After a life of long hours and hard work, there’s nothing sweeter than the acknowledgment that retirement is right around the corner. While it can become so easy to give into the next step of life, there’s nothing worse than entering retirement with little to no plan. At Anchor Wealth Management, we do everything that we can to ensure that our clients are prepared and empowered with both their investments and their finances, especially at this stage of wealth.
Today we are going to cover a few of the items that we believe are crucial to look into and get in order when it comes to your retirement. This checklist will allow for you to organize along the way so that when the day that you retire is finally here, you are prepared.
Pay Off Your Debt
Sure, this sounds like the opposite of retirement, but it’s genuinely one of the most looked over factors of finances and retirement. Debt is one of the worst things that you can acquire, and it doesn’t make sense to stop working when you’re still paying bills of money that you owe.
If you’re getting ready to start budgeting for retirement or you want to realistically look at what you need to do before you can retire, one of the things that we strongly suggest including is your debt. It may not be fun at first to include this as a part of the process, but paying it off will honestly pay off in the long-run.
When you’re living a life of zero debt, you no longer have to worry about whether or not you’re going to be able to afford payments or if your money will stretch to the end of your life. Once you’ve paid off your home, cars, loans, and credit cards, you’ll realize just how much sweeter your retirement will be.
Now that you’ve got your finances in order and you’re starting to look at the overall budget that you need, we want to make sure that you do it correctly so that you are prepared. To truly understand what it is that you’ll need to live each month, you need to calculate your expenses. Sure this is a place where you could guess and hope for the best, but who wants that to be their reality once they’re retired?
Look through your expenses for the last 3 to 6 months and determine what you would need to get by on a month to month basis. From there, you can put a little bit more aside so that you’re able to live comfortably. If you’re not sure how long you should be calculating for, our team can help you plan accordingly so that you feel comfortable with the budget that you’re setting.
Create a Sound Plan
While it sounds like common sense, you’d be surprised at how few people have planned out their retirement so that they can act accordingly. By creating a plan for when your retirement will happen and what you plan to do at that point, you can budget correctly, save accordingly, and have a timeline of where next steps are coming into place.
Retirement plans will take quite a few factors into account, so if you’re feeling intimidated or overwhelmed by the pieces of information that you need to consider, stop in and sit down with a member of our team — we’ll make sure that you have everything you need included in your plan.
Manage Your Retirement Funds
Regardless of how little experience you have with finances, the last thing that you want to do with your retirement funds is let it sit and go forgotten. It’s great to get used to funds flowing into your retirement fund and accounting for that in all forms of income that you have. However, don’t let the fact that money is being taken out of your paycheck allow you to feel confident about what you have in your retirement funds.
Now, by no means are we saying that you should be staying on top of your account every day or even every other week, no. This is something that you could get away checking as often as twice a year or even once a year, to make sure that you know where you stand and can adjust the amount of money that you’re setting aside for retirement, accordingly.
Expect the Unexpected
If life went smoothly for all, there would be no need for retirement funds or saving at all. Unfortunately, there is always something unexpected that comes about and messes things up. One of the things that we work towards avoiding are the unexpected factors that can come in and disrupt the budget that was built for retirement. That being said, we always suggest preparing for the unexpected.
Regardless of how early or late you may be contributing to your retirement, health is something that will always be unexpected and should still be accounted for. If there is a set age that you are planning on retiring at, it’s always good to consider what condition your health might be in at this point. And of course, this is only something you can guess. The point we really want to make is that if you get to a point where you feel as though you’ve put enough money aside for your retirement, there’s nothing wrong with a little gravy to ensure you’re well taken care of.
Ask for Help When You Need It
Retirement and adequate planning are not easy, even when you have an idea of what you’re doing. If you have questions or you need help, don’t be afraid to ask! We can’t say it enough; our team is here to educate and empower you to prepare for your future. We will always be here ready to help and provide you with the information that you need to make the best financial decisions for you. The only way to know that you’ve made all the right choices is to ask the questions and take the necessary actions along the way.
Preparing for your retirement can never happen too early. If you have any questions regarding retirement plans or financial planning for the future, don’t hesitate to reach out. As we mentioned before, empowering our clients to take action and change their future is something that we strive to do. Make sure to contact Anchor Wealth Management with any questions or inquiries you may have!