Advice abounds regarding managing your money for retirement.
You can read recommendations about 401k plans, individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, whole life insurance policies and a host of other options touted to guarantee your retired bliss.
But you may find it impossible to navigate those waters before first understanding your current situation.
The goal is important, but so is an accurate assessment of your existing location. Otherwise, how can you navigate the distance between the two?
The easiest way to understand your situation is to conduct an inventory of your assets. This will give you a clear picture of your financial landscape, which will help you make better decisions.
You already know that planning for retirement is best done well before retirement.
If the inventory project seems large, allot small amounts of time more frequently to gather the data, and work with your trusted professionals.
With time on your side, you can develop the resources you will later need. Proactive planning benefits from both time and your clear-headed attention.
So, how do you begin?
If your filing system is up-to-date, you should be able to work through your files one by one, logging the information on a spreadsheet.