Whenever I plan a long motorcycle ride, I always find it useful to map the best route to my destination. Oftentimes, the best route will include interstate highways, state and county roads and roads “off the beaten path.” Despite what roads I encounter, I take comfort in knowing that I have a plan in place from start to finish, and that makes the ride that much more enjoyable.

Regardless of what stage of life you are in—moving ahead in your career, enjoying retirement or somewhere in between—you should be keeping your eye on your financial goals and what it will take to achieve them.

Do you want to purchase a vacation home? Fund your children’s or grandchildren’s education? Spend your retirement as you’ve dreamed—or all of the above? Whatever your goal, you need a personalized wealth-management strategy to create the successful financial future that will help you achieve it.

A strong financial team can help you to do just that, one whose suite of tools will include goal-specific analysis to shape a realistic, holistic strategy that integrates the various aspects of your financial life, including your investments and cash-management needs. Such a team can offer you a wealth-management process designed to provide you with a road map to your financial future.

Retirement issues are bound to be a major destination on that road map: Longer life expectancies mean that your retirement may last nearly as long as your career, and rising healthcare costs may make your retirement increasingly expensive. Meanwhile, the uncertain future of Social Security and changes in corporate retirement plans are leaving individuals like you largely responsible for funding their own retirement.

No wonder, then, that preparing for that retirement is a daunting challenge for today’s investors. A generation ago, most Americans could count on a traditional pension to cover many of their expenses in retirement. Fast-forward 30 years and traditional pensions have been replaced almost entirely by self-directed investment vehicles like 401(k)s and IRAs.

This radical realignment has made individual investors responsible for decisions with deep and complex implications, such as when to retire, how to budget spending in retirement and what investment strategy to pursue.

Retirement planning has become more crucial than ever. If you are still working and building your savings, a good financial team can help you determine how you want to spend your retirement, and how much it will cost. This analysis can help quantify your retirement needs, factoring in your current and projected income and assets. It can also uncover potential shortfalls, showing you ways to address them.

Then, as you transition into retirement, you’ll see your focus shift from saving for retirement to funding it, drawing on your savings as well as the income from your investments. During this stage of life, you will continue monitoring your portfolio and your spending habits, as well as your income requirements, in order to ensure that you have enough money to realize your retirement goals.

That’s where our team comes in. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your financial road map will keep you on course to your retirement destination.

Sources: “Plan for Your Future,” brochure, CRC 1685278, March 2017.

“Introducing the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Retirement Framework,” Lisa Shalett, Daniel Hunt, Zi Ye, November 2015.

The Fiamma, Kochman, Rubiano Group are a wealth advisory team with the Wealth Management division of Morgan Stanley in Boca Raton, FL. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC [www.sipc.org]. Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors have engage Worth to feature this profile. They may only transact business in states where they are registered or excluded or exempted from registration [http://brokercheck.finra.org/Search/Search.aspx]. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where they are not registered or excluded or exempt from registration. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors. Morgan Stanley and its Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the US. Investment Management Consultants Association, Inc. owns the marks CIMA®, Certified Investment Management AnalystSM (with graph element)®, and Certified Investment Management AnalystSM. CRC1767886 04/17