Planning for retirement should be the goal of anyone who is working. Regardless of if you have 35 more years in the workforce or only 5, you should always be thinking about and planning for your retirement. Planning for your retirement is not a static thing; it is something whose goals, targets, and focus are going to change over time as your situation changes.
Get Real About Your Debt
One of the first things you need to do if you want to do some serious retirement planning is to get real about your debt. The vast majority of people's retirement income is going to be smaller than the income they bring in during their working life, which means carrying debt into retirement can be much harder to handle.
When you are living on less than you were when you were working, even if it is only 20% less, that is still a huge reduction in income. If you have debts, they can be really hard to handle on a retirement income.
Sit down and look at the debt you have and get real about paying it off. The first debt you should get rid of is credit card debt, as it usually carries a high-interest rate and doesn't do you any good. Then, focus on student debt.
After that, you can focus on car and home debt. Although your home doesn't have to be paid off by the time you retire, it would be nice to have your home as paid off as possible and to own at least one reliable vehicle.
It doesn't matter how far you are from retirement, your goal should be to pay down your debt so you can afford to live on your retirement income.
Figure Out What You Need to Save
Next, you need to figure out what you need to save. Everyone's financial goals for retirement are going to be different.
Do you want to spend your retirement living in the home you are in right now and staying in your community? Do you want to age in place or move to an assisted living facility? Do you want to be able to travel extensively?
Don't rely on other people's estimates of what they need for retirement. Sit down and really think about what you want from your retirement. Make goals that fit your needs and desires, and make sure you are on track to earn enough money to meet those goals.
Work with a financial advisor to get aged care financial advice, come up with a savings plans that will align with your life plan for your retirement years, and create a plan to help you manage and minimize your debt.