Much like the financial markets, our lives progress in rollercoaster waves. A day might seem interminable, while a year flies by with frightening speed. Nothing is static, least of all the seasons of your life.
That’s why we’ve developed the following tips to help you prepare for what we hope will be one of the most enjoyable times in your life, retirement:
1) Start now. It’s never too soon to think about retirement planning, thanks to the magic of compound interest. Set up an automatic monthly withdrawal from your savings account and invest it wisely in a safe, growth vehicle. Our mutual fund is a perfect example of how a steady investment of even a small amount can yield impressive rewards down the road.
2) Don’t stop planning. Conversely, you’re never too old to think about your retirement. Life changing events can affect your plan dramatically, so notify your advisor any time you’re anticipating a wedding, the birth of a child, a major purchase, a divorce, a debilitating illness, a job change etc.
3) Think about your goals. You get to define your own retirement and it might not look like anyone else’s. Do you want to travel? Start a new hobby? Invest in an upstart business? Envision your golden years and devise a plan to make it happen.
4) Don’t skip the dirty work. You have to dig deep and be honest about your spending habits and current financial situation. Calculate your net worth, set up a budget and consider your goals. Don’t be afraid to add up your debt. Knowing is the first step to solving. Take a deep breath and crunch the numbers.
5) Be disciplined. You can splurge every now and then, but it’s best to stay vigilant in matters of your financial health. You’ve already done the hard work, the rest is simply maintenance. Sit down at least once a quarter to review your portfolio. Check your spending habits. As we mentioned, things change quickly, so it’s important to know where you stand. Listen to your advisor, call when you have questions and know that, with a little work now, you can make your money last and enjoy every season of your life.