Retirement is one of the most look-forward life events by many people. It’s an important life event that requires a lot of preparation for it to become a success. However, there are many Americans who are struggling to make it to such a point.
Only 71% of Americans are prepared for retirement, and an essential factor stopping most Americans from preparing for such a crucial life event is finances. Unfortunately, not many Americans have the necessary finances to sustain themselves once they’ve retired.
Gone are the days when all we needed for our retirement came from the government. Nowadays, employees need to take an extra step for their retirement to go smoothly. If you want to have the best retirement of your life, it’s vital that you follow these steps. Start saving and investing money if you want to retire with the most budget possible.
A lot of people tend to forget that budgeting is also important if you’re planning to retire. You’d at least have to lay down your plans in the first five years of your retirement, the things you want to do, and a couple of things that will determine your survival. We’re not talking about calculating your food or diet. We’re talking about the big spenders such as traveling and cruise ships.
Moreover, don’t forget to put essential services in your future savings. You’re going to need to pay for services such as hospice care if you want to survive years after your retirement. A serious oversight on your budget could spell disaster for your retirement because you’ll live a less comfortable life than the rest. Plan your retirement budget well because it will determine when you should retire so you can live comfortably.
Partially, you’ll have to also calculate your retirement income.
Calculate Retirement Income
Many people can calculate their retirement income. There are many calculators such as this one that will look into your potential assets once you’ve retired. It’s vital that you do this many years before you’ve retired. It will certainly help you budget your inevitable retirement. Moreover, you’d be surprised. You might be able to retire much earlier once you see your overall retirement income.
Once you’ve budgeted your retirement, it’s time for you to downsize your debt.
Downsizing Your Debt
The last thing you’d want once you retire is a mountain of debt. You don’t want your debts to haunt you until your grave. You’d like to have a retirement that’s debt-free or at least almost debt-free.
As early as ten years before your planned retirement, you should be planning to downsize your debt. Put down all your debts on a sheet of paper and start looking into them one by one. For most people, their biggest debt is their mortgage, but they could have paid for most of it by then. Consider refinancing your mortgage into a more favorable term for you.
If you’ve still had massive debts from your credit card, call a financial advisor so you can get that handled. Pay off these debts the moment you can.
By downsizing your debt, you’re creating ample opportunities to retire safely. So do it when you can.
You should be investing as much as you can years before you retire. We’re talking about gold, index funds, and properties. The more diversified your investment, the better your retirement life will be.
You’re lucky if your business is helping you out with your 401(k). That’s a diversified investment that some people don’t have. Look into some investment plans that look attractive to you and pour some of your savings into them. Follow the necessary principles into investing, and take risks when you can.
A diversified investment portfolio will ensure that if an investment opportunity fails, you have access to many more that may have succeeded. Remember, your investments will determine how comfortable you can live in the future.
Rent ’till You Make It
Lastly, it might be worth renting until you retire. Most people think that renting is a waste of money, and you should purchase a home the moment your debt-to-income ratio is clean. However, this isn’t the case for everybody.
Places with a high price-to-rent ratio tend to have higher pays. This is to compensate for such an expensive real estate market. But if you’re smart, you won’t purchase a home in those states. If you live in a state that has a price-to-rent ratio over 21, such as New York and San Francisco, then you shouldn’t purchase a home. Instead, rent and invest whatever money you can into the future.
By the time you retire, your investments and savings can allow you to buy multiple properties in states that have a low price-to-rent ratio while your friends are still paying for their mortgage. It’s a simple tactic, but one that will dictate your future.
Retirement is a big leap for most people, and many people are afraid of making that leap. But through these principles, you should be able to make enough money for your retirement to be comfortable.