When you were a child, you probably couldn’t wait to grow up. But now that you’ve grown up, you probably miss your childhood! Working and paying bills sure doesn’t seem as “free” as we imagined it. That’s why, in recent years, pop culture has coined the term “adulting” to denote all of those annoying pressures and responsibilities that come along with adulthood.
Fun or not, “adulting” is something you’ve been doing for decades, and the reward will hopefully be a comfortable and satisfying retirement. In fact, the freedom you will enjoy in retirement will probably match up closely to those childhood dreams of your future. But first, you will need to set and pursue goals throughout the last decade or so of your career. Accomplish the things on this list during your fifties, and you can set yourself up for a fun, carefree retirement.
Set a budget. We’re not saying you should never splurge and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But as you enter the home stretch toward retirement, careful budgeting will help you save more money and pay down debts. Plus, transitioning to a fixed income won’t feel like such a shock.
Pay down debts. Even if you need to work a year or two longer than expected, it’s much better to enter retirement free of debts. High-interest credit card debt should be the first to go.
Define your goals. Ask yourself what you really want out of your retirement years. Once you have a vivid dream in mind, you can put a price tag on it.
Increase retirement plan contributions. If you aren’t already maxing out your contributions each year, visit your human resources department at work. Bump up your savings rate. If you’re already contributing the maximum each year, make extra catch-up contributions after you turn 50. You can contribute an additional $6,000 to your retirement account this year.
Estimate Social Security benefits. Social Security won’t be providing all of the income you need in retirement, but it is an important supplement. Go to the Social Security website, create an online account, and review your work history and estimated benefits. You need to know what to expect.
Update your will. Chances are, you haven’t reviewed your end-of-life decisions and wishes in a while. Take care of this issue as you prepare for retirement, and continue to review your will every few years.
Consider long-term care options. Investigate the options for long-term care in your area, and consider what you would want in the event you need nursing care. Consider options like long-term care insurance to cover this financial need.
Investigate other insurance options. Insurance exists to help you manage unexpected expenses. There are many options out there, to help you protect your financial resources in retirement. Plus, you should consider your life insurance policy, and whether it still meets your needs as your life evolves.
Work with a financial advisor. Schedule regular meetings with us, so we can discuss your goals and identify ways to help you pursue them.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.