You’ve got so much to look forward to if your retirement is inching closer. Retirement means no more having to show up for work every day, having the opportunity to travel like you always wanted, working on your favorite hobbies, and spending time with family and friends. In other words: one of the best time of your life.
At the same time, though, retiring from the workforce means no longer having a source of regular income. This makes it important to plan accordingly when it comes to your financial arrangements during your retirement years. If you’re looking to make your savings last once you officially clock out from work for the last time, here are some of the best retirement planning tips out there.
News Flash: Retirement Planning Requires Planning Ahead
First things first: it’s never too early to start planning for your retirement. Even if you’re years or even decades from retiring, you should have a solid plan put in place for making sure you’ll be able to afford the lifestyle of your choice once those regular paychecks stop rolling in. While you’ll more than likely begin receiving retirement benefits like Social Security and Medicare, these are supplemental programs and are not likely to cover all your financial needs, so that makes retirement planning even more important.
There are plenty of ways to save for your retirement that will help provide additional financial cushioning after you stop working. These range from pensions and 401(k)s to IRAs and other investments, but navigating this world of retirement finance may be difficult for you at first. That’s why it’s always recommended to speak to a qualified financial planner or adviser with specialized experience in building retirement income. This will get you off to a great start on having the financial stability your retirement will need well before you need to retire.
A Simple, Less Economically Stressful Life
As important as it is to ensure you have some retirement savings set in place before you retire, it’s also just as important to spend those retirement savings smartly and efficiently. This means that, after you retire, it’s beneficial to review your economic footprint and adjust your living situation to reduce the amount of economic stress that you’re under. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, but the most effective way is to reimagine your living accommodations.
The truth is that there’s nothing so expensive as a big, old family house that’s no longer used to raise a family. A big home with a lot of property costs a bundle to maintain, from property taxes to lawn care to utilities and more, and that’s a lot of resources to devote to a home that at one time might have been busy with half a dozen people living there but is only sheltering you and perhaps your spouse today. Selling your family home and taking the proceeds to purchase a smaller, more modest home with less in upkeep costs or a property in a retirement community with no upkeep costs can pad your savings significantly, allowing you to enjoy the type of retirement you want instead of muddling through with the one you need to.
Keep an Eye on Medical Costs
As we age, our bodies don’t always function as well as they used to; that’s just a fact. This can often mean more trips to the doctor, taking prescription medications more regularly, and perhaps even extended hospital stays in the event of illness or injury. Unfortunately, this can become prohibitively expensive if you don’t have the right medical coverage for your retirement. Even everyday costs can end up being a major trial when you’re juggling a retirement budget that seems to be constantly shrinking.
Since you’re no longer receiving medical insurance coverage through your employment, you’re likely going to have to rely on Medicare. Medicare Part A might be free, but it doesn’t cover all your costs; meanwhile, other Medicare programs that cover regular doctor visits and prescription medications, such as Medicare Part B and Part D, are available at an additional cost. While it might be tempting to go without medical insurance if you’re hale and hearty, even one minor medical issue can cost you thousands if you’re not insured. Your best bet is to pay Medicare premiums, just in case, to avoid draining your retirement savings in the event of a medical emergency.
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Plan for Financial Success and Personal Happiness
No matter the type of lifestyle you want for your retirement, it’s absolutely imperative that you plan accordingly so that you’ll be able to afford to live in the comfort and security you prefer. Retirement planning comes in many forms. It can mean planning ahead to ensure you have a sizable nest egg saved up from investment activity prior to your retirement. It can mean taking stock of your living arrangements and downsizing to reduce your costs, sometimes by a significant amount. It can also mean taking smart precautions like enrolling in Medicare programs to prevent yourself from paying out-of-pocket for serious medical issues.
Which retirement planning activities are right for you? That depends, of course. Any one of these methods can make a major difference. Combining two or three of these methods together, or incorporating even more ways to plan not described here, can often result in even better savings. The point is to not just steer headlong into retirement without at least spending a modicum of time thinking about these important issues and taking steps to ensure you’ll have the resources you need to enjoy your retirement properly.
If there’s one thing that you should perhaps do no matter what you decide, it’s to consult a qualified financial adviser with a proven track record for steering retirees in the right direction. More than anything, this will put you on the right track to saving properly for retirement and planning correctly for the future, no matter how far off (or how soon) that retirement might be. That’s the key to being able to enjoy yourself the way you deserve!
For more information on retirement, read these articles by Acts Retirement-Life Communities: