We, as human beings, are not only resistant to change, but we also find it very difficult to let go of things. Retirement is a stage in life where you have to deal with conflicting emotions, whether it is hope and despair or loss and liberation.
Since you are so used to the work life and the routines, you are bound to feel a little unbalanced when you retire. Dealing with retirement becomes even more difficult when you haven’t properly prepared for it.
If you still haven’t planned your retirement when you are in your 50s, it is time to start crunching. Fifty may be the new thirty, but remember you only have another fifteen years or so in the workplace. This is what makes your 50s extremely critical for planning your retirement. This is the time to get serious about investing in your future and finding the best ways to plan for it. Here are a few tips that will help you plan for your retirement better.
- Set Realistic Goals
- The first thing to consider when you are planning for retirement is to look through your investments and savings. If you haven’t done it already, it is integral for you to set realistic monetary goals. So, how much money should you save? The answer to this question depends completely upon you. You need to take into account your social security situation, the pension plan you have in order if any, your lifestyle, and your potential medical bills, when you set your saving goals. When you are reviewing your retirement plans, it is vital that you be realistic and not underestimate your expenditures after retirement.
- Use Retirement Calculators
- By the time you hit your 50s, you should have a basic idea of what your retirement income will look like. One of the best ways to do this is to use the online retirement calculators. These calculators allow you to approximate the annual or monthly income you will receive from the other sources as well as your savings. The only downside to online retirement calculators is that they are not always accurate. Most of them are based on assumptions and do not correctly account for your taxes. However, these calculators are extremely useful for pointing out the differences between your retirement income and expenses. Be realistic and use them to set your goals – but with caution.
- Book an Appointment with a Financial Planner
- If you are worried that you would have missed an expense or two while retirement planning, worry not, you can always get in touch with a financial planner. In fact, in a poll conducted recently by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, people were asked about the most helpful step they took to save money. Most of them responded that it was hiring a financial planner or a financial adviser. It is recommended that you use an adviser who charges per hour without any commissions, or you may end up paying out more money instead of saving it.
- Boost Your Savings
- If you have been unable to save for your retirement for any reason, your 50s provides you an opportunity to catch up. When you use online calculators or hire financial advisers, you will realize whether your savings are enough. If there is a stark difference between your retirement income and expenses, it is not too late to supercharge your savings. You can do this by putting more money into your IRAs and other accounts that are known as tax-sheltered retirement accounts. You should try to put aside around 15 to 20 percent of your income for retirement. If this amount seems too much, you can always start with 5 percent and keep climbing your way up until you reach your goal.
- Time Your Retirement
- Retirement planning also means making several critical life decisions. It is possible that your investments and savings alone may not adequately support you through your retirement. If this is the case, you may have to decide to delay your retirement. Do not worry too much about this prospect, you will not be the only one pushing your retirement ahead. There are quite a few people who either work longer that they had planned or work part-time after retirement. Apart from giving you social and intellectual stimulation, timing your exit also gives you a chance to save more money to fund your retirement.
When you are in your 50s, there is no need to panic if you haven’t planned anything for your retirement. There are still a number of ways in which you can build up your retirement nest egg. Following these simple steps will give you a jump-start on this endeavor and help you retire comfortably.