Saving tools are the cornerstone of a successful transition into retirement. While individual factors make planning for retirement a complicated process, common sense reminds us that, just like all significant life changes, planning makes things easier. Here are the top 13 retirement savings tools you may have missed.
1. Pre-retirement Investment Monitoring
When you’re young, retirement seems like a lifetime away. You might have thought about relocating to Florida or becoming an expatriate to some tropical or exotic country. These daydreams are all fun and games until it’s finally time to start thinking about retirement. Instead of picturing yourself lounging by the pool, brainstorm ways in which you can save money and avoid spending too much before you’re ready to turn the corner. Seek out investments with income sources you can expect, as predictable wages yield lower returns.
2. Plan for Inflation
You never know how the stars will align, but you’re better safe than sorry. When you start planning for retirement, prepare for the worst and assume that prices will rise in all areas: food, real estate, travel, you name it. The more money you put aside, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
3. Talk With Your Partner
Be direct with your special someone about how much they should be spending in an effort to plan responsibly for retirement. It’s always a good idea to be on the same page as your significant other, but this is especially true when it comes to important purchases. You bet your bottom dollar that retirement is one of them.
4. Prioritize Your Health
For a cheaper retirement, you’ll need to take care of yourself, however, it’s never too early to take end of life planning into account. Health care costs are rising, so it’s better to stay on top of your physical well-being before you end up with a bill that makes retirement nothing short of a pipe dream. The costs of medical bills are astronomical, so anything you can do to minimize potential health care costs is constructive for your retirement savings.
5. Stick to a Budget
Calculate your budget and strictly follow it. Determine how much you can afford to spend and save or schedule a meeting with an investment professional so that they can help you plan for the future.
6. Work for Longer
Retirement planning is much more practical with a steady income. By staying in the workforce longer, you’ll be able to set aside more money for your future. There is no formula for retirement, so remember to do what works for you. If putting off retirement for a few more years is what you need to save enough funds for a dream retirement, then do what is necessary, no matter what.
7. Be Almost Hyper-vigilant with Money
You’ll get the most out of your retirement if you set aside more money than you probably need to. Imagine all of the possible hidden fees or emergency costs and take active measures to save for these unlikely events. Begin by taking small steps every day to save more and more money. You can be frugal on groceries, cover someone’s shift, or keep your house a little chilly. All of these things help, little by little.
8. Pay Off Your Mortgage
The sooner you pay off your mortgage, the earlier you can place that ongoing monthly payment elsewhere. You will be putting an end to a significant monthly expense, giving you a lot more money to work with as you prepare to retire.
9. Choose a Financial Advisor Wisely
If you seek out an investment professional or financial advisor to assist you with the retirement and savings process, do your research to ensure the person you pick is the right one for the job. Everyone has different financial needs, so working with someone who has helped others with similar economic profiles will be critical. It’s also helpful to ask friends or family for recommendations, especially those who earn about the same amount of money you do each year.
10. Expect Travel to Cost You
If you are planning to make a permanent move when you retire, you are going to want to bring many different things with you. Traveling with luggage and hauling your belongings is very expensive. Be prepared to pay for all of the accommodations and space you’ll need to bring along everything you want with you.
11. Establish Your Retirement Lifestyle
It’s one thing to establish a budget for moving to a new place, but what happens once you get there? You want to consider what your monthly and weekly expenses will look like once you retire and calculate if you have enough money set aside to easily transition.
12. Review Expenses Annually
Going over your expenses every year is something you should begin doing before retirement and after you’ve been retired for a year. You can compare what your purchases looked like then and how your investments are affecting your savings now. Please speak with your financial advisor on how to best proceed with your specific spending profile so that retirement can continue to be the relaxing break it should be.
13. Consider “Fun” Work
Many older adults continue to pursue learning and other activities to keep their minds sharp throughout retirement. If certain kinds of work appeal to you that don’t feel like work, you can include them as part of your retirement lifestyle. Maybe you enjoy cooking and are interested in hosting an elective cooking class at a community college. These are numerous ways to make a little extra money, so you can continue floating through retirement with ease.
The best tools for retirement planning are those you create for yourself. Personalize your calendar, budget, and be selective about the people you talk with about your plans. Retirement looks different for everyone, so be sure your second act genuinely represents you and what you want out of it. Bon Voyage!