Is retirement planning something you dread—something you hate doing?

Unfortunately, for many Americans, the answer is yes. Thinking about the uncertain future can be a bit stressful, and trying to budget for the unknown is never pleasant—especially not when the economy or your own retirement planning aren’t going the way you want.

But of course, there are ways to make retirement planning easier on yourself. One is to consult with a financial planner, who can help you make sounder forecasts and arrive at more stable strategies. Working with a financial planner can also be a big boost to your confidence.

Beyond that, some simple changes in your own outlook can facilitate a smoother planning process. Here are four suggestions:

1. Ensure that you have the right expectations. It is often said that, when you retire, you will need to replace 70-80 percent of your pre-retirement income. More accurately, you’ll need to replace an income level that is consistent with the lifestyle you hope to lead. If you plan on doing a lot of travel and living in a big, expensive house when you retire, you’ll need more money; conversely, if you cannot save quite that much for retirement, you may need to adjust some of your retirement expectations.

2. Understand how your expenses will change. Hopefully you’ll have the mortgage paid off by the time you retire, and if your kids are all out of the house you may save money on food and utilities, as well. Then again, your medical costs will likely increase. Be mindful of these possible fluctuations.

3. Be open to anything. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy a long and healthy retirement—but there is never any guarantee that you or your spouse won’t need long-term healthcare. As such, your retirement plan should empower you to face all possible contingencies.

4. Embrace the unknown. You simply have no idea how your retirement will go or even how long your life will last, so it’s important not to confine yourself to a rigid retirement scheme. Instead, try to remain fluid and flexible—something your financial planner can help you with.

To schedule a consultation with one of Stonepath Wealth Management’s planners, we invite you to contact our office today.