Planning with Younger Children
If your kids are still young, you have the added challenge of trying to provide for them while still saving for your own secure retirement. Balance your care for your children with the importance of your retirement, and don't over-provide for them at the expense of exposing yourself to decades of under-funded and insecure retirement.
Savings Plan and Budget Adjustments
If your kids are still young, you'll need to stretch your plan a little to make sure they have security until they're adults. Beyond ensuring that your life and disability insurance will protect them until they're through college, avoid the temptation to overspend for their benefit. If these are your high earning years, the temptation can be to indulge your kids with this extra income. If you're close to retirement, this can be particularly dangerous because it sets up expectations in them that the spending will continue. Err on the safe side and keep their lifestyles modest, even if you could afford to spoil them. Invest the money, and if it turns out you don't need it, you can help them out later.
Are your kids independent or at least well on their way? Helping to make sure they're self-supporting well before you retire will minimize the number of emergencies you could have to help them with after you're retired and are on a fixed income.
Planning College and Retirement Concurrently
The biggest adjustment you can make to your plan if your kids are young is to plan to retire after they've finished college. Getting them through school can help minimize the unexpected financial surprises that can happen when they are younger. Minimize the amount of debt you take in your name for their college. They are young — they have more time than you to deal with debt, and better earning potential than you do if you're getting ready to retire. Remember the risk you face of age discrimination; avoid the temptation to plan extra work years to make up for missed retirement savings. That option may not be one for which your employer can be relied upon.