6 Concrete Ways To Get Prepared For Retirement

Take Charge Of Your Retirement By Taking Steps To Get Prepared

Social securityAm I saving enough for retirement?  Well 2/3rds of Americans feel they are behind in their retirement planning and preparation, and there is major concern that retirements are going to be seriously underfunded in the future.  This, compiled with the precarious position of Social Security these days, makes for some hairy days ahead for many unprepared retirees.  The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way for you.  By taking steps today, you can maximize your retirement preparedness and approach your retirement years financially secure.

6 Practical Steps To Get Prepared For Retirement

  1.  Track Your Spending:  In the medical world, nurses often encourage patients to keep a journal of the foods they are eating to get a general picture of their health based on their nutrition.  Thus, to assess your financial health and well-being, it’s a good plan to begin writing down and recording what you are spending money on.  There are several ways to do it, including putting all your purchases on one credit card that will track what you are spending on.  But just like a diet, you need to know where you’re getting your “fat content” before you can begin cutting back on spending.
  2. Create An Automatic Retirement Savings Plan:  Just like you have an automatic bill pay option for your electric bill, you can also have an automatic savings payment plan where money is automatically withdrawn from your checking account each month and is sent to savings options of your choice.  Make a list of your IRAs, brokerage accounts, and college savings funds and set up a designated monthly transfer to ensure you “pay yourself first”.
  3. Get On The Same Retirement Wavelength As Your Spouse:  Many spouses have very different ideas on when and if they are retiring.  Sit down with your spouse and assess your values.  It’ll give you a better idea of how you  need to be saving to accommodate future goals and dreams.
  4. Maximize Your Social Security Benefits By Living Off Retirement Savings:  Most Americans make the mistake of drawing benefits too early.  If you are able to delay your benefits and live off your savings until later, you may see your benefits increase by as much as 100k during the duration of your retirement.  Speak to a redhawk advisor or visit greenmoneyupdate.com for more information on maximizing Social Security Benefits.
  5. Take Advantage Of The Tax Code For Your Retirement Savings:  Tax deferred is a great option, and a general rule of thumb is to use your tax free accounts last.  However, one problem with this is, if you have too much money in your tax deferred accounts when you reach the age of   70 ½ your tax deferred accounts may push you into a higher tax bracket, which will hurt you greatly when you begin withdrawing from those accounts and paying taxes.  If you shift some of your funds into a Roth IRA for example, your tax-deferred account will shrink, and the required minimum distribution (and the accompanying tax bill) will be lower.
  6. Make A Decision Now For Long -Term Care:  You may not know whether or not you will need long-term care during retirement, but according to statistics 70% do require long-term care.  If you think you will need it, for each year you delay the premiums will go up 8-12%. So if its being considered, make a decision sooner rather than later.

Plan For Retirement To Achieve The Retirement You Always Wanted

Retirement planning can be tricky business, but with careful though and preparation you can retire successfully without financial strain and worry.  For more information on how to be prepared for retirement, speak to a Redhawk financial advisor near you today.

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