Retirement can seem like an abstract concept. You know you have to plan for it, but it doesn’t seem like an imminent problem. It can feel like retirement is a million years away, but it will be here before you know it.
No matter how old you are, now is the time to start planning for retirement if you aren’t already. If you already are putting away a little here and there for retirement, you may need to get more serious about your plans so that you can increase your resources.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure you have enough for all your needs in your golden years:
Pay Off Your Home
Your home can provide you a six-figure profit in your retirement. You can sell it, get a home-equity loan, or get a reverse mortgage. Selling it will net you a big lump of cash, but it will also leave you without a home. If you plan to live with family, such as grown children, this may be a good option. Otherwise, you’ll be paying rent somewhere, which will eat into your cash fast.
As a senior, you may find it difficult to get a home equity loan since banks will calculate life expectancy when determining the loan amount or duration. However, you can get a fat monthly payment with a reverse mortgage, which pays you based on the value of your home. You can figure out how much you might get with a reverse mortgage calculator. Just use the current value of your home for planning purposes.
Investing is one of the best ways to get the money you need for retirement. You can make the money you have now turn into more money without having to put in your labor or hours to make that money.
There are many ways to invest. You should explore the options so you can find investments that appeal to your interests, that best suit the budget you have, and that are easiest for you to understand. You may love the thrilling ups and downs of investing in the stock market, and you may have a real knack for analyzing the numbers and researching the companies in which you want to buy stock. Or you may prefer the relative safety and consistency of investing in mutual funds or bonds. Or maybe you like to study real estate and find the best deals in your area, turning the houses around and renting them out for steady income or profit.
Any investments can help you get the money you need for retirement. Stocks, bonds, real estate, currency, gold, and even collectible items like jewelry or art can all be great investments.
Saving is the good old-fashioned way to make sure you have the money you need for retirement. You know you won’t lose the money, which is a risk with investing or even in buying a home that could lose value over time. The problem with saving is that the money you put aside is the only money you have. The money doesn’t grow with time. When you think about how much money you will need for years of retirement, that means you will have to save a lot.
Inflation is also a concern for saving. The money you put aside now won’t have as much buying power in the future. If you plan to save as a primary means of retirement planning, you should put your money into an interest-bearing savings account that will help you keep up with inflation.
If you work for a company, you may have employer-sponsored plans that can help you prepare for retirement. Some companies might offer a matching contributing for a 401(k) plan, some may offer stock options as bonuses or longevity rewards, and some may offer pensions. Look into what your company offers and make sure you are participating. It’s one of the easiest ways to prepare for your retirement.
Taking even small steps now can help you ensure that you have what you need in retirement. If you aren’t sure where to make the most impact with your money, meet with a financial planner to figure out where to start. When you retire, you’ll be happy you took those steps.