Is It Ever Too Early To Begin Planning For Life Post Retirement?

Most of us will be familiar with the phrase, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” This perfectly sums up retirement planning. In a time where 78 percent of Americans are woefully unprepared for their retirement, early planning may be the key action that helps you avoid becoming one of the statistics. Planning for the future is often synonymous with those nearing the end of their working career as they anticipate sizeable changes. Yet, if you opted to be more proactive in our retirement plans earlier on in our life, you are giving yourself the best chance of achieving those dreams you may have, and also boosting the likelihood of being adequately prepared. It’s simple: the earlier you plan for your retirement, the more time you have to make those plans become a reality (and possibly exceed your initial goals). Contrary to what many believe, retirement planning centers on more just establishing and building your financial investments or savings. It is about future proofing your finances, establishing security for you and your loved ones and overall, preparing your life for what is to come.

Is It Ever Too Early To Begin Planning For Life Post Retirement? #retirement #planning #money

What Does A Retirement Plan Entail Exactly?

When it comes to establishing a retirement plan, there are several misconceptions about what exactly the process entails. One of those misconceptions? Retirement planning is a one-off action. In fact, planning for your retirement is an ongoing process and should be regularly reviewed from time to time, to gauge your progress and reassess whether your goals have changed. This is particularly highlighted in the changing costs of retirement that seniors are experiencing in society today and the guessing game that is life expectancy.

Guessing your life expectancy is in fact, one of the starting blocks when beginning your retirement planning. In addition to your current savings and assets owned, the length of time you are looking to provide for will help you gauge what your end goals will look like.

This also brings us to the second misconception. It is often assumed that planning for retirement is mostly about establishing investments. While retirement planning does largely center on your savings and income streams post-career, it also entails providing for medical emergencies, providing for debt obligations and even taking steps to amend your lifestyle to be more suitable to the new dynamics that comes with leaving the workforce. It is important to also establish that retiring today no longer means leaving the workforce completely. More seniors are choosing to become entrepreneurs, volunteer or embrace freelancing as a part of boosting their income and also as a retirement goal. Therefore, this aspect has also become a part of new age retirement plans.

Getting Started By Creating Savings Security

A Gallup survey showed that 43 percent of adults aged 50 to 64 expect to rely solely on their Social Security Benefits during their retirement while a staggering 21 percent of Americans have no retirement savings at all. This places many people in a precarious position and one that can rapidly lead to a debt spiral. One of the first things you can do immediately is to begin saving for your retirement goals once you have mapped out what those goals are and what they will cost. It is estimated that the average retiree spends $3,800 per month or $45,756 annually. While this is a great starting point, it is best to personalize your savings goals. Look at your outgoings currently and get in the habit of budgeting. With the help of spreadsheets and mobile friendly budgeting apps, you can sync all of your spendings and see where you can trim money. Generally, it is recommended that you begin putting away 15-20 percent of your income into savings or investments including any workplace retirement plans.

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Diversify Your Portfolio And Make It Work For You

Our income changes with retirement and therefore making arrangements to supplement the loss of income that comes with retirement is a wise move. It is also great to do so earlier on in life since it gives you more time to implement them and iron out any kinks. Many people opt for stocks and share investments which can be conveniently done in the comfort of their homes thanks to the recent invention of investment Robo advisors or with the help of a financial planner if preferred. Another income stream to include in your portfolio is real estate. Thanks to advancing financing options, you do not necessarily have to purchase buy to let properties on your own but can make use of real estate funds and platforms. Finally, business income such as establishing a small business can provide a useful income stream in retirement. Take the time to maximize your 401k and Roth IRA as well, starting early. This also applies to the self-employed starting their retirement savings plan in lieu of an employer-sponsored plan. The more years you are able to contribute, the more you will be able to put away.

Cover Your Bases, Provide For The Unknown

For the retired, healthcare has been one of the most steadily increasing spending categories. It is estimated that healthcare in retirement will cost a couple $280,000, not including any long term care costs. While there is national and state insurance such as Medicare that covers some of the healthcare expenses in later life, there still remains an increasing gap between consumers’ savings and their coverage. In this case, securing medical and life insurance (including coverage for long term illness) proves to be a prudent move.

For those aged 65 and over, insurance premiums can cost over $4,000 each year and increases with age. One good tip is to create dedicated savings pots for events such as upcoming insurance premiums and to secure coverage earlier rather than later. By saving throughout the year, you guarantee continued coverage and avoid the budgetary squeeze of premiums. In addition, lump sum payments tend to come with discounts, making it more budget friendly.

