When planning for retirement, one’s personal finances and the choices that are being made today will have a significant impact on the relative level of comfort available upon retirement. Making informed decisions about savings, health insurance and life insurance can have a dramatic impact. The following tips can help you to begin planning for the future in a way that can maximize your chances of a worry-free retirement:
Health Insurance – While health insurance is not always a hallmark of retirement planning, as medical costs continue to spiral higher, determining if there are cheaper insurance options available is prudent. It is important to consider your own situation when making decisions. For example, does your employer’s plan allow you stay enrolled after retirement? Even if this is the case, there may be cheap insurance quotes available, even through the same company.
Life Insurance – The primary purpose of a life policy is to ensure that one’s standard of living, both for oneself and one’s loved ones, does not dramatically change if a fatal accident or illness occurs during earning years. Upon retirement, this concern is drastically reduced, so it is a good time to consider making revisions. This can have an immediate effect on the amount of monthly disposable income available, as less may be required in one’s later years.
Retirement Accounts – Most employers offer some sort of organized retirement plan, with some employers matching a portion of what the employee contributes. In these cases, one of the best ways to build up for retirement is to participate in the plan. Even in cases where the investment opportunities are limited, the forced discipline of putting something away each month gives you an advantage. Furthermore, many plan providers will provide an additional source of advice or support because they have an incentive to keep their customers happy, as well as a fiduciary duty to make prudent choices.
Make Reasonable Adjustments and Predictions – One of the most basic elements of retirement planning, and yet still one of the most difficult, is to make realistic plans about your needs and preferences going into retirement. For example, the decision to buy a new house just as your youngest children are leaving home and your space needs are changing affects retirement plans. While it is perfectly acceptable to prefer a larger (or smaller) home, the impact of the decision should be placed into the context of retirement as well. This becomes increasingly important as you get closer to stopping working, but it is not uncommon for these choices to remain ignored in a retirement plan. By considering daily living needs (including housing, transportation and food), you will be more likely to design a plan that can lead to a worry-free retirement.