Retirement planning is more than your savings, a social security paycheck or a 401(k) account. Retirement planning balances your timing and goals with resources, strategies, and optimization reviews. It gets complex quickly.


Are you still on track for a successful retirement despite the impending recession? Take the Retirement Readiness Quiz to find out if you’ve checked all the retirement planning boxes. We’ll send your Retirement Score Card so you can see exactly how ready for retirement you actually are. Take the free 1-minute quiz below.

Retirement planning will help answer many of your questions based on your goals, objectives, and the things you can control. Identifying your resources, like expenses, liabilities, and assets, is a significant first step.

Strategies are impacted by the stage of retirement, income tax savings, and risk management, including longevity and health care, investments, inflation, and market and economic events. Accounting for stages, taxes, and risk help predict how much spending income you will have/need in each stage of retirement; Early (ages 60-74), Mid (ages 75-84), and Late (ages 85+). These components are intertwined with each retirement stage and the retirement paycheck.

Annual optimization reviews open communications to address any impactful changes, opportunities, and builds-in flexibility.

When can you retire?

To answer when is the right time to retire depends on you. It is determined by your goals and objectives, your current age, your ideal retirement age, and your resources. Through retirement planning, the details in the strategies and optimization will unfold to paint a clear picture for your retirement stages.


Potential retirement goals could be living to a certain age with a spending budget. It could be ensuring that your medical expenses will be covered if you come upon health issues. It could be to have two residences to have the ability to visit grandchildren or a warm location on a whim. Retirement goals are focused on what is important to you and basing the financial objectives to ensure that the plan is realistic, if not ideal.

Benefits of Retirement Planning

The benefit of retirement planning is the relief. Once you have a plan, you can see it, and it covers your main goals for retirement; you will be relieved. You know what the future holds based on what you can control, and risk management is baked into the plan for what we cannot control. It won’t weigh on your shoulders. You know your path and the hard work is done. Time to shift into staying the course.


1. FIT – Discuss your goals, objectives, and your resources. Learn about retirement strategies, including the stages, income tax
savings, risk management, and other opportunities.

2. Get Organized – Pull your documents and schedule a meeting.

3. Review – Retirement plan presented, discussed, and modified.

4. Delivered – The plan is delivered.

5. Optimize – Review and optimize annually.

LifeWealth™ Process


  • Accumulation

  • Retirement

  • Gifting

There are three stages of retirement; accumulation, retirement, and gifting. Within each of these stages, there are moments when having a plan can benefit with significant savings. Timing everything right and knowing what to take out when can have a serious impact on what you have accumulated. Watch each 2-6 minute segment or the full 12-minute video to understand more about the three planning stages of retirement and the things to know in each stage.


Take these steps five years
before you retire:

1. Review your goals, objectives, and resources, including your
expenses, liabilities, and assets.
2. Determine if you are saving enough annually and if your
investment allocations are appropriate for your goals.
3. Learn if you are eligible to invest more through an IRA.
4. If you are self-employed, learn about your retirement plan


Want some help?
Schedule a 15-Minute Call


How do you even determine how much you will need and how long it will last? Debunking Six Retirement Myths: Age, Plans, Limits, Spending, Long-term Care, and Process highlights key factors to consider when planning for retirement. Get this informational guide to help you get on the right track to get a plan in place. You will be relieved when you know your plan.

Download Your FREE Copy of Debunking Six Retirement Myths



    Stocks (Equities) are ownership shares of a company. When the company value increases, so does the value of your share. Returns for a shareholder come in the form of appreciation and dividend payments based on the company’s earnings.

    Return Rate: High

    Risk Level: High

    You can lose money, including your principal due to price fluctuations in response to business performance and market conditions.


    Bonds (fixed income) make fixed payments on the principal investment, and the principal investment is held until a future date. Bonds (fixed income) make fixed payments on the principal investment, and the principal investment is held until a future date. There are three types of bonds; government, corporate, and high-yield “junk” bonds..

    Return Rate: Fixed and Low

    Risk Level: Low

    The Issuer of the bond could default and fail to repay the loan. An increase in interest rates typically decreases the bond value.


