A comfortable retirement looks different for everyone, but most investors share some common goals. We've broken those down into four key categories to help you start planning today.

Envision your ideal retirement: Are you relaxing on a beach? Starting a new hobby? Or finally taking that trip to Paris?

A comfortable retirement looks different for everyone, but most investors share some common goals. We've broken those down into 4 key categories to help you start planning. Determining how you prioritise these goals is the first step in creating a road map to financial security in retirement.

Basic necessities

Paying for food, clothing, and shelter must always come first. Health care expenses also fall under this category. Necessities are considered a "cash flow" goal, meaning they often require income from various sources, such as government benefits. These routine expenses are typically less costly than your other expenditures but occur more frequently. Because this category allows for the lowest amount of investment risk, it may be helpful to overestimate your future spending in this area.

"Just in case" savings

At some point in retirement, you'll probably have a surprise expense, such as car repairs or a new roof. Having a rainy day fund can be reassuring when the unexpected pops up. Unlike necessities, this type of expense is an "asset reserve" goal, so you'll want sufficient savings to cover these potential costs. Helpful tip: Maintain liquid investments that you can quickly turn into cash (or save cash itself) for these expenses.

Fun stuff

Consider hobbies and activities you want to enjoy in retirement. Even if it's just an occasional meal at your favourite restaurant or a quick getaway, you should factor these types of expenses into your plan. Like necessities, this is considered a cash flow goal, so prepare to set aside a few dollars from different income sources.

Your legacy

Someday you may want to transfer your wealth to heirs or charities. For many investors, this goal is the lowest priority. If you do decide to share your money, those savings (like other asset reserve goals) are best kept in liquid investments for easier transfer of assets. Remember: You can always contribute to your legacy in non-financial ways too—like with your time.

Retirement may not be far away, but there's still time to make a solid plan, either independently or with the help of a trusted financial adviser. Saving for—and prioritising—these goals can help put you on the road to financial security. After all, isn't the ultimate goal of retirement to enjoy it?

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