What is retirement? The day you end your career at “the company”? The day you receive your first Social Security check or take your first IRA/401K withdrawal? Some other event? Probably not. Today's Americans, more than previous generations, view retirement as an active journey filled with new opportunities.
Americans have a great chance to live well into their eighties, that means many people will experience “retirements” that last as long as “working careers”. Enjoying those years is just one reason to start planning ahead.
Read the articles provided below to learn more!
When do you want to retire? Will you be able to retire comfortably? What would it take to retire early? Whether retirement is right around the corner or decades away, careful planning and consistent action can help you get there. Here are six goals to help you get started and stay on track for retirement.
It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement. Building up savings consistently every month and year after year helps you take advantage of the benefits of compounding. Contribute to a retirement plan offered through your employer, if offered, or open an individual retirement account (IRA).
You might have multiple financial goals on the horizon – like buying a home, starting a business, paying off debt, or funding a child’s education. Prioritize saving for retirement while working on your other goals at the same time.
Estimate how much you’ll need to save for retirement. The amount you’ll need to save depends on your age when you retire, your life expectancy, and retirement goals. You can run the numbers with a financial advisor or use a Retirement Savings Calculator.
Small increases over time can make a sizable difference when it’s time to retire. Boosting the amount you save for retirement by just 1% or 2% of your pay can make a difference. Consider boosting your retirement savings every time you get a wage or salary increase.
Stay on track by setting up automatic contributions to your retirement plan. You may consider automatic rebalancing features (if available) to help you maintain an investment mix appropriate for your timeline and risk tolerance.
Find motivation by visualizing yourself in retirement and what you want to accomplish. An annual review of your retirement plan can help you stay on target to reach your goals.
You’ve worked hard to save money for retirement, and now it’s time to enjoy this new phase of your life. But how can you make sure your money will last? Setting a budget and finding ways to trim costs can help you manage your money on a fixed income in retirement. It’s all about prioritizing your spending and focusing on what matters most to you.
Try these tips for cutting expenses in retirement:
1. Downsize your home. Perhaps you’re looking to downsize to a smaller living space with less upkeep and yardwork.
2. Move to an area with a lower cost of living. You can live on less if you choose your retirement location based on a cost of living you can comfortably afford.
3. Sell your car. Consider selling a vehicle and sharing a car if you and your partner are both retired. Or, go carless if you live in an area that’s walkable or easily accessible with public transportation.
4. Review your insurance. Your insurance needs may change in retirement, and you might be able to save money by reviewing your coverage and costs for auto, homeowners, and life insurance.
5. Travel during the off season. Save money by booking airfare and lodging in the off season, or take advantage of last-minute travel deals.
6. Shrink your phone and cable bill. Look at your monthly expenses for phone, TV, and other media. Consider cutting back on services or features you don’t really need (e.g., traditional landline, unlimited cellphone data, or premium TV channels).
7. Save energy. Conserve energy and reduce your utility bills by turning off lights and unplugging electronics not in use. Use a programmable thermostat to save energy, especially when you’re not at home.
8. Trim prescription drug expenses. Talk to your doctor about switching to less-expensive generic drugs or getting a 90-day supply rather than a 30-day supply. Comparison shop at different pharmacies to find the best prices on your medications.
9. Ask for senior discounts. Don’t be shy about asking for senior discounts at restaurants, grocery stores, museums, and more. Also take advantage of discounts offered through unions, alumni associations, AAA, and AARP.
10. Live simply. Take up hobbies that are free, such as joining a library book club or gardening in your yard. You may find that simple pleasures provide a wealth of happiness!