If you’re like most folks, you’re probably already planning how to spend your retirement years. In order to enjoy the type of retirement you deserve, you should start planning as early as possible by thinking about your retirement goals. Your goals will set the framework for your life during those golden years, so it pays to develop a strategy as early as you possibly can. You can start by thinking about the following:

When Do You Plan to Retire?

If you plan to keep working until you’re 70, your retirement plan may look a lot different from someone who decides to retire as early as possible. Of course, if you have a pension through your work or other means of income, your retirement age may not matter as much. Either way, it’s extremely important to figure out when you’re hoping to stop working, and develop a contingency plan if your retirement happens to occur at an earlier date. If you plan to retire early, make sure you have enough money in your 401(k) or have an IRA set up, since your Social Security and/or pension will probably be less. Use one of the online investment sites to make it easier.

Will You Stop Working Completely?

Not everyone wants to stop working during their retirement years. Some people enjoy staying active, and a part-time job boosts their self-esteem while providing a little extra income. If you plan to continue working, you may not feel as pressured to save. However, do remember that at some point, you may not be able to work or may not be able to find work, so it’s best to prepare for all possible scenarios.

What Type of Lifestyle Do You Want?

If you’re living in a cabin in the woods, your expenses will be different from a retiree who is still paying off a mortgage. You need to think about the type of lifestyle you’re going to have and what you want to do during your retirement years. Basically, you need to decide how much money you’re going to spend each month and throughout the year to live comfortably. If you are worried about things like paying taxes on your retirement, you can also consider a Roth IRA, which is generally tax-free in retirement.

The most important thing to remember is to be flexible when it comes to planning for retirement. Things can change over time, so you may need to adjust your plan. Also, you may want to check with a qualified financial adviser to help you during the planning process. Your plan of action will be different depending on when you start planning, so having a helping hand during the process can make figuring things out a lot easier.