Do you see yourself as someone who won’t ever retire? You probably know some people who have already retired, but you can’t imagine that you’d ever stop working.
As retirement age gets closer, do you identify your own thoughts about retirement in these statements?
1.“I’m never going to retire. I can’t afford it.” If you think this way, you likely haven’t saved much for retirement. Such thoughts could become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you might end up working until your health fails or you’re forced into retirement. Either way, you’re financially unprepared for the fact that you’ll eventually retire.
2. “I love my job and I want to work forever.” Although it’s wonderful that you enjoy your work, that love will not stop the aging process. As the year’s pass, the way you think will eventually change, as could your health, work situation, and environment.
3. “My dad worked all his life and died on the job and so will I.” You believe you’re a helpless pawn of fate and won’t retire due to expecting an untimely death. However, if you live longer than your parents (and according to statistics, you will), you may find yourself in a position to retire someday. The real question is, “Will you be financially ready?”
4. “I don’t think about retiring. I guess things will turn out the way they’re supposed to.” This reaction is like sticking your head into the sand and ignoring one of life’s realities: if you’re lucky enough to live long enough, you’ll eventually retire.
What to Do Now to Prepare for Your Financial Future
By now, maybe you’re considering that you’ll actually retire. What can you do immediately to begin establishing a bright financial future during retirement so you don’t have to deal with debt in retirement?
Talk with your partner about the kind of life you’d want if you stopped working. Make some plans that make such a life possible for you.
Ponder these tips:
1. Accept reality. You’ll likely retire at some point. Think about your current finances and how you’d live if for some reason unknown to you today, you had to stop working tomorrow.
2. Start saving this week. Aim for putting back 15% of your salary. Look at it this way: it can only help you to have some extra money in the bank.
3. Establish a retirement account. Talk with your tax accountant about the best type of retirement account for your situation: Individual Retirement Account (IRA), Roth IRA, or a 401 (k), for example.
4. Develop passive income resources. How can you get started now to establish a new source of passive income and keep it going?
5. Focus on building assets. Maintain your home at the highest level. This way, if you decide to sell, your house will be in tip-top shape. Begin some short-term investments (five years or less) and regularly place some dollars there.
6. Reduce outgoing expenditures. Take a look at the amount of money you have going out in an average month. Look for ways to cut spending and follow through with instituting those cuts.
Regardless of your reasons for feeling you won’t ever retire, start planning for a time when due to health, age, or level of physical energy, you’ll at least slow down working. Put these strategies to work, even if you don’t plan to retire. You’ll be glad you did.