What comes to mind when we hear the word retirement? Ahhh, sunny days on the beach, never-ending exotic tours abroad, and a seemingly stress-free life. The truth is, the proverbial golden years have actually gone more elusive. While we dream of retirement as a time to rest, relax and enjoy the rest of our lives, to many, it’s a time of their life when they have to worry whether they’ll have enough money to last a lifetime. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any right to enjoy what you have worked hard for!
1. Know how much you will need
In his book How to Retire Young and Rich, Joseph S. Coyle explained that no matter how much money you have and even if you have the impression that you’re gonna be fine in the long run, not knowing where you stand until you’re ready to retire is chaos in the making. If you wait until the day you retire before you do your math, what do you do when you find out that you’re actually 30 percent short of the money you need for retirement? Knowing exactly what your goals are you’ll know when you’re not meeting them. So whatever age you are, if you haven’t figured out how much you need to save, now is the time to do so.
2. Quit using your credit card
Now that you don’t work and earn fat paychecks, you might as well want to downsize your lifestyle. Rather than being a spender, shift your focus to being a saver and investor. If you’re piled with debts already, make sure to pay them off and quit accumulating more. One of the biggest causes of debts is using your credit card. Yes, it’s true shopping is made more convenient when you a have a credit card—just one swipe and you get what you want—the problem, though, is that you can’t keep track the money that goes out of your pocket. Add up the interest and annual membership fees and you’ll more likely pay more than what you have purchased.
3. Never spend more than what you earn.
As a retiree, you main sources of income are your pensions, annuities and dividend from investments. Good if you have a part-time time job. But the key to enjoying a financially-free retirement age is not spending more than what you’re earning. Even before you retire, you have to discipline your mind to live not within your means but actually a little less than what you can afford. Put your knack for budgeting into use and you can insure your hard-earn money will last a long, long time.
4. Downsize your home
Now that your kids have a family of their own, who needs a five-bedroom, three-storey home? A big house for two will only eat a huge chunk of cash due to annual maintenance, mortgage fee, and taxes. Sell your home, buy a smaller but equally comfortable place, invest what’s left on an income-generating investment and secure your financial safety.
5. Invest on your health and shop for a health insurance
Old age means frequent trips to the doctor and even a nice stay at the hospital ward. Yes, you may be retired, but don’t stop yourself from staying active. Remember, keeping your health strong and sturdy is a big investment you don’t want to trade with anything else. Also, make sure to keep a health insurance so you’ll have a cushion to back you up in case of hospitalizations. You don’t want to raid your nest egg for the doctor’s fee, right?