Why Retirement Income Planning Is Important

Think about the big moments in your life. Perhaps you remember moments like:

Tossing your graduation cap—and whooping with joy.
Climbing on a surfboard—and pulling yourself to stand.
Walking down the aisle, toward smiling faces.
Buying your first home
Taking your child to his first day of school.

Did those moments just happen out of the blue?

Of course not. You planned for them. Studied. Saved up for vacations. Toured the colleges. Got busy.

Retirement requires a similar strategy. Far from a single event, it’s a phase of life that’s likely to last for years—even decades. Yet many of us put more effort into planning short-lived events, like vacations or holiday get-togethers, than we do into planning for retirement.

Perhaps you’re reluctant to think about retirement. Figuring out how to plan for retirement income and how to sustain yourself until the end of your lifespan—even thinking about your lifespan as finite—requires a different thought pattern. But that’s exactly why you should think about it. It’s important to keep planning for your future, every step of the way.

What do you want retirement to look like for you? Would you like to pursue passions you didn’t have time for before? Do volunteer work? Travel the world? It’s up to you. Planning ahead now is the key to making sure your retirement years are meaningful, enjoyable—and financially sound.

Your Retirement Reality Tip

Use the Labor Day holiday as a reminder to review your retirement savings and income strategies. You’ve worked hard for your money and this holiday can help you remember to make sure it is working hard for you. Reviewing in September also still gives you time, if you can, to make adjustments or catch up contributions before year’s end.


Here are a few more reasons why you should consider getting serious about retirement income planning:

  • If you have children, planning to have your own source of retirement income is a gift to them. They’ll be freer to live their own lives without worrying about your finances, and you’ll all have the freedom to enjoy your time together without feelings of guilt or obligation.
  • Thanks to modern medicine, we’re living longer than ever before—but those medical advances come at a price. Like it or not, getting older means facing possible health issues. You’ll want to be able to afford the healthcare you need. A healthy retirement savings can equal access to care for a healthier you.
  • No matter how much we plan, the future is an unknown for all of us. Retirement might look like a big question mark down the road, but you can take some of that uncertainty out of the picture by setting up a stream of guaranteed* income for your future, right now.

Keep in mind that retirement income planning isn’t something you do once and it’s done. It’s a process. You can start now, with regular check-ins to reassess over the years. To get an idea of how many years that might be, explore our Plan for a Long Retirement tool.

*Guaranteed income can be generated through the use of annuities. Annuities are insurance products backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing company; they are not FDIC insured; are not obligations or deposits of, and are not guaranteed or underwritten by any bank, savings and loan or credit union or its affiliates; are unrelated to and not a condition of the provision or term of any banking service or activity. Annuities may be subject to fees and or surrender charges, which vary by product.This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. Please consult with a professional specializing in these areas regarding the applicability of this information to your situation. The presenters of this information are not associated with, or endorsed by, the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.