Friday, February 1, 2013

Plan Ahead To Enjoy Your Retirement

Many of us hope to enjoy our retirement years sleeping in as late as we’d like or filling our days with the passions and hobbies that were put to the side during our working days. Traveling, visiting grandchildren, and taking up new interests are all beckoning as retirement draws nearer. 

However, without some careful planning, living on a fixed income and a new form of healthcare insurance can pose a struggle that will dampen those dreams of retirement. Unfortunately, the majority of us are somewhat behind in our retirement planning and haven’t made a plan to help us transition successfully to retirement. Wherever you are on the path to retirement, the time to make a plan is now. 

Plan Each Step Before You Take It

Simple advice, right? Just as in a chess game, each move you make in preparing for retirement will have an effect on the next move. You will want to consider factors such as when to retire, the quality of life you hope to enjoy, the dreams you want to live out, and the situations that you need to prepare for. Each of these decisions will be easier to make when you have time to study the consequences and contributing factors.

1- When is the right time to retire? Your retirement age will be influenced by the legal age of retirement in order to receive Social Security and Medicare. It may also be affected by the number of years you have put into your current job or the level of tenure which you have attained. Retirement budgets are usually calculated based on your age, the amount of savings and other financial resources you’ve set aside, and the retirement income you have earned from your qualifying jobs. Utilize an online retirement calculator or consult with a professional retirement planner so that you can retire at the most beneficial age.

2- Work out a retirement budget. List any of the debts that you currently have, your costs of living, and any other necessary and desired expenses. Use this information to create a budget. Keep in mind any new hobbies or activities that you are hoping to engage in. If you are hoping to begin traveling, then you will need to calculate those costs ahead of time if you hope to be able to afford any trips.

3- Plan ways to reduce unnecessary costs. While most of us hope to enjoy the same manner of living that we had while working, this is far from guaranteed. Planning ahead is the first step in protecting your income. Learning how to reduce living expenses is the second step. When you reduce your costs now and set aside the extra money, you will be better prepared to handle the emergencies and other unexpected expenses that will invariably occur.

4- Learn to spend wisely. Before retirement, many of us simply live from paycheck to paycheck and spend only what is left after paying bills. Living on a retirement income may present a new problem, especially if a substantial part of your income will come from savings that you can access readily. You may wish to re-take financial classes that you once took as a new homeowner or when you first began investing. You should probably consider enrolling in a course that is specifically taught to educate men and women approaching retirement. With this information, you will be better prepared to make the decisions that affect you personally.

5- During retirement, it will be more important than ever to know how to save your money. Don’t spend as if you don’t have another twenty years ahead of you. People are living longer than ever before and you may need to plan for several decades of retirement. You may feel tempted to spend money up front thinking that your expenses will remain stable. However, many aging adults find that the costs of living for seniors rise suddenly due to increased medical bills and other expenses related to getting older. 

A Successful Retirement Plan

After working for most of your life, you hope to enjoy a stable and peaceful retirement. If you want to avoid depending on your children or making other sacrifices of independence, then plan ahead and carefully consider each step before you take it. With a well-thought out budget and the determination to stick to it, you will have the monthly resources to meet your bills and financial obligations. By developing habits of frugal spending and generous saving, you can feel more comfortable pondering the future years approaching.


Lauren Hill is a freelance writer, wife and mother of 2 really awesome kids. She enjoys writing on topics affecting our everyday lives. When she finds free time, you can find her in the garden, driving her kids to activities or blogging at


  1. You have to be a person with a very strong character in order to start saving money today when you are only for example 25 like myself. I am honestly not ready. I know that I should be starting already just to make sure I have done everything possible to skip using cash advance online for instance. I know that if I start today, I can at least know that I have an emergency fund ready to be used. Thanx a lot for the post. I hope that I will start my successful retirement planning effective as of now.

  2. Definitely, the early the better. One must need a very strong main plan backed up by clever contingent plan. Yes, cut off all unnecessary costs, spend less and wisely. Great info! this post serves as a quick reference for a good retirement planning.


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