Most of us have no wish to work forever, which means we will need to make some arrangements to pay the bills after retirement.
It really pays to look ahead and envision how you would want to spend your retirement days, the kind of lifestyle you wish to maintain, and the potential emergency expenses that may rear their ugly heads when you least expect them to.
Therefore, planning ahead for your financial, physical and emotional well-being during your retirement days is a must for all.
Here are a few simple guidelines, which will head you in the right direction when you start planning for an easy retirement.
- Start early. Create a list of your needs and wants: much as we might want to delay this, it really is necessary to start planning early as it gives you a head start. Painful as it might seem, an honest list of needs and wants will give you a clear indication of your long term and short term expenses. It also helps you factor in the inflation when figuring out the cost of future needs. So, do the math using calculators available online. Here are a few options from CNNMoney, Charles Schwab and AARP.
- Avoid unnecessary expenses. Rein in your urge to splurge on a whim. Retail therapy works wonders on those frayed nerves, so once in a while is okay but don’t make it a habit. Keep a close watch on your budget and always try to negotiate for a cost effective insurance cover. Bring your lunch from home. The resulting savings can be used to pay for an urgent want, if need be.
- Eat healthy. Do whatever it takes to kill unhealthy eating habits. Avoid fast, processed and canned foods if you can help it. Make it a habit to eat freshly cooked food. If you are a meat eater, add a lot of anti-oxidants in your daily diet. It might seem tedious, but invest some time to create an honest diet list and weekly menu based on your current physical health. Follow it strictly and monitor your health to ensure you are in the right direction. Add a lot of herbs in your diet. Grow herbs in pots or create your own organic vegetable garden to have quick access to chemical/fertilizer free veggies.
- Exercise regularly. Based on your current physical condition, choose an exercise, which suits your body type and temperament and stick to it till you feel a change may be needed. Your healthcare expenses will be reduced to a great extent if you make exercise a part of your daily routine. It will also take care of quite a few of the ailments folks suffer as they age.
- Meditate at least five minutes a day. Set aside a minimum of five minutes for meditation, to stay balanced and at peace. Do this possibly at the beginning and the end of each day. Practice mindfulness and awareness. This will go a long way in easing your stress levels.
- Identify and spend time in developing your hobbies. Investing time and energy in developing hobbies will work very well in constructively filling those lazy hours of your retirement days.
- Save money in your IRA account and put money into your 401k. This will ensure that you are committed to saving and disciplining your spending habits. Use these savings to diversify your investments. There are plenty of methods. Get the help of a reliable financial adviser.
- Get to know more about your Social Security Benefits. This will help you make an intelligent estimate of your ultimate benefits and by delaying the receipt of the benefits before reaching the age of 70, you will be able to get increased amounts in the future.
- Set aside extra funds. If you seem to be ending up with extra funds each month, create an automatic contribution of the said amount to a savings account and avoid the hangover of a useless splurge. Do this with extra cash when you receive a raise.
- Make the most of the "Age 50 Catch-up Contribution": If you are over 50, this will allow you to make more contributions to your 401k account.
Lastly, to look forward to a peaceful and stress free retired life, follow the tips with determination and always keep abreast with the changes happening around you.