Prioritising your retirement goals—a helpful tool

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Want to prioritise your retirement goals? There is an app for that. Recently developed by the University of California’s Shlomo Benartzi, a behavioural economist, it follows a seven-step process to help you sort your priorities.

The Retirement Goal Planning System app can only be downloaded on iPad, but can also be accessed online retirementgoalplanningsystem.com/app

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Benartzi said he created it to help midcareer and older workers to “step back and ask, ‘What do I want to achieve? What am I missing? And what matters most to me?’”

Without this kind of thinking, he says, people will not be able to create a viable plan for their retirement.

The process is quite simple and begins with you writing down the goals you have for your retirement. Having done that you can compare them to a list of 12 he created after talking to “dozens of financial advisers and hundreds of individuals.”

You’ll probably find several of your goals on his list, but even without going to his site you can take your goals and do what he suggests. (Although it is helpful to check out his “Master Set of Goals” and the other steps.)

Suppose you have 10 goals. The next thing you need to do is place them in order.

Here’s how: first, list your top three goals; then list your three least important goals; the other five fit in between them.

“It’s really hard to rank your top 10 goals,” says Benartzi, “so we don’t ask people to decide what’s their seventh most important goal and what’s their eighth. It’s a lot easier to put things into three categories.”

This process to order your priorities will help you know what is important to you. And, knowing what’s important to you will help you as you plan your retirement. That’s what makes this a worthwhile exercise.

Bruce Manners: the author of Retirement Ready?, Refusing to Retire, and founder of RetireNotes.com

Category: Planning

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