The Five Critical Puzzle Pieces of Your Retirement Plan – Part 1

My wife and I are pretty spontaneous travelers. In spite of this, we have found that planning around a few basic things based on where we travel can really help us get the most out of our getaways. Doing some pre-planning around things like our ultimate destination, how long we’re going to stay, specific directions to reduce travel time, ensuring we have appropriate attire and equipment for those “just in case” situations that can occur, and… well, you get the drift. Making these plans takes time and effort on our part, but preparing around these essential things also helps ensure we are able to truly enjoy our getaway.

We all make specific plans when we build a home, plan a college experience for our kids, build a business, or plan a menu. But what amazes me is how, without even seeming to be aware of it, aspiring retirees are so casual about their plans for retirement.

Instead, of having a plan that guides their decisions, they allow their focus to be driven by financial product purchase decisions. As a result, they get lost in a sales process.

Seldom do they really focus on seeking to efficiently coordinate foundational elements of a solid financial retirement plan. Our firm has had three decades of enjoying the privilege of assisting others with this exciting journey and it has taught me to focus my energy on coordinating the financial principles, not on selling financial products. Financial products are simply the tools that can help implement what’s found in the financial plan and it is not one-size-fits-all.

There are Five Critical Pieces of a Sustainable Retirement Plan. We like to think of them as pieces to a bigger puzzle but where the pieces are always changing and must be adapted to in order to make the retirement picture stay whole and intact. That is to say, you want all the pieces coordinated together. Many people retire just fine without specific game plans for each of these areas, but those who do make specific plans in these areas reach the destination with much less stress, and quite often reach it sooner than those who just wing it. In this post, we’ll cover the first piece of the puzzle, the Income Plan. In the next post, we’ll look at the other four pieces.


Two of the greatest financial concerns about retirement are:

1) Will I have enough income or financial assets to retire, and

2) Will our income last for the balance of our lives

So what is the specific plan for delivering the income you’ll need over different time-frames in your life? Which assets should produce income first, which should take care of inflation and from which pot will you buy new cars or help out the grandkids? What about the tax efficiency of the plan? Identifying which assets you’re going to use at different stages to meet your income targets allows you to identify where to allocate risk versus more stable and dependable income streams. Without plan considerations like this, most people make decisions out of the fear of not having enough and wind up taking on a lot of unnecessary risk in several of the other components due to no coordination of the plan.

In part 2 of this post, we’ll look at the other four critical pieces of your retirement puzzle.

If you don’t have a retirement plan, it’s never too late to start. Contact us today and let us help you discover clear direction for your retirement future. We’ll provide a FREE analysis of where you currently stand against your goals and provide important recommendations for getting all the pieces of your retirement puzzle to fit together!




Scroll to Top