Anyone who regularly visits here can tell that I’m a fan of thinking ahead in terms of future financial needs. My own driving financial motivation keeps me thinking about the future even as I simultaneously enjoy and live in the present.
Clearly, retirement planning is important. Along those lines, I like to keep me eyes and mind open for different ideas on how to make good decisions in terms of saving for the future. Sometimes means taking in new or less frequently discussed ideas, but it also might mean reinforcing existing views with some repetition.
A recent article from US News provided a mix of both, as it shared ways to be more individually reliant in terms of retirement planning. Good, solid tips that I think we should keep in mind as we think toward our future. Below I’ll state the tips (paraphrased), along with my viewpoint on each.
- Downsize before immediately necessary. I agree totally. It’s not like it’s any mystery that we’ll need money in the future, so why spend without regard for future savings? We’ll need to save and invest now to make retirement feasible and decent in the future. Why live with a big hat no cattle lifestyle? Differentiate wants and needs, and be true to those current and future needs.
- Say No. This could apply to many people who want your resources, but it’s often hard for many of us to say no to kids. As a parent of younger kids, it’s a concept that I intellectually get but have a hard time with sometimes. However, when you’re old and they’re young adults, you’ll have far less available years to work. They won’t. At some point we need to avoid martyrdom, and take care of our basic needs for retirement first.
- Delay Social Security. Admittedly, I don’t think of this much since I’m far off from that time period. Additionally, I am conditioning myself not to count on social security in the future. However, it’s worth thinking about anyway. For those closer to that age, it’s definitely worth considering, as it can be quite costly to retire too soon.
- Invest in Wellness. This is one I totally agree with. Also, it’s one that I need to really force myself to continually focus on and would like to do a better job with. Really, I do think that when one looks at the role of money in life, there is a connection with health (and relationships). Without health, life can break down. It’s imperative to think about the connection of health and money, and not be afraid to invest some time and money into staying healthy and fit.
- Hope for the best, plan for the worst. By working hard and making smart, disciplined decisions, we can achieve great things. That being said, not everything always follows our plans, despite our best intentions and actions. Things can and do happen. If a big unexpected expense happens, we want to be ready to handle it.
One more I’d like to add is the idea that we should avoid procrastination. Tomorrow comes quicker than we often realize, so rather than start taking steps “someday”, we might as well do it now.
What do You Think?
How many of these 5 do you actively focus on?
Can you think of any other tips for self-reliance in retirement planning?