The state of modern medicine and technology, and the many conveniences and amenities available to us now, can make the prospect of our retirement years seem longer and more enticing than ever. Yet, for many of our retired seniors, financial challenges pose a problem. Here are some steps every employee can take to prepare.
Anticipate the post-retirement expenses
To become better prepared for retirement, most people need to start anticipating the potential costs as early as now. When seniors settle down into a relaxed lifestyle somewhere like Kokomo, Indiana, oral surgery might be far removed from their thoughts; yet retirees can spend almost $1,000 on dental costs, and certain insurance plans might not cover some procedures. And dental expenses are only a small part of the healthcare picture – after all, as we grow older, our bodies tend to break down more easily, and we can fall ill more frequently.
You’ll want to live a reasonably comfortable life after you retire, so many of these expenses are probably the same ones you’re covering from day-to-day. Housing will still be perhaps the biggest single item, and retirees can trim down costs considerably if they settle their mortgage early, or are open to living on a rental property. Double-check the details of your insurance coverage; get accustomed to budgeting food expenses, and relying more on public transportation to save on gas. Relocating to a more affordable part of the country is a frequent solution to these challenges, and it’s never too early to start scouting good locations to settle down and enjoy your golden years.
Take steps to maximize income
While having a good grasp of the expected cost of post-retirement living is essential, current employees also have to start considering various measures that will help to maximize their income. Perhaps the top priority concern for any active wage earner is getting out of debt. Restructuring solutions can alleviate the burden, but ultimately everyone will want to avoid incurring new debt by implementing changes in their spending behavior, such as immediately settling their monthly credit card balance and paying for purchases with cash as much as possible.
If you’ve already been following some sound financial advice over the years, you’ll know that any leftover money you have set aside can be put to work and made to grow significantly over the long term. Getting into investment options such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate assets will help to diversify your portfolio and give you a reliable source of funds that can extend into many years of retirement.
Consider extended employment
Sometimes, retirees have difficulty covering their various expenses due to entering retirement with the wrong mindset. Retiring doesn’t have to mean idleness and constant spending. After all, the retirement age is just a number; many people can feel a certain sense of dissatisfaction at having nothing to do, especially if they are still active and healthy individuals.
With the right motivation, retirees can continue to be productive and earn by working in some capacity. Some might be welcomed back by former employers who need their expertise in a part-time consulting capacity. And if you’ve ever wanted to start a business or pursue a passion project, but have been held back by other duties or a fear of failure, this is the perfect stage to do what you want.
Taking the right steps each day to prepare for the golden years requires discipline and awareness, but rewards employees with a comfortable long-term retirement period.