The Seven Key Areas™

The Seven Key Areas™ were designed to organize all of the important elements of retirement planning into one simple, comprehensive plan.

#1 - Lifestyle Planning

Lifestyle planning’s role is to determine how you’ll maintain a sense of purpose and lead a meaningful life during your retirement.

  • How will you spend your time during retirement?
  • How will you avoid boredom and a sense of loss?

#2 - Expense Planning

Expense planning’s role is to determine how much you’ll need to spend per year during retirement to live the retirement lifestyle you want, factoring in inflation, taxes, healthcare costs, and other items that may come up along the way.

  • How much will you need to spend per year to live the life you want in retirement?
  • How will inflation impact your expenses over time?

#3 - Income Planning

Income planning’s role is to determine how total annual income you’ll have coming in during retirement.

  • How much total annual income will you have coming in each year during retirement?
  • How can you make the most of your social security benefits?
  • Which pension option should you select?
  • Will you have an income surplus or shortfall in retirement?
  • How can you use investment accounts to generate income without touching principal?

#4 - Investment Planning

Investment planning’s role is to determine how you will use your investments to generate the income you need to live the lifestyle you want, adjusted for inflation over time.

  • Do you have a collection of investments or do you have an investment plan?
  • How can you control market risk during retirement?
  • How can you control inflation risk during retirement?
  • How will you use your investment portfolio to generate income?
  • How can you prevent emotions from corroding your investment plan?

#5 - Tax Planning

Tax planning works to ensure that rising future tax rates will not derail your retirement.

  • How will you be taxed when you take withdrawals from retirement accounts?
  • How will you be taxed on social security and pension income?
  • How can you build tax-free assets into your retirement plan?
  • Which types of investments should you hold within Roth accounts?

#6 - Healthcare Planning

Healthcare planning helps with selecting appropriate coverage options and controlling costs throughout retirement.

  • How much should you plan to spend on healthcare costs in retirement?
  • What does Original Medicare cover?
  • How can you fill the gaps in Original Medicare coverage?
  • How can you plan for long-term care expenses?

#7 - Estate Planning

Estate planning’s role is to minimize stress on survivors, ensure that assets pass efficiently, and leave a legacy that makes a positive impact.

  • Who will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated?
  • What are the downsides of the probate process?
  • Which of your assets would pass through probate as of today?
  • How can you strengthen your estate plan?
  • How can you leave a legacy that makes a positive impact in the lives of others?


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