Organize yourself and prepare for retirement with a checklist.
For most of us, the sound of retirement is music to our ears. After having dedicated decades of your life to working, you might be relieved that you have the time now to relax and enjoy the benefits of all that hard work. Retirement should be a great and exciting time in anyone’s life.
However, if you’ve been reading up on current events you will find that retirement remains just a dream for some. Why? Because there are a lot of people today at retirement age who don’t have enough funds to simply stop working and enjoy life. If you don’t want to find yourself in the same pool, you need to begin planning properly now. The sooner you start a plan, the better you will be able to enjoy your wonder years.
CREATE A PLAN
First you need to determine how old you want to be when you retire. While this age might change it is still important so that you can figure out how many years you have to get to your ideal savings. You also want to think about things that you might do while on retirement such as travel, or make large purchases as this will have to come out of your monthly income. Having an idea of what you want to do and accomplish during retirement will help you in creating a great plan for your future.
CHECK YOUR STREAMS OF INCOME AFTER RETIREMENT
Do you have a savings account or separate 401k that you can dip into after you’ve retired? Checking to see how much money you have in these accounts is important in determining if and when you can retire. Another thing to check would be your social security estimated monthly income to discern how much money you will have coming in on a regular basis.
If you find that these means of income are on the lower side, you might want to consider boosting your contributions or savings to try and make up for the difference. Most employers allow employees to increase their monthly contribution to any company owned pension or 401k account. Even increasing your savings by $100 per month could make a big difference depending on when you plan to retire.
CHECK YOUR EXISTING DEBT
Do you have a lot of credit card debt, a mortgage, or even student loans left to pay off? These are things that are often overlooked when planning for retirement. You need to go through your debts and determine how much is owed on the accounts. If you can afford to begin paying more to get them down to zero, then you should begin doing so at once. Some creditors will even allow you to make up a lump sum settlement offer to have the account paid in full.
If you are not able to repay all of your debt before your projected retirement date you should then add your monthly debt to your monthly expenses so that you can figure this amount into what you’ll be getting from your retirement income streams. By adding these bills to your budget, you are safe proofing yourself from having to return to work once you’ve retired.
REVIEW YOUR RECURRING MONTHLY BILLS
Last but not least you also want to look through your monthly recurring bills. There are certain bills like car insurance, utilities, and groceries that are never going to go away. Therefore you need to plan to have this money deducted from your monthly retirement benefits. Once you’ve calculated what your projected monthly income would be after retirement you should create a budget to make sure that your expenses do not exceed your income. If they do, you may need to save more money for retirement or find ways to reduce your monthly bills through rate decreases, membership discounts, and more.
Every retirement situation will be different. Some will find that they are able to retire and never have to go back to a 9 to 5 to make ends meet, while others will find that only a few months into retirement that they need to keep working to make a decent living. Working with a life coach can help you with the planning you need to help you reach your goal a lot faster.