The best retirement planning is done when you are young. But even if you didn't plan in advance, don't despair.
It is never too late to help yourself, and even if you are close to retirement. Follow the tips below to improve your golden years.
You’re a baby boomer, and you have been working hard since your twenties. You married, had children, and in the midst of life’s turmoil never gave a second thought to your golden years. But now retirement is only a few years away. So how can you fix years of not saving and boost your nest egg?
Tighten your belt
The simplest way to save is to spend less. If you think it is impossible to lower your expenses, ask a budget counselor for help. He can assist you in determining which of your expenses are absolutely necessary and which can be discontinued. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to go to bed hungry every night. But you may need to eliminate certain expenses. For example, do you really need two vacations each year? You also don’t need to subsidize your adult children’s expenses if it means forfeiting your own retirement. The biggest gift you can give your children is for you to be financially independent. If paying their bills now means that down the line you may run out of money, stop paying their bills and pay your own.
Examine your debts. Ideally all debts (including mortgage payments) should be repaid before you retire. And don’t take on any new major debts right now. You need money coming in – not money going out.
Consider downsizing your home. A house can take a seemingly endless supply of capital for upkeep; smaller houses are less expensive to run. Smaller and cheaper real estate not only lessens mortgage payments, but can Credit: Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.netlower maintenance, property tax, and utility bills as well.
Work Harder – Or Longer
Of course, you don’t actually have to retire immediately at 67. If you are still healthy consider working for a few years longer, or consider part-time work. Every additional year that you don’t withdraw from your savings means an additional year of letting compound interest work in your favor. Another option, while you still have a few years until retirement, is to work a few extra hours to bring in some more money.
An extra push to save in the years before retirement can make a difference to the rest of your life.
If you are still worried about retirement planning, read my article, Planning Your Retirement Doesn’t Need to be Scary.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for investment advice that takes into account each individual’s special position and needs. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.