How to set yourself up for freedom in retirement

A financial plan should never be one-size-fits-all. For any plan to be effective, it must be customized to fit a person’s income, lifestyle, goals and family. For example, a plan designed for a 30-year-old single physician will look entirely different than a plan designed for a 50-year-old attorney who is married with kids. Customizations can help ensure that your financial future is on the right track. Additionally, whether you plan to retire in five years or 30 years, there are advantages to starting today, rather than waiting. Working with a financial advisor can help you gain clarity on how your unique objectives and timeline should fit into a financial plan.


When looking toward retirement, a chief concern should be your financial security. A secure retirement means having plenty of resources at your disposal, even after you are no longer working. There are a variety of safeguards and smart planning tools that can help mitigate risks faced by retirees. One must be mindful not only of growing their assets but protecting them, especially your most important one: your earning potential. A financial advisor can help you find out which disability plan is right for you.


Diversification is not just for your investment portfolio. It’s important to understand that some financial mechanisms are made for growth, such as portfolios, and others for savings, such as bank accounts. It’s important to have a balance of these mechanisms in your financial plan. For example, putting all of your earnings in savings may be safe, but leaves no room for substantial growth and prevents your dollars from keeping up with the rate of inflation. On the other hand, putting 100 percent of your earnings in the market leaves you open to risk and doesn’t protect against emergencies. There are many mechanisms that are used for short-term horizons, while others are made for mid- and long-term durations. A financial advisor can help you learn how to strike the right balance, as well as strategically manage your tax burden.


Think of your financial plan as a living, breathing document that must be tended to. As life changes, it is likely that your financial plan should change, too. As your income increases, so should your savings strategy. As your family grows, you may need more risk protection. Committing to an annual check-in means that you won’t miss the opportunity to make the changes necessary to fit your lifestyle.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) (life and disability Insurance, annuities and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries, including Northwestern Mutual Investment Services LLC (NMIS) (investment brokerage services), a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. William Nicholas Miller is a district agent of NM and NLTC.

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