Life is all about striking a balance between the extremes. Your life motto in your 20s might be “YOLO” or “you only live once.” However, when you reach 30, and your finances start to hit the rocks, you think maybe it’s really best to save for the rainy days.
These things are not mutually exclusive. You can live life like it’s your last day today, but at the same time, have enough to sustain you just in case today is not the last. When there is conflict, you can enter into a compromise. Nothing in life is certain, but it always pays to be prepared.
Part of living for today is pursuing your dreams. Travel, eat the food you like and meet people. Do this while working for a comfortable future. It will be challenging but definitely not impossible. It’s all about managing your finances properly. While you enjoy today, here are the things you can do to ensure a comfortable life when you reach retirement age.
1. Determine your ideal retirement age
Setting a time frame for every plan you make will set the pace and affect other factors in your journey. The perfect age is different from person to person. When deciding, you should also consider how emotionally and financially ready you will be by the time you enter your golden years.
Of course, you have a family; you have to factor that in as well. Choosing your retirement age will depend mostly on your financial readiness. You could be 45 and just starting to think about your retirement plans. Meanwhile, there are plenty of young people wanting to retire before they even reach 50.
2. Visualize the life you want
People love creating scenarios about the future. Use that to set your retirement planning journey sailing. What do you envision yourself is doing once you reach that age you want to retire.
Think about whether aging in place is right for you. Or do you want to move back closer to your family? Or maybe you want to travel a lot once you retire. Or maybe you want to open a new business. This is the end goal of this planning journey. Once you’ve considered all factors and the lifestyle you want, you can start allocating your current finances to different purposes.
3. Start planning
Now that you have decided on what you want to do, it’s time to get to the actual planning. Say, for example, you are 28 now, and you want to retire at 50. You want to open a food business when you retire and travel from time to time.
Your vision for retirement should be as detailed as that. Why? It’s because this will determine how much you actually need to make in the 22 years that you have remaining before your retirement. This will help you manage your expectations and keep track of your progress towards your retirement fund.
Since you want to open a food business, you must calculate the average restaurant franchise cost. If the cost is around a million dollars, you should start planning how to make a million dollars in 22 years.
Of course, you have to invest the money you have right now for it to grow. There are multiple options for investment depending on your risk appetite. The higher the potential of returns, the higher the risk. You can also talk with a financial adviser about your retirement goals. There are different retirement fund programs, and you can select one that best fits your goals.
You also have to factor in how much your monthly retirement income will be and your other retirement benefits. Your three sources of money once you retire are social security retirement benefits, personal savings, and pension plans. Factor all the income you can get from those three against the cost of the lifestyle that you chose.
4. Maintain your health
Probably the most important thing you need to focus on is how you will get to your retirement. You can only do so much with the money you have at retirement if you can’t really move to enjoy it. So while you work on your retirement goals, look after your health. Your retirement is when you finally reap what you sow. You will be able to make the most of it if you stay healthy until then.
Planning for your retirement doesn’t have to start at a specific age. However, the earlier you start, the better. And remember, nothing is promised, so enjoy today as much as you want to enjoy your future.