As retirement approaches, lots of people start thinking about the exciting next chapter in their lives: many people decide to travel the world, others want to move closer to their grandchildren and some people decide to make a hobby generate a little extra cash. Regardless of what ideas are in the pipeline, planning ahead for the future is essential.
Planning For Retirement:
Too many people simply neglect their retirement until it is too late, while others just can’t afford to put anything away as early as they would have liked. However, taking charge of a retirement plan is important to ensure a full and happy retirement free of worry. In order to achieve retirement dreams later on in life, planning must begin as early as possible, which can help to minimize financial obligations later on. This helps to put safeguards in place and ensure a financially secure retirement.
Planning for the future
In an effort to make the most of the retirement years, it is important to get out of debt, which is why paying any and all debt off is imperative. Taking care of financial obligations prior to retirement is a good idea, but in retirement it is critical to avoid piling up the debt. Such debt that should be taken care of ahead of time might include credit card balances, equity loans and lines of credit on the home, mortgages, and car payments.
In addition to entering retirement with as little debt as possible, it is also important to have a budget in mind. Setting fixed expenses and developing a monthly budget is a great way to stretch those retirement funds. Additionally, there should be a bit of cash set aside as a living expenses fund – this could be that “emergency fund” which had been built upon while working. This allows these funds to be drawn on rather than selling stocks or assets should money become tight.
Finances in retirement
Although the future may have planned for, it doesn’t mean that financial emergencies won’t come up. There are a number of annuities, investments, and retirement plans to choose from, but the most important thing is to remember not to depend on Social Security or Pension benefits solely. These can be uncertain – government-sponsored prospects can add a little extra spending money, but they are not guaranteed. This is why so many financial advisors suggest that people start planning for their retirement years as early as possible through investments and specialized savings accounts.
To help cushion the wallet, some retirees actually take on new careers, though mostly as part-time work. Many retirees find it hard to actually “retire” when the time comes and get bored, but many also find that retirement is more expensive than they had originally anticipated; or, perhaps they just want to stay active. With advances in technology and online stores, some retirees are able to turn their hobbies into money-making ventures and have a lot of fun doing it!
Living arrangements in retirement
Where and how people live in retirement is also a critical factor. That big beautiful house with the splendid lawn may have been perfect when the kids were all growing up, but now that the nest is empty, is it worth all the work? Who wants to worry about maintaining the lawn and pool or fixing that roof when they could be relaxing in their golden years? Many retirees opt to move out of their larger homes and into smaller condos or retirement communities, and some even hire in-home care when needed.
Independent living is a great idea for active seniors who want to enjoy their twilight years. This is basically any housing arrangement designed specifically for retirees – most of the time, these communities are limited to those aged 55 and older. Depending on the community, there may be apartments or condos, freestanding homes, or even arrangements more focused on home healthcare, depending on people’s needs. These homes are typically smaller – the reduced size makes it easier for older folks to navigate and easier to care for. In some cases, these independent living facilities and communities also offer transition services for those retirees that need a little help adjusting from completely independent living to assisted living as they grow older.
Such communities also offer a number of amenities making the neighborhoods attractive to retirees. Recreational centers, clubhouses, pools, golf courses, and daily activities for community residents are always available. Some even offer on-site hair salons, barbers, doctors, and housekeeping.