Tips for Retirement Planning
Retirement may not be a realistic goal for anyone born after 1999. However, living to an active age of 100 may be an attainable objective. In order to do this, you must plan to have resources to support you with a lifestyle that you enjoy. To do this, begin your career with the end in mind. Begin planning for your retirement on your first day on the job. Financial success begins with building a firm foundation. The following are ten easy steps that you can begin now to insure that you will realize your dreams throughout your retirement. Most people want to live an active retirement. This requires the finances that allow you to be active without the constraints of a routine work schedule—passive income that gives you the freedom to use your time as you choose.
First, the best investment for a young person is to invest in themselves--education and books that interest you.
Second, learn and discipline yourself to live on 70 – 80% of your income. Save at least 10% of everything you earn after you meet your religious commitment for giving. Yes, an ordinary, boring saving account is just fine to begin with. If you lack discipline, U.S. Savings bonds have time requirements that literally force you to hold them for a certain period of time. You can never hurt yourself by saving because you can always use those funds to invest after you research and find just the right investment vehicle for you.
Third, buy a house. Do your homework and get a bargain. Much of the information you need to evaluate a property can be found on the website of the county where the property is located (i.e. taxes, previous sale prices, legal description, improvements, school district, zoning, etc.). Today's real estate market is a "buyers market". That means that the person with the money to buy can impose conditions and can negotiate a very favorable price. Don't be afraid of a fixer upper if you are handy with tools. Don't depend on friends and family. You can educate yourself and do much of the cosmetic work, but hire professionals for the major work. Plan to pay off the mortgage in 15 or fewer years. This will cut the amount you pay in interest by more than half!
Fourth, do not go into debt to satisfy your immediate desires. Make a budget and stick with it. Limit yourself to one credit card and pay it in full at the end of the month. If you don't have cash for want you want, you can't afford it! The money you save in interest alone over your life time will be a fortune.
Fifth, invest in home office equipment like an all-in-one printer/FAX/scanner/telephone, digital camera, computer, file cabinets, stapler, etc. and start a home business that interests you. Register your business and open a business bank account. This will help you to possibly make some extra income with a minimum investment and save more money on your taxes. Both will give you more money to invest and give you personal standards on how to judge a business and its future potentials.
Sixth, invest in good used cars. By doing this, you get to avoid the initial 30% drop in the automobiles’ value when you drive them out of the parking lot of the dealership. Don't try to keep up with the next guy—They will have debt--You will have reliable transportation and money to save or invest in more important things!
Seventh, recycle everything. When you need something really special, consider shopping exclusive consignment stores and thrift shops. You will be amazed at the things you can find!
Eighth, learn to live green. Plant a garden and make it a family activity.
Ninth, invest in your health by exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and taking care of your teeth. All of these things add to your quality of life and save money over time.
Tenth, keep your brain active. Learn something new each day; master a new skill each year. Keep up with technology and stay in communication with friends and family. Travel. Smile. Be grateful. Laugh often. Write a book.
When you have implemented all of these strategies, you will be well prepared to make the transition, or to continue your life adventure whether you call it “retirement” or your “life of adventure to create a legacy”.