    ETFs are Exchange-Traded Funds, a pooled investment security with many underlying assets similar to a mutual fund, but it can be sold on a stock exchange. They track specific investment strategies such as an index, sector, commodity, or other assets.

    Return Rate: Moderate

    Risk Level: Moderate

    ETFs are expensive to trade.

    Mutual Funds

    A mutual fund is a entity that pools money from many investors and invests the money in its portfolio; the combined holding of securities such as stocks, bonds, and short-term debt.

    Return Rate: Moderate

    Risk Level: Moderate

    Cons/Risk influences.


    Real estate investment trusts are public companies that own, manage, or fund a group of income-producing properties. They are traded via stock exchanges.

    Return Rate: Moderate

    Risk Level: Moderate

    Cons/Risk influences.


    1. 401(k)

      A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows employees to save money for retirement. The contributions are tax-deferred, which lowers the employee’s taxable income. Many employees will offer a match based on a percentage of what they employee contributes.

    2. Roth IRA

      A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded by after-tax dollars. The advantage is that all withdrawals are tax-free once you reach retirement age. There are annual contribution limits to Roth IRAs and not everyone is eligible to open one.

    3. Traditional IRA

      A traditional IRA is an individual retirement account that lets people save for retirement with tax-deferred contributions. When people change jobs, they will often “roll over” their 401(k) from their previous employer into an IRA account to preserve the money’s tax-deferred status.


      A Savings Investment Match Plan for Employees is a retirement plan for self-employed people and small businesses that have fewer than 100 employees. It is generally easier to manage than a 401(k) plan and has lower administrative costs for the employer.

    5. SEP IRA

      A SEP IRA (Simplified Employee Pension) is a retirement plan for very small businesses and self-employed people, such as freelancers. The main benefit of a SEP is that the contribution limits are much higher than traditional IRAs, reducing your taxable income while allow you to save more for retirement.

    6. Solo 401(k)

      A solo 401(k) is a retirement plan for self-employed small business owners. One of the main advantages is that solo 401(k) plans allow you to make contributions as both an employee and an employer, which lowers your personal taxable income while also creating a tax deduction for the business.


    If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, participating in it is one of the smartest retirement planning moves you can make. It reduces your taxable income in the current year by setting aside tax-deferred retirement contributions. And since most employers offer a matching contribution, which is essentially free money, it’s a no-brainer to contribute as much as you’re able to.

    Retirement Planning for the Self-Employed

    Since self-employed people don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the burden of saving for retirement falls on them. Retirement plans such as a SEP or a solo(401K) offer self-employed business owners a smart way to set aside money for retirement, while reducing their taxable income.

    Retirement Planning for Business Owners

    Retirement planning is more complex for business owners, but doing it right is critical to your long-term financial well-being. Not all businesses are profitable and some even lose money or fail altogether, so relying on the value of your business to fund your retirement can be risky. As a business owner, you can offer your employees retirement plans like a 401(k) that also let you set aside personal funds for your own retirement while creating a tax deduction for the business. As your business becomes more successful, you may also be to take distributions and place them in tax-efficient investment vehicles to grow your personal savings.


    Life insurance is an essential component of any solid retirement plan. Proactively planning for the unexpected protects your family in the event you die. The death benefit from a life insurance policy can provide your family with money to live when they no longer have your income. It can also be used to cover funeral expenses, pay off a house and fund your children’s education.


    Estate planning is just as important as retirement planning, and the two often go hand in hand. In fact, the more money you accumulate for retirement, the more important it is to make sure you have wills, powers of attorney, trusts and other legal documents that provide for the distribution of your wealth according to your wishes when you die. Proper estate planning can keep your assets out of probate and reduce your beneficiaries’ tax liability.


    Tax planning is also an important part of retirement planning. Most of the money you save for retirement will be taxed as income when you start withdrawing it. Savvy tax planning can help you know how much to withdraw and when, to maximize tax efficiency. Additional tax planning strategies such as gifting and charitable giving are also great ways to share your money while reducing your tax burden..


