You’ve been waiting for this for a long time, all the planning, and preparation will soon pay off. It will be a time filled with laughter, relaxation and enjoyment with your family. That’s right, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Sure did sound a lot like retirement planning. They both require the right mix of ingredients, planning and patience. And if you put the time and effort into preparing for them, it’s something you and your loved ones will enjoy.

Your life’s work is your retirement nest egg and, just like thanksgiving dinner, you want to make sure there’s enough to go around. You could say the success of retirement planning and cooking a great Thanksgiving meal are both greatly determined by the amount of preparation you put into them. If you’ve devoted a little more time to planning for Thanksgiving than your retirement, it’s time to make some changes. Here are some basic steps to follow.

  • Get a recipe. Retirement planning is like making a multi-course meal. Having a recipe to follow is a must, especially if it’s not something you’ve done before. A qualified financial professional is like a master chef who has different recipes for different tastes. They’ll work with you to create one that suites you.
  • Take inventory of the ingredients you have. Now that you have the recipe, you need to see what ingredients you currently have. You might already have things like 401k’s, IRA’s, savings, and other investments to help you achieve your retirement goals.
  • Identify the ingredients you need. We have the recipe; we know what ingredients we have; now we can focus on what ingredients are still needed. To reach your retirement goals you might need more savings or to add elements like an estate plan.
  • Measure your progress. Just like you check the temperature of the turkey, it’s a good idea to check your plan on regular intervals to make sure it’s cooking properly.

To get your retirement plan cooking, schedule a meeting with a qualified financial professional. It’s easy and free as many financial professionals offer complimentary, no obligation meetings to discuss your retirement goals. After you find someone you’re comfortable working with you can start creating a customized retirement plan. Make your retirement planning a priority. If you put the time and effort into it, you won’t need the wishbone to make your dreams come true.