You’ve worked hard for years to get where you are today. Now it’s time to plan for the next big thing — retirement. Here are four important things to do before you say goodbye to the 9-to-5.
Whether it’s traveling, pursuing a lifelong passion or simply kicking back and relaxing, retirement is your time to be you, without the stress of a full-time job. But one thing’s for sure: Long before you call it quits, you’ve got to plan, and save, like never before. Your biggest challenge? To make sure you’ll have the money to do the things that bring you happiness and fulfillment for the rest of your life.
Here are the steps to take now to help see you through your golden years.
1. Don’t let home repairs drain your bank account
Home repairs aren’t cheap. Whether it’s a leaky roof or a broken appliance, your home can quickly become a nightmare and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix.
But you don’t have to worry. Luckily, with a home warranty company called America’s 1st Choice Home Club, you can safeguard yourself against giant repair bills. From home appliances to electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, it can all be protected.
Plus, their in-house service team is available 24/7 to help and ensure a hassle-free repair process if anything goes wrong. You can even choose your own technician, or they can send you one from their nationwide network if you don’t have someone in mind.
All over America, homeowners are choosing AFC Home Club for the savings, service and peace of mind that it delivers.
2. Think Income Not Investments
Esteemed economists like Nobel Prize winner Robert Merton believe that it is more important to estimate and plan for your retirement income needs than worry about investments and how much you need for retirement. He recommends dividing your income needs into three categories:
- Minimum guaranteed retirement income — This category is for how much income you need to maintain your life at the bare minimum. Your retirement assets should be allocated to guarantee this income for as long as you live. Social Security and lifetime annuities are two common guaranteed income sources.
- Flexible income — This category is for how much income you would like to live at your desired lifestyle. Income for this category should come from conservatively invested assets.
- Nice to haves — You can take some risks with investments in this category.
The best retirement plan insures that you have enough income to cover your expenses. The NewRetirement Planner can help you figure out how much income you need. Or, explore 18 retirement income strategies.
3. Spend Your Savings (Safely)!
You want to have a clear plan in place for making your savings last, but experts are finding that many of today’s retirees simply aren’t spending enough.
There are so many questions. Good news: the Stanford Center on Longevity in collaboration with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) has some answers. They analyzed 292 retirement income strategies and are recommending the “spend safely in retirement strategy” as the best way to spend in retirement.
4. Don’t Stop Budgeting
If you’ve saved well, you’ll want to be sure that your retirement funds last as long as you need them to. And if your finances are less-than-stellar, it’s even more important to budget, since you won’t have next week’s paycheck to supplement financial mistakes.
Willingness to be flexible with spending is “absolutely key” both before and during retirement, says Jon R. King, certified financial planner with Austin, Texas-based Pegasus Financial Solutions, LLC. “Spending before retirement is important because the less you spend, the more you save,” he says. “Cutting spending after retirement makes [your money] last longer.”
5. Save thousands on your mortgage (while you still can)
It’s no secret that interest rates are creeping up, but you can still lower your mortgage payments if you act now. With a mortgage lender called Better, you can get fast pre-approval in as little as three minutes.
And the savings? Let’s say you refinance from 4% on a 30-year fixed-rate loan to 3%. On a $500,000 loan, you’ll save $279 a month — that’s $3,348 a year!
That’s extra money you can put towards retirement, planning a dream vacation or even home improvements. The possibilities are endless.
With rates this low, you’d be crazy not to at least check to see how much you can save by refinancing. Plus, Better streamlined the entire application process online, so you can get pre-approved in just three minutes and close up to 10 days faster than average. Plus, there are no commissions and no lender fees, and they even offer 24/7 support to make sure everything goes smoothly.