    Your home is likely one of your largest assets. But since you need a place to live, whether or not to include it in your retirement plan depends on a number of factors. These include how much you’ve saved for retirement, how much you still owe on the home, and if you plan remain in it when you retire. If you want to stay in your home, you’ll need to have enough saved to cover living expenses, repairs and property taxes. If you’re thinking of selling your home and downsizing, you can buy a smaller place and use the remaining equity proceeds to enhance your retirement portfolio.


    Working with a retirement planning expert is generally a wiser move than trying do it yourself. Most people lack the time and experience required to make the right decisions to maximize all the retirement planning opportunities available to them. Your 360 Financial advisor will work with you to create a LifeWealth plan that’s custom built around your goals and designed to ensure you have enough saved to afford the lifestyle you want in retirement.

    Retirement Planning Specialists

    There are different types of retirement planning specialists. Their areas of expertise can span income and investment planning, tax planning, risk management and estate planning. The more wealth you have, the more you stand to gain from including these skill sets on your financial and retirement planning team.

    Retirement Planning Consultants

    Choosing a retirement planning consultant can be confusing. With so many different acronyms and certifications, it can be hard to know who the best choice is for you and your money. At 360 Financial, we are Registered Investment Advisors, which means we are fiduciaries who act in the best interest of our clients. We believe in building long term relationships with our clients that are built on transparency and trust.

    Retirement Planning Financial Advisor

    A retirement planning financial advisor should focus on more than just investments. They should consider your entire financial picture when creating a plan for you. At 360 Financial, we help you take greater control over your retirement destiny by focusing on tax strategies, income planning, legacy planning, risk management, investment planning, and estate planning.


    At 360 Financial, our LifeWealth planning process looks at four areas of your life to build a plan that’s individualized to your unique goals. Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Money (F.O.R.M). The process consists of three meetings: Discovery, Design, and Deployment. Once we set the plan in motion, we monitor it, track its performance and meet annually or bi-annually to review and realign.

    Schedule a Call with 360 Financial

    360 Financial can create a retirement plan that helps you take control of your financial destiny and leave less to chance.
    Schedule a no-obligation consultation with us to learn more.

    Schedule a 15-Minute Call


    What are the steps in retirement planning?

    The retirement planning steps you’ll go through with us are:
    1. FIT-CHECK – We meet to discuss your goals, objectives, and resources to determine if our services fit with your needs.
    2. GET ORGANIZED – Gather your documents and schedule a discovery meeting.
    3. REVIEW – The retirement plan is designed, presented, discussed, and modified as needed.
    4. DELIVER – The plan is delivered and deployed.
    5. OPTIMIZE – The plan is reviewed annually and optimized as needed.

    How much money do I need if I want to retire at 55?

    There are many formulas available for calculating how much you’ll need to retire at a specific age, but ultimately, it comes down to your financial resources, your debts, your desired lifestyle in retirement.

    What are the three stages of retirement?

    The three stages of retirement are:
    • Early (ages 60-74)
    • Mid (ages 75-84)
    • Late (ages 85+)


    If you need help with retirement planning, your 360 Financial advisor can guide you step by step through the entire planning process. We’ll make sure your custom LifeWealth plan aligns your vision for your retirement. But the planning is just the beginning. We’ll be by your side every step of the way to make any needed changes, to keep you on track to achieve your goals.

    Schedule a Call with 360 Financial

    Your journey to a more enriching retirement starts with a single call.
    Schedule a no-obligation assessment with one of our advisors today.

    Schedule a 15-Minute Call

    Weekly Market Commentary
    July 5, 2022

    After a brief lull in 2023, buyback activity appears to be back this year. A resilient U.S. economy, easing inflation pressures, and expectations for an eventual shift to interest rate cuts have given corporate America confidence to boost authorized share repurchases

    WEBINAR: 2024 Outlook: A Turning Point
    December 26, 2023

    Mike Rogers and the 360 team uncover research on the economy, stocks, bonds, and policy through LPL Research’s economic and market forecasts for 2024.

    What Are Three Main Elements That Affect Overall Financial Planning?
    December 8, 2023

    Asset allocation, tax planning, and estate planning are three main elements that affect overall financial planning. In this post we’ll cover all three in brief, so you can make sure that you’re ready for your work-optional future!