Editors' pick: Originally published Dec. 1.
As to-do lists go, this is one you might not want to ignore.
Or at least that's the case if you have designs on retiring someday.
And the good news is that there are just seven items on this to-do list, according to Michael Falk, a chartered financial analyst, a partner at Focus Consulting and author of Let's All Learn How to Fish . . . to Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth.
Here's what Falk suggests that you do to prepare for a successful retirement.
7. Plan way ahead. Seek counsel from a qualified, fee-only financial planner or advisor no less than 15 to 20 years prior to your expected retirement. Why that time frame and why from a fee-only planner? "Starting in one's late 40s savings accumulations have become more differentiated from the average age cohort, retirement is less than a distant goal and getting on a good path early on can really compound in your favor," Falk said in an interview. "Fee-only - as in hourly/annual retainer fees - is less conflicted and lower cost than other forms of fees which can be quite substantial costs on significant savings."
What if you're less than 15 years away from retirement? Is it still worth seeking counsel from a planner? "Absolutely, less time doesn't mean no time; all it takes is one mistake to derail a lifetime of solid planning/decision and planning is not solely to retirement, but needs to be through 'that day,'" said Falk.