There is a lot that goes into planning for retirement, and what is important to note is that that process never stops. While there is always some degree of uncertainty attached to estimated what life after retiring may look like, there is one thing that is certain: you can never start planning for the future too early.

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Investing For The Absolute Beginner

Millenials are being encouraged to invest more, but it’s not something that you should venture into lightly. There’s a lot at stake when you’re moving money back and forth: one wrong move, and you could lose some of your money. Fortunately, though, getting started with investing isn’t too difficult, even for someone who knows nothing about it; as more beginner-friendly resources have started to appear more on the market.

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Invest In Your Future With An App

To appeal to the younger tech-friendly generation, several apps have become available that let users invest small amounts of their money in different sorts of accounts. Acorns, an app that takes a few cents out of your paycheck each month, is designed to work more or less automatically and return you money on your investments. However, there are others, such as Stash, which are designed to work manually. Stash is meant to teach you how to build your own portfolio through investments.

Real Estate Investments

There are many additional forms of investment to choose from. Real estate, for example, is often considered an investment, though it can be regarded as short-term or long-term depending on how you intend to treat it. Although investing in real estate often involves a rather significant barrier to entry in the case of buying homes, it makes up for that in being a sound investment.

When buying real estate for investments, short-term usually refers to a buy-and-flip model, while long-term usually involves a buy-and-wait model. Buy-and-flip models typically involve purchasing a house, redesigning it or updating it, and selling it for top dollar. Buy-and-wait homes, on the other hand, are often used as long-term appreciating investments, and they can be rented out for additional profit (or to cover the cost of a mortgage) in the meantime.

What Does Diversification Mean?

Diversification is an investing term that means spreading your assets over several different areas. For example, if the stock market crashes and you have all of your money invested in stocks, you’re in for a bit of a rude awakening. However, if your investments are spread out over different kinds of accounts, like bonds, real estate, and mutual funds in addition to the stocks, you might lose some of your money, but you’ll still be in good shape. Diversification is a recommended tactic for anyone interested in investing.

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There is a lot to learn for the beginner starting down the path of investment. However, with the many resources available today, anyone can learn everything they might need to know to invest knowledgeably. Whether you choose to do so through a largely self-sufficient app or do it yourself through some other method, as long as you educate yourself well before going in, you can find success through investing.

Room Redesign on a Budget

Do you have that one room that just needs a little love? Maybe it’s a tad outdated, or maybe it just doesn’t carry the aesthetic of the rest of your home. We’d love to be able to change up, or restyle a room whenever we got the urge, but if we’re on a budget, that might not be realistic. Here’s some tips to redesign a room on a budget. Little changes can have a huge effect on the outcome of your living space.

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Evaluate Your Space

  • What is this space?
  • What do I use it for now?
  • How does it make me feel?

It’s good to figure out what this space currently means to you. If this space is technically a living room, what do you consider its use? A family den, a greeting space, a place that houses your couches? It’s important to understand what this space means to you and the others in your household before you decide what it’ll eventually become. Once you evaluate the space and have your answer to those three questions, then ask yourself: what do you want this space to be and how do you want to feel when you’re in this space?

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Easy Transformations

If you choose to redo a room, try first to transform it through budget friendly means. From reusing, or upcycling items you already own, to merely painting the space a new color. There are a million and one ways to spruce up your space.

  1. Paint! Painting a room is one of the simplest, more affordable ways to reimagine your room. Color has a transformative power. If you’ve already decided to change up what’s hanging on your walls, or rearranging furniture, you may want to think about taking a pause on putting anything back up before you have a chance to paint.

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Use paint to bring a certain emotion, or presence to a room. Is there a color that makes you feel happy, studious, or calm? Don’t be afraid to get creative with your interiors, and your color schemes. If you’re going for a minimal look, but want to bring color into the space, try painting one wall with a strong accent color. If you want to bring an extra uniqueness to a room with concrete or wood floors, try painting your floors instead of your walls.

  1. Chalkboard Paint

If you’re looking for creative way to utilize your walls, try using chalkboard paint. It’s a fun and useful way to use a wall in a room. It’s excellent for children’s rooms, as they can doodle on a chalkboard wall as much as they’d like without ruining the wall itself. It’s also a great idea for decorating a front room, or kitchen on a budget. It’s a great idea if you like to have a “to-do”, or grocery list visible to everyone in your household.

 

Have Fun With Your Furnishings

Move it around! If it’s not in your budget to find brand new furniture for the room you’re redecorating, use some time to move your furnishings around. Sometimes, all it takes to look at a room in a new light is just the simple act of moving things about. There’s always that one piece of furniture that either suits a room or doesn’t. Find a clear space for it.

