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Easy Retirement Planning Guide

Updated on March 23, 2011

It is never too early to start planning for retirement. While many people do not think much about retirement when they are in their 20s or 30s, it becomes obvious as you get older that retirement planning is essential to your happiness in your golden years. Having the freedom to stop working full time later in life can bring you a lot of satisfaction. Here are some tips for retirement planning.

1. Start early.

Start your retirement planning early. If you are in your 20s or 30s, you are in an ideal position to begin investing as well as saving aggressively or opening an IRA. Because you can afford to wait for long-term benefits in your investments, look for investment opportunities that offer a good return over time.

2. Plan in steps.

Most retirement planning experts recommend spending some time thinking about what kind of work you want to be doing and what kind of financial situation you want to be in when you are several years away from retirement. Set some financial goals to achieve when you are 10 or 5 years away from retirement. Having a few years as a cushion for these goals will let you adjust your plan if necessary.

3. Don’t retire with debt.

Retiring with debt can be very stressful. Make a plan to pay off all of your debts before you retire. This includes credit card debt as well as your mortgage and car payments. Avoid making big purchases just before retirement that will give you added debt. Make going into retirement debt-free one of your goals.

4. Plan your expenses.

Spend some time thinking about how much money you will need to live on in retirement. This should include not only your regular expenses such as food and medicine, but also any expenses associated with travel, hobbies, or any other new things you plan to pursue in retirement. Plan a bit extra into your retirement budget to allow for inflation or unexpected expenses.

5. Make extra effort as you get closer to retirement.

While you should contribute to your retirement financial plan throughout your life, try to make a more concentrated effort as you near retirement age. Contribute more to your investment or savings.

4. Get professional help.

A financial planner can help you create a budget, guide you through the investment process, and establish a savings plan. If financial management is not your strong suit, consider getting help from a professional. Paying a bit of money up front to help manage your money in the long term is a good investment.

Image Credit: Hygiene Matters, Flickr

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  • Paul Kohler profile image

    Paul Kohler 

    7 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

    Good advice, thank you for sharing it

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