Saving for retirement is often touted as easy and simply a case of putting your mind to it. For something that is supposedly so easy, a large portion of the population fails to do it year after year. If you're waiting for that magical time period where tucking $15,000 or more per year into your nest egg is going to become gleeful second nature, well you'll be waiting a long time. Saving is hard and there are a lot of hard choices you need to make in order to effectively save for retirement, especially if you are low income.
Now more than ever before it is important to do more than simply plan for your retirement. The bare minimums and so-called ideal numbers rarely take into consideration the full, long lifespans that many people are living today. Retirement is often viewed as the absolute final stage of your life without thought given to the variety of changes that can and often do occur in your elder years. Here are three reasons why you should rethink your perfect retirement plan.
Planning for the day you retire is never as easy as it seems. Changing laws, growing costs of living, and overlooked needs and aspects of retiring can become overwhelming the closer you get to the big day. It is too easy to fall into the trap of believing that blindly saving something is fine, and all will work out in the end.
Have you fully prepared for your current or future retirement? Most preparation-conscious individuals have no doubt developed a budget with all their customary expenses and are, at least for the moment, determined to stick to it. If your home is paid off, you may have gleefully excluded this expense, among others from your budget plan. Free of the rat race, there are no more costly commuting expenses, and you may even be able to finally kick that expensive Starbucks habit. Everyone loves to have strictly defined sections on their budget, but your emergency savings may end up being the most important of all. Still, there are other expenses that can frequently be either overlooked or underestimated.
The financial and particularly budgetary side of retirement planning will always be a core part of preparation. However, there is far more to retirement readiness than fine-tuning your nest egg and your willingness to stick to a budget. Your goal when you retire is not simply to survive but to also enjoy your time in this hopefully low-stress period of your life.
Formulating or estimating a retirement budget while you are still in the planning process is definitely a challenge. It is only natural to make the mistake of downplaying what we will spend, pretending we will be a tightly reined horse of sorts in that magical moment. Anyone can throw together a retirement budget, but creating one that works is a different story.
Remaining active after you retire is not always as easy as it sounds when you've spent your life working hard. Rest, relaxation, and enjoyment of your newfound abundance of free time can easily grow into complete inactivity if you are not careful. Naturally, you don't need to maintain a bustling week of activity akin to your previous work schedule, but you should take full advantage of the health benefits that come from being active.
Retirement planning is often focused on what you can do for yourself, but is this the best option for married couples? As a couple you likely both save together and spend together, making joint planning important, if not absolutely necessary.
Being prepared for your upcoming retirement is about more than nurturing your nest egg. While it is easy to consider building up your egg as the hardest part, it is truly only the beginning of your journey as a retiree. In truth, there are just as many mistakes to be made post-retirement, even if you have saved correctly, as there are pre-retirement.
The list of things to do once you are post-retirement seems nearly endless, but what about things to avoid? It is very easy to get caught up in enjoying the freedom of retired life and potentially making mistakes you will later regret. You may feel that the strict planning and budgeting phases are all but gone now that you have finally crossed the finish line.
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