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Upcycle & D.I.Y.

Before you go out and make a new purchase for your room, try and upcycle something you already own. Whether you’re giving a beloved piece of furniture a facelift, or take an upholstery class to update tired seating with new slipcovers.

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Make It Livable

Only spend on what you know you’ll love for years to come. One of the most enjoyable things about getting to revamp a space is having a chance to change the way you experience the space. Whether you make bold choices, or simple ones; this is your chance to fall in love with a space you’ve maybe forgotten about, or even avoided. Redoing a room on a budget doesn’t lessen the work that can be done, but it does mean you should be willing to get creative.

Make sure you know where and why you’re spending your budget. If you plan to splurge on one or two items to pull your room together, do so carefully. There’s nothing worse than spending your budget on items that will never use, or items that will run out their welcome quickly, you can purchase decorative drapes and curtains that’ll give the room a pop. If you intend to buy instead of repurpose, make sure that you’ll love what you bring into a space many years down the road. Keep your spaces unique, but livable.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget

Now that spring is here, it’s time to take a look at your budget and see some ways that you can cut down on how much you are spending, on a month by month basis. If you don’t already have a budget, then make one! If you do, then pull it out and take a look at some simple ways you can cut down on the money you routinely spend…

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

 

Use Public Transit (or Other Methods to Drive Less)

Cutting down transportation costs is one of the best and quickest ways to lower your monthly expenses significantly. If your area has sufficient public transportation to get you where you need to go, don’t hesitate to use it. You’ll be surprised at the fortune you save on gas.

Again, anything you can do to cut down on transportation costs will make a huge difference. Another option you have is to ride a bike. Making a bike your primary mode of transportation will also be good for the environment and improve your health. If you’re looking to cycle to work, but don’t have the budget for a brand new bike, check the inventory at secondhand stores and check yard sales too.

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Get Rid of Unused Gym Memberships

Cancel your gym membership and head to your local park to get the same workout for free. Use the natural layout of the park, trails, playground equipment, and benches to create a comprehensive workout routine. Not only will you save on gym membership fees, but you will also enjoy some time in the sun.

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Cut Back on Subscriptions

Whether it’s the newspaper, magazines, or even an internet streaming service like Netflix, subscriptions are usually things you can easily live without. If you’re really looking to cut monthly expenses this summer, cut all subscriptions and spend more time outdoors.

Be a Smart Driver

You’d be surprised at how much money you can save merely by changing some simple driving habits. Let up on the gas pedal just a little when accelerating, cut down on speeding, and try walking to destinations that are reasonably close. Even if you can’t completely live without a car, chances are you can whittle down your gas expenses significantly.

Eat Less Meat

It may be difficult to BBQ less and cut down on the number of steaks you grill this summer, but the fact is meat is expensive. Take the opportunity to learn some new recipes and cook some refreshing vegetarian dishes. If you grow a garden, you can use your own vegetables and save even more on meals than you ever thought possible.

Partake in Free Events

Summer is a great time to get out into the action of your hometown. If you’re looking for some budget-friendly excitement to mix up your summer, go to a free concert or local outdoor event. Taking advantage of these seasonal events may provide your family with a free or inexpensive experience that would normally cost a lot more to enjoy.

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Update to LED Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs are becoming a popular alternative light source in contemporary homes. Not only do they last longer than traditional light bulbs, they are also more energy efficient, more versatile, and completely silent. Switching over to LED lightbulbs will cost some money upfront, but will prove to be a saving investment in the long run.

Unplug Unused Electronics

It may be a task so simple that it never crossed your mind. Or, it may seem so menial that you haven’t actually gone through with it. Either way, now is the time to try it out. Unplugging all electrical devices you aren’t currently using them can save significantly on monthly electric expenses.

Ask About Loan Modifications

If loan payments are becoming more than you can handle from month to month, you might want to look into getting a loan modification. Making a permanent change in one or more items on your loan can be a huge help in giving you some leeway on your monthly budget. Not to mention your loan payments will feel less daunting.

Do Specific Chores Yourself

For some chores, you may be tempted to use a professional service, but you can save hundreds of dollars just by doing it yourself. For example: lawn mowing! Use a non-electric push mower and turn a boring activity into a time of connection with the outdoors. Mowing with a push mower will save you the money you would have otherwise spent on gas for an electric one.

Another example is car washes. Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to wash the car in your own driveway and complete a chore while having some family fun too. Grab some cleaning supplies and head to the driveway when the heat of the summer strikes.