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Retirement Planning Questionnaire

Successful retirement planning is a key part of being prepared for life after work, and this retirement planning questionnaire can help you begin the process. Thinking carefully about your retirement can help you assess your potential needs, evaluate the lifestyle you want in retirement, and beginning planning for both.

Answer the following questions as completely as possible. You can use them to guide your own retirement planning or bring them with you to a meeting with a qualified attorney or financial planners so that they can tailor their services to your needs. Married couples should consider completing the survey twice, once together and once individually. This can help you prepare in case one spouse outlives the other.

The Basics

When you want to retire and the type of lifestyle you wish to maintain in retirement are factors that should be central to your planning. Keep these targets in mind as you think about your savings goals.

 
When do you want to retire?



How do you imagine your retirement? What sort of activities do you see occupying the majority of your time?



Where do you want to spend your retirement? For example, do you want to retire in your current home, in a retirement community, a new city, somewhere closer to family?



Do you want to be involved in financial planning decisions or would you prefer to leave the decisions to an expert of your choosing?



Have you started to save for retirement?



Savings and Assets

Your retirement savings should typically be enough to replace 70-80% of your income in your retirement years. Even if you haven't started saving, however, you may have significant assets that can be redirected towards your retirement.

 
What are your estimated Social Security retirement benefits? If you don't know, you can look them up online.



Do you have savings in a 401k, IRA, or other retirement savings plans? If yes, how much do you have in each account?



If you have a 401k, does your employer offer matching contributions? Have you been contributing up to the maximum matching level?



What is the average annual return on your savings plans?



Have you switched jobs multiple times in your working years? Are there any employer sponsored retirement plans you haven't consolidated with your current savings?



Besides your retirement savings, what other assets do you have? This should include the value of your home, other property, stocks, bonds, valuable jewelry, etc.



Do you expect to inherit any significant assets within the near future?



Will you be receiving a defined benefit pension through work?



What are your current liabilities? Do you have outstanding student loans, mortgages, or other debts?



Health and Longevity

How prepared you are for retirement will depend a lot on how long your retirement will last. Some experts recommend planning for a 30-year retirement, but everyone's individual circumstances will vary.

 
What is your rough life expectancy? You can use this calculator to get a general estimate.



Does your family have a history of long life, certain diseases or other factors that may impact your health as you age?



Have you experienced or are you currently experiencing any major medical issues?



Do you have health insurance? Do you plan on using the same health plan in retirement?



If you're working, do you have disability insurance coverage through work?



If you become disabled before retirement age, what percentage of your income would this disability insurance replace?



Do you have life insurance or long-term care insurance?



Legal Documents for Retirement

Planning for retirement doesn't just mean putting away savings. A lawyer can help you prepare important documents that will protect your wishes in case of death or incapacity.

 
Have you transferred assets to a trust?



Are you the trustee or beneficiary of any trusts?



Have you created a will?



Have you executed an advanced health care directive and a durable power of attorney for health care?



Have you executed a durable power of attorney for finances?



Do you have a living will?



Next Steps

As you begin planning for retirement or make adjustments to your current retirement plan, you'll need to keep many factors in mind. While this retirement questionnaire can help you assess your retirement preparedness and potential needs in the future, you might also want to pursue professional assistance. If you're concerned about planning for your retirement or have questions about how best to prepare, consider contacting a qualified elder law or estate planning attorney.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified social security lawyer to assist in your
retirement benefits or planning.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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