For many people, the closer they get to retirement, the more concerned they get about whether they have saved enough or not. And it’s understandable. With life expectancy climbing and the ability to not only live longer but to do so with a higher quality of life growing as well, it stands to reason that some people will be a little uneasy when their last pay check gets ever closer. Are you one of those people?
The first thing you should do if you find yourself close to retirement with no savings is to calculate the amount of money you will need during retirement as well as what age you plan on retiring. You will find many resources online that will help you come up with this number such as retirement calculators.
Identify Needs: There are many financial needs to think about when getting close to retirement, from wondering what your Old Age Security benefit will look like. You may even think about what it will be like to live on a fixed income for the rest of your life.
But before you do anything, just relax. Don’t try to think about everything at once. Just because you’re close to retirement doesn’t mean you stop planning. As a matter of fact, it’s a great time to refine your plan, or even put one in place for your golden years.
Now that you know how much money you will need on average you can set some savings goals for yourself. There are plenty of ways you can save money from shopping with coupons to taking your lunch to work with you to not buying a new car every year. Wherever you are spending money and can scale back, do. It will mean the difference between a happy retirement and a stressful one.
While making sure your basic needs will be covered when you retire is important, you should be thinking about estate planning issues and insurance as well. It’s also good to start understanding how your tax situation will change when you retire. That way you won’t be surprised and can take any action that may be necessary to avoid any additional or unnecessary tax.
If you have some investments, consider getting a little aggressive with them, depending of course on the time your time horizon to retirement. Diversified mutual funds can offer decent returns.
If you are still concerned about making it during retirement consider downsizing to a smaller home, less expensive car, fewer vacations, and less shopping sprees. This might take some effort, but it will be worthwhile to be able to retire happily and not continue working when you are 75 years old.
And finally, eliminate any debt you have. Do this as quickly and aggressively as possible because the longer you wait the more money you will have to pay. So, if you pay it off quickly it might be difficult, but it will allow you to save more money for retirement in the long run.