Crafting a retirement plan that suits your lifestyle can make all the difference in how you live after work. Whether you want to travel the world or spend more time with your grandkids, there are plenty of ways to make it happen.
To maximize your retirement prospects, start early by setting aside some money each month in an investment account for retirement.
Determine Your Expenses
Establishing a budget for retirement is the first step toward creating a plan that fits your lifestyle. Programs like Empower (formerly Personal Capital) can help you keep tabs on spending and investments, with their retirement planner tool providing estimates of how much money will be needed during retirement.
Once you have an estimate of your average monthly expenses, it’s time to create a budget. Begin by dividing all costs into fixed and variable categories.
Some expenses, like mortgage payments and property taxes, are fixed costs; you pay the same amount each month. Others, like healthcare and entertainment costs, are variable.
Calculating how much money you’ll need in retirement depends on your current income and expenses multiplied by the number of months until retirement. Subtract these estimated costs from total household income to arrive at a realistic monthly budget.
Create a Budget
Budgeting is the process of identifying your expenses and creating a spending plan to cover them. It can help you save money and build financial security.
Begin by identifying fixed expenses that remain consistent each month, such as rent or mortgage payments, car insurance and utility bills. On the other hand, variable costs like gas, groceries and dining out may fluctuate from month to month.
Tracking your expenses doesn’t have to be a tedious task. There are plenty of apps, online resources and budgeting templates that can assist in this area.
It’s beneficial to discuss your finances with a trusted friend or family member who can assist in setting achievable objectives. This discussion can also assist in deciding on priorities and values when it comes to retirement planning.
When planning for retirement, it’s essential to set goals for yourself. Doing this will enable you to craft a strategy that fits within your lifestyle and provide motivation throughout the process.
Some retirement objectives may include purchasing a home or launching a new business. Others might involve traveling the world or spending quality time with family and friends.
No matter the goal, you should set savings benchmarks that will enable you to reach it within a reasonable amount of time. For instance, having one to one and a half times your annual income saved by age 35 is often recommended as an adequate savings goal for many people.
It’s wise to review your financial situation regularly in order to ensure you remain on track with your retirement plan. Doing this can help adjust your budget when necessary and prevent unexpected costs from delaying progress towards your goal.
Create a Savings Plan
No matter if you’re just starting out or already retired, creating a savings plan is an essential component in reaching your retirement objectives. No matter what age group you fall into, saving early and for as long as possible can help build up your nest egg so that when retirement does come around sooner, you’ll have more money to enjoy it.
Once you’ve created a savings plan, it’s time to put it into action. This could include increasing your income, paying off debts or simply adding it to your current budget.
Saving for retirement may seem like a daunting task, but it’s essential to remember that you can reach this goal by making small changes one step at a time.
Savings benchmarks based on age and salary can serve as a useful indicator to see if you’re making progress toward your retirement goals. However, it’s also important to take into account individual circumstances and how those objectives may shift over time in order to create an individualized plan for the future.