Retirement is something that you look forward to in the golden years of your life. The fulfillment of all your years of hard work comes full circle. But are you prepared for it? In these uncertain times, can you plan for your retirement? These times are tough, with the market being volatile and the economy still on a rough road to recovery. The good news is that while the outlook might be bleak, you can still plan and prepare for your future. All you need is a good navigation plan.
Know Where You Stand
Before you plan for your retirement, you need to know your financial standing. This means you need to know your current income, your obligations, expenses, and whatever outstanding loans you might have. Forbes says that it is important that you are aware of how much money you have. You will have to look at your investment portfolio. This includes your bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and investments in real estate if you have any. Remember that you will no longer be receiving one income source when you retire. Have many streams of income so that you may augment whatever shortages may come your way.
Retirement planning requires financial confidence. You have to afford the necessities and those luxuries you have worked so hard for.
Be Prepared for Financial Emergencies
Emergencies are something that we do not expect to happen to us. They can be in the form of a medical emergency, such as a broken leg or a financial emergency, such as an eviction notice. While we cannot predict the future, it’s always best to be one step ahead for life’s emergencies. These are the events in your life that can be costly and can deplete your retirement fund if you are not careful. Emergencies, such as home repairs, can deplete a retiree’s savings fund by as much as 25 percent.
Investopedia says you should have the heavy home repairs and renovation done before you retire. Should you have the need for home maintenance, only spend on the essentials. Still, the best way to prepare for emergencies is to build up an emergency fund while you still are working. Invest those extra funds in an interest-bearing vehicle. Your future self will thank you for it.
It is easier to recover from the effects of inflation while you are still working and earning a steady income. Despite the price increases in the cost of goods and services, you will still be earning money. When you have limited funds, it is a different story. You cannot fight the times, so the best way to beat inflation is to remain one step ahead. Be realistic when it comes to planning for your retirement.
Assess Your Retirement Spending Needs
Many retirees make the mistake of overspending their retirement fund. They tend to spend a chunk of their retirement fund on their travel or bucket list goals. These retirees find out that they have actual needs to spend their funds on. To prevent this from happening, keep track of the expenses that you might incur once you retire. These will come in the form of medical costs, utility bills, food, among others. Remember that you will no longer be spending eight or more hours inside an office. While you may have more time doing the things you love, you may not always have the funds to spend for it.
Be Aware of your Risk Appetite
When you are building your investment portfolio, you have to be aware of how much risk you are willing to take. Bonds are conservative forms of investment that have modest returns at minimal risks. Stocks will depend on the performance of the market. Real estate is a long term investment that appreciates over time.
It is always a good idea to diversify your funds as much as possible. You have to be aware of how much risk you are comfortable with. It is your income, and you should determine which is a necessity and which is a luxury. When you retire, it is not the end of a chapter in your life. You might be receiving a monthly pension from now on, but it is the start of a new adventure. As long as you prepare yourself, you can navigate these waters with full confidence.
Retirement should not be a period where you are anxious over how to pay your bills. It should be a reward for yourself for a job well done.