It may be the furthest thing from your mind, but at some point in time you will need to understand what the meaning of retirement really is. More importantly, you will need to know how it will apply to you by the time you get there. There are at least 10 steps to make before retirement and here they are.

1)-Start by trying to figure out your planned income and expenses. This is usually determined by a particular lifestyle you expect to be living and where you plan on calling your home, whether it is a private home or assisted living facility.

2)-You don’t have to be a certified financial genius to figure out when the most appropriate time to retire should be. You will need to decide when you want to retire though, as it will make a difference with your plans.

3)-If you know your retirement needs, you are already halfway there, especially since it will affect how much money you should be putting aside. Those needs could change as time goes by, especially if your lifestyle changes for the better or worse.

4)-If you are fortunate enough to be working for an employer who matches a 401k, make sure that you get in on the ground floor and contribute to it. This could make a big difference in how much money you accumulate.

5)-Even with a 401k, you should still think about inflation and open your own IRA. This step is important as you can place a larger amount of money in this account and the earlier you start, the greater the financial benefit.

6)-Valuables are not just about cash in hand, it also applies to things you own, like your house, land, boat or any other pieces of property. These are assets that can be liquidated, you need to know what you have.

7)-Social Security may play an important part in your retirement, but unless you put a lot of money in there, you should not expect a lot. Determining the right time to start collecting is an important decision as it pertains to finances.

8)-You prepare a budget for everything else, there is no reason why you shouldn’t create a budget for your retirement years too. A budget will help you narrow things down and identify any problems that might occur ahead of time.

9)-With a budget in hand and a clearer picture, you can begin to work on reducing anything you can. You might consider cutting some of the bills and weeding out expenses that you could be doing without, remember, you will be on a fixed income.

10)-Nobody ever said that life was perfect, but even if it was, we should expect the occasional curve ball or two from time to time. Because the only income being considered is the IRA, 401k and social security, when putting your numbers together, always budget lower, because you never know when to expect that curve ball.

Now that you know the 10 steps to make before retirement, will you be ready to make them?