5 Simple Steps You Can Take Today to Prepare Yourself for Retirement
Retirement can be a touchy subject for some. Most Americans know that they should plan for it, however, planning can seem so overwhelming that they end up pushing it off until its too late.
Below are 5 Simple Tips for Retirement that you can take today, to make things easier for yourself in the future!
Our 5 Simple Steps to Prepare for Retirement
Tip #1: Start Today and Set a Goal
President John F. Kennedy once said, “The best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” This quote sums up retirement perfectly. Take initiative now while you still have the extra time to plan and don’t let the years pass by without putting it into place.
To start, follow this simple exercise. Take a step back and envision what you want your post-work life to look like: what kind of home do you want to live in, what kind of expenses do you need to account for, and who are the people that you’ll need to take care of?
Now, set a goal on how much you will need to save to turn this vision into a reality. It’s as easy as getting a free retirement estimator/calculator online and writing these numbers down to have a general idea on where you should be.
Tip #2: Look Into What Options Your Employer Offers
Does your offer employer a 401(k) plan? Even better, do they offer an employer match?
If so, set some time aside to speak with the right person to ensure that you are properly signed up. Speak with either your HR representative or boss about how to get started and how you can utilize this to your benefit. They will typically have a document with next steps or a checklist that you need to follow.
Once you do that, find out what the minimum is to meet that match and make the changes so that you are contributing that amount to take advantage of the employer match.
Tip #3: Consider Donating Extra Funds
Do you have extra funds laying around from a side hustle? Have you recently experienced a cash windfall? Or have you recently been making more money and don’t know exactly what to do with it?
Stop browsing for unnecessary things to buy on Amazon and instead make your hard-earned money work for you! Remember that many material things will depreciate, while investing in stocks or in your 401(k) will have compound returns that will grow over time. Even if it's a couple extra dollars a week, no matter how little or how much you put in, over time you will see it pay off.
Tip #4: Speak with a Professional & Check in Annually
As we mentioned earlier, planning for retirement can be overwhelming. The great thing is you don’t have to do it alone!
Think about it this way: If you would spend money on a personal trainer to improve your physical health, why wouldn’t you do the same thing with your financial health when it comes to planning your future? Seek out expert advice from a trusted financial advisor because these are professionals who spend their lives helping people plan ahead.
Already have a financial advisor? Awesome! Don’t just stop there, check in either quarterly or annually to make sure you’re that you’re actually following the plan you set forth and make changes as needed.
Tip #5: Pay Yourself First, but Live Within Your Means
This requires you to truly be honest with your personal spending habits, are you living within your means or are you having a little too much fun and spending too much money?
Like many things in life, it is all about finding a balance. Treat yourself, but within reason. There are countless apps such as Mint or EveryDollar that can help you organize your personal finances, set a budget, and prepare you for success.
Now that you’ve read this article, take these simple steps and begin saving for retirement today, so you won’t have to worry about it tomorrow!