Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Retirement: Strategies & Tips to Set Realistic & Actionable Goals

There are thousands of individuals who retire from active employment every year around the globe. At their sunset days, the individuals who enter into a successful and sustainable retirement have laid concrete plans which enable them live a happy and comfortable life after retirement.

If you are amongst the group that is about to retire, then it is time you did a serious review of your retirement plans. Here are some tips to help get you thinking.

Set goals and timelines

It is important to take stock of what you have amassed so far. It is great for you if you have been having a consistent saving habit. Include income generating investments, any shares, personal savings, and social security funds in your stock.

Once you have had a clear financial standing record, start projecting possible expenses while out of active employment. Your lifestyle, medical expenses, and outstanding long-term debts determine the expenses. From this point, you can project how much you need to save to live comfortably. Set financial goals to meet in the remaining time in active employment.

Seek professional advice

Professional advice is important in setting up realistic financial goals. A retirement expert will advise on achievable goals and ways to reduce on your expenses and save more. He or she will also advise you on less risky investment ideas. (Your appetite for risk is now low).

Use catch-up investment plans to your advantage

Catch up investments are a great financial instrument especially if you had not saved much. These are tax sheltered retirement accounts such as IRAs. With these instruments, you can work your way through secured bonds. At this time, you might not be able to handle the risks involved in the money market. You need to talk to your financial adviser on the best catch up investment clubs around.

Determine plans for living

This consideration is unique per individual. Some individuals who enter into retirement take into consideration their current health and anticipated level of care they will need in the future. If assisted living is something you're thinking about, you may want to consider a retirement community or a place that offers the level of care you might need. There are a wealth of good retirement communities that offer the independence and level of enjoyment you may be seeking.

Exit at the right time

If you find that you might not have met your goals by retirement time, you may decide to downshift your retirement and add up more working years. At this time, you should tighten your financial belts and work towards saving much more. You may also work as a consultant in areas you were specialized on at the time of your retirement. Working is also a great retirement plan.

Work on your debt

Debt is likely to be the greatest headache that you might face once you retire. Most of the debt comes from long-term investments such as mortgages. It is important to weigh the benefits of continue paying up the mortgage against ploughing back cash to the stock market but paying rent. Reducing your debts before retirement will lower the pressure on your savings.

Cater for eventualities

Any retiree should be aware of such costs as medical cost and damage to property that may wipe down all their savings. It is important to plan and cater for them. One of the major unexpected expenses is medical expenses. Since your employer no longer insures you, it is prudent to have health insurance cover to safeguard your money from being swallowed up by hospital bills.

A good retirement plan is always to save more, reduce on expenses and safeguard your money from unplanned expenses. Plan wisely to have lovely sunset days of your life.

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