You have already worked so many years in your career. Eventually, you will come to a point when you need to hang up your boots and get a well-deserved rest. By that time, will you be ready to take on your retirement years?
It’s easy to think of retirement as an opportunity to do whatever you want and cross out as many activities from your bucket list as possible. However, being able to enjoy your retirement years requires proper planning. You will never know what comes around the corner and puts a stop to your goals. Still, it’s possible to lead an easy life as a retiree so long as you make the right decisions even before the last leg of your career. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan for the future:
1. Set realistic goals
What will you be focusing on once you retire? Will you travel the world, go skydiving, or climb the peak of Mt. Everest? We all have ambitions in life that are only achievable when we have the time.
There is no harm in dreaming, but it’s still important that you stick with realistic and manageable goals. Do you want certain people in your household to inherit what wealth you will be leaving behind? Where do you want to settle down?
When planning for your retirement, including long-term goals to complement the short-term ones.
2. Save early and manage your finances
It’s never too early to save. In fact, the sooner you get started, the faster it would be to grow your cash reserves. After all, you need emergency funds in case of serious medical scenarios and inflation. You should be able to develop a habit of directing at least 10% of your monthly income to a personal savings account.
3. Contribute to a retirement savings account
As an employee, you can sign up for a retirement plan through your employer. Depending on your company, you can tap into retirement plans that offer unique yet helpful benefits. A traditional 401(k), for instance, is popular among employees due to the fact that they are allowed to maximize their contributions. On top of that, they also enjoy tax advantages since your contributions are automatically deducted before income taxes are withheld.
Another tax-advantaged benefit plan you can make use of during retirement is a self-directed IRA. The main benefit of this type of IRA is the amount of flexibility it provides you when choosing investment vehicles. Regardless of the retirement plans your employer is using, make sure that you contribute to your account until you max it out. From there, you can switch to a different retirement plan. That way, you will have enough cash on standby for investing in income-generating assets.
4. Know your passive investment options
You can’t always rely on your pension in order to lead the kind of lifestyle you want as a retiree. In order to have enough to cover your expenses, consider generating passive wealth.
Traditional stocks and bonds may offer a certain level of security, but if you want to generate more income without much legwork, then consider investing in physical assets such as apartments, single-family houses, or other real estate asset classes. You can also look towards precious metals such as gold or silver.
You wouldn’t want to gamble all your funds into a single asset. As you build your pre-retirement investment strategy, you will need to stretch your risk evenly by diversifying your portfolio.
5. Decide whether to downsize
Most retirees would choose to downsize from homeownership to renting. The main reason is that they simply want to reduce their financial obligations and lead more laid back lives. If you are looking to rent out a condo or live in an independent community, you need to start looking for the right places offering the right features and amenities in order to meet this goal.
6. Keep yourself in tip-top shape
To make the most of your retirement years, you will need to keep yourself healthy as you enter your senior years. Apart from a balanced diet and exercise, it’s also important that you refrain from smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. It also pays to have a doctor who can be with you well into your retirement and help you calculate future medical costs and determine risks.
Lastly, make sure you repair any and all issues that require surgery so you can enjoy the rest of your years without any major conditions. In case of a faulty surgery, you can get a medical malpractice lawyer to help you get compensated. Click here to learn more.
7. Consider running a business
What will you be doing with your pension checks? While you already have several investment assets and enough cash to support your lifestyle, you might want to spend a portion of your retirement money on getting additional income. If you have creative skills, you can start out as a freelancer. That way, you will be able to make money doing the things you love, which is definitely what many retirees are aiming for.
8. Keep developing skills
Even during retirement, you shouldn’t stop yourself from learning new skills. With all the free time you now have, you can spend your days learning how to build websites or writing fiction novels. The world is your oyster, and it’s better that you spend more time learning new things.
9. Don’t forget to enjoy the little things
Planning for your retirement could keep you from enjoying all the best that life has to offer. Even if you are too focused on building your retirement portfolio and keeping your savings accounts in line, never let go of what’s important. After all, you are not retiring just so you could keep chasing money.
When it comes to preparing for the next phase of your life, it’s important that you come prepared with the right strategy in mind. Even though it’s still far ahead, your retirement should give you plenty to think about, so get started by following the tips above.