What are you doing now to prepare for retirement? Perhaps you’re funneling money into a 401k and Social Security hoping that it will be enough by the time you arrive at the ripe old age of retirement. These plans are fine. They’ll get you money when you need it the most. But what happens if it’s not enough? What happens when push comes to shove and unexpected expenses or merely living a longer life puts you into a tight financial position?
Do you have the resources available to get you through? Have you reduced your financial responsibilities enough to make it through the weeks, months, or years left in question? More than putting your money away in other organizations, preparation has to do with getting everything into order as well. The following are three ways to better prepare for your retirement.
First, aside from the money you’ve put away into your 401k and Social Security what assets do you have available to you? Are you keeping up a savings account that you never withdraw from? Are you investing in the stock market yourself? Do you have any valuables that could be sold to benefit your livelihood?
You can count assets such as valuables and bonds as preparation. They are investments for your future just as much as a 401k or Social Security. The key is to find assets that will assuredly appreciate or hold their market value over time. Savings bonds, government bonds, and gold are often used as financial additives to any working man or woman’s portfolio.
Look into potential assets for your future and plan to purchase some. Increase that portfolio as long as you are working to continually benefit from them throughout your coming retirement.
Second, get out of debt. If you are approaching retirement, consider removing all debt from your responsibilities. From your high interest credit card to your mortgage, pay them off while you’re still working. You’ll be living on a reduced, fixed income from retirement on.
Debt, especially a big debt like your mortgage, will only cause you financial grief. Instead of spending your retirement money on your future, you would spend it on an asset you purchased decades ago. Make larger payments every month to take care of it or save up to pay it off early in one fell swoop. Take care of these debts while you are still earning the money so you can relax later.
Third and finally, keep a separate savings account from here on out. No matter where you fall in your career, you can start saving now. Try to save at least 13% of your current income. Save more if you can. Keep it in a bank and make sure you keep an eye on it. Save it in a separate account that can only be accessed by a separate debit card that you lock in a safe, so if your everyday one is stolen, the thieves can’t get to your savings.
These three tips can help you better prepare for and therefore better deal with retirement. It’s dangerous to put all of your eggs in the 401k and Social Security egg basket.
Separate your eggs by (1) investing in assets, (2) getting out of your mortgage, along with other debts, and (3) continually improving a savings account. You’ll be glad you did at the end of your career.
- Retired: AFSB