Financial and Retirement Planning Guide
Traditionally, retirement involves leaving the workforce and slowing down to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life. Retiring generally requires extensive financial planning to make it possible to stop earning a regular paycheck. As changes occur with both life expectancy and the economy, retirement is evolving. Some people are opting to work in some capacity during retirement for a variety of reasons. It's important to make decisions about retirement early and then make plans to achieve these goals.
It is never too early to begin planning for retirement. A number of factors can come into play before and after retirement that can significantly affect your financial circumstances. The possibility of serious health issues at some point during retirement is likely due to advancing age. These health issues could result in major expenses. Pensions and government assistance are not guaranteed sources of income, so it's wise to have contingency plans in place. During young adulthood, people should be focusing on organizing finances and instituting a budget that allows for wise spending, saving, and investing. It's also imperative to manage debt to avoid excessive credit card balances. To begin preparing for retirement, people should save as much as possible each month.
By the time consumers enter their 30s and 40s, they are typically in their peak earning years. This means that contributions to savings and investment accounts should also be at peak levels. Insurance policies are another integral part of retirement planning because these policies offer protection against loss. Generally, it's optimal to purchase life insurance during youth, before advancing age contributes to health issues. Life insurance will help take care of surviving family members after your death. A will is also part of comprehensive retirement and estate planning. This instrument will outline the distribution of your assets after your death.
When consumers enter their 50s and 60s, they are getting closer to the traditional retirement age. By this time, people should begin reassessing goals to ensure that everything is on track to achieve the desired retirement plans. Check on insurance policies, savings accounts, and investments. Make adjustments as needed to continue working toward your goals. A financial planner or adviser can be helpful for these tasks. Specific legal documents also need completion during this period. Ensure that you have an advance medical directive and power of attorney in force for future needs. Your will also needs review to ensure that it is current. Many people enter the "empty nest" stage during their 50s, with children growing up and leaving home. This could be the time to consolidate possessions and move to a smaller residence.
The months leading up to retirement require some special planning. Before turning 65, people become eligible for Medicare enrollment. The time you want coverage to begin will determine when you must enroll. You will have a variety of options for coverage, so research is important before making any final decisions.
Retiring is usually a significant milestone in people's lives. Suddenly, the rat race of commuting and deadlines vanishes. The new lifestyle can have a variety of benefits, including special senior discounts and a slower pace. Some people plan to travel or spend time pursuing hobbies that they didn't have time for during working years. Staying active is an important facet of retired life. Remaining both physically and intellectually active can help maintain health. Some people opt to continue working at some level during retirement. This can provide some extra income as well as beneficial activity.
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- The Changing Face of Retirement (PDF)