

Many people admit to feeling overworked and time-starved: “I’m too busy “is a regular reason for not seeking financial advice. Consistent neglect of your financial wellbeing can have far-reaching effects on your retirement, which many people grow to regret in time. Being too busy to sort out your finances serves only to delay what should be a top priority today.

I can’t afford financial advice for retirement

There are several different fee models used by financial planning practices and it makes sense to find one that suits your needs. Some fee-based practices charge a flat monthly fee; some charge a percentage of assets under management (AUM), while others charge a combination of both. Many fee-based financial planners charge fees according to a sliding scale which reduces as your AUM increase. Whichever model you choose, remember to negotiate all fees upfront and ensure that there’s full transparency.

It’s too early to start saving for retirement

Interestingly, few of us start investing at the beginning of our careers, and most end up regretting they didn’t. Regardless of whether you intend to retire at all, starting your investment journey early on in your career will provide you with the gift of many choices.

Investing over a longer period can allow you to retire early, change careers, travel abroad, or follow your philanthropic pursuits. Without a financial plan, you risk limiting your choices and leaving your retirement to chance.

Financial planning advice when you’re many years away from retirement will allow you to find the most appropriate investment, risk, and tax strategies for your long-term success, while taking care of your short-term needs.

I don’t plan to retire

While you may not plan to ever retire, circumstances could leave you with no option. The loss of your job, disability, or ill-health may force you into a retirement that you are emotionally and financially unprepared for.

While you have no desire to ever stop working, it makes sense to prepare financially for retirement if you find yourself unable to work in the future.

Start planning today for a prosperous retirement

WestStar Prosperity Partners help people who’re heading towards retirement navigate the complexities that come with turning their life’s work into a sturdy retirement platform. Many of WestStar’s financial advisors have helped their parents plan confidently for their retirement. We’ve done so by creating and executing on a plan to secure dependable income regardless of what the world delivers and to address issues like health insurance, tax efficiency, and long-term prosperity.

To find out more about the importance of sound financial planning, read this great article.

Retirement Advisory Services & Solutions Suite

WestStar’s Financial Consultants offer personalized retirement advisory services and are committed to putting your interests first for a more secure financial future. Our Retirement Advisory & Solutions Suite brings our professional team’s advice, prosperity-based planning, and key milestones together on your personalized roadmap.

To make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge and advice to pursue your retirement plan with confidence, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to chat with you about your goals and dreams.

Click here to contact us.

WestStar Prosperity Partners

Securities and advisory services are offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker-dealer and registered investment adviser. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.