A good financial planning and professional retirement planner (or guide) covers all aspects of retirement planning that could have an impact on finances. If you consult a fee-only financial advisor, you should expect to discuss topics that include family medical history, retirement travel plans, and lifestyle goals.
Directly or indirectly these topics affect your financial retirement planning.
For example, if your family has history of Alzheimer's disease, then long term care insurance will be vital to protect your assets.
Other types of health issues could suggest other financial needs.
If you plan to travel extensively in retirement, you may decide that you won't need the large home you currently live in because it will be sitting empty for extensive periods, or you may need more money than you had in mind.
Selling or downsizing the house may solve that problem. Either way, the costs of travel should be investigated in detail.
Another retirement goal you may have in mind could be to start a business. A financial advisor can help you assess the risks to your financial health should the business not produce the income you had hoped for.
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Because financial planning and retirement goals are related, a budget for retirement spending is a key planning tool. Your retirement budget will be driven by many of your non-financial decisions.
An excellent tool for this part of the planning process is a simple budget spreadsheet that starts from your pre-retirement budget. If you've never put your budget in writing, this is a good time to start. Without it you'll only be guessing about your retirement income needs and whether you have enough money available.
Even if travel or a new business is not in your plans, you still need to have ideas for spending your time in retirement. Perhaps not because of the financial impact, but because you will be happier and more easily transition from work to leisure.
If you don't have something in mind for your retirement days you are more likely to get bored or even stressed about being out of the work force. This unease could cause conflicts with your spouse when you look to him or her for amusement or entertainment. Give some thought to how you want to spend your time and to avoid creating problems. Don't end up just sitting in front of the TV all day flipping channels.