Almost any senior citizen will tell you, ‘getting older is not for wimps.’ Generally, they’re talking about the aches and pains that are a natural part of aging. But getting to retirement with enough money to enjoy it is no walk in the park either, even if you think you are stashing enough into your retirement accounts today.
Retired benefits expert Richard Quinn, who blogs with insider insight at QuinnsCommentary.com, suggests seven tactics you can use now to ensure a more comfortable retirement:
Save early. Save and invest early in your career because compounding is powerful. You may be forced to save less later, as obligations increase, but save every dollar you can early and let it work for you in the decades to come.
Put retirement goals first. Retirement savings should come before other goals such as travel or buying a vacation home. The choice to spend is yours, but it’s wise to remember there are no second chances.
Pay attention to employer communications. What you don’t know about changes in Social Security, Medicare, your 401(k) plan and more can hurt you. A missed deadline or any number of other goofs can do severe financial damage down the road.
Have a financial and estate plan. Have a plan in place that will protect your surviving spouse and family; investments, life insurance and income annuities may all be part of that plan.
Don’t count too much on Social Security. It’s probably secure, but it’s only designed to replace about 40 percent of pre-retirement income – and for some, that’s an overestimate because the system is skewed toward lower income workers.
Take care with your pre-retirement lifestyle. Living high on the hog can endanger your golden years. Your lifestyle should be set with a view toward what you can sustain in retirement.
Investigate possibilities now. If you’re thinking about relocating to cut expenses when you retire, check out the options beforehand. The same is true if you’re thinking about a second career, part-time or otherwise. The more you know beforehand, the fewer mistakes you’ll make.