Retirement Planning for 55 Year Olds’, don’t worry it’s not too late to plan for retirement. Of Course saving for retirement is something that is best started early. However, many people, perhaps far too many, put it off until they feel ‘established’ enough in life – as in they own a home and the kids have finished university, that kind of thing – to do so. When their 55th birthday looms though, the less than prepared often start to panic a little, as their retirement date is looming closer and they are fairly sure that they are not adequately prepared at all.
All’s not lost however and working into their seventies – or beyond – is not your only option however many choose to do so, perhaps even choose an encore career. Here are three actionable tips for the 55-year-old who hasn’t given retirement much thought thus far to get back on track.
Honestly Assess Your Financial Readiness for Retirement
At this point it’s time to sit down and take an honest look at just how prepared – or unprepared – you are to retire within the next ten years or so. To do this you’ll need to gather up quite a bit of information, including the balances of all your financial accounts, an estimate of your earnings before retirement (assuming you remain in the same job) an estimate of the monthly income you’d need to maintain your current lifestyle once you do retire, information about the status of any employer based retirement benefit plans you are enrolled in and, finally, a calculator and some patience. It may also be a good idea to enlist the help of a Professional Financial Advisor.
The results of such an assessment should give you a clearer picture of just where you stand. If you do find that you really are behind with your retirement savings, there is no cause for alarm – not yet anyway – it simply means that some big changes need to be made to your financial planning.
Map Out a Retirement Lifestyle Plan
Once you have a better idea of where you stand you should begin deciding just how you want to live when you retire. Obviously, you want to make sure you’ll still have a roof over your head, but will you want that roof to be somewhere else? Do you want to take advantage of your hard-earned down time and finally travel to all those places you dreamed of? And what will you do should your ability to look after yourself decline and you need a little extra assistance on a daily basis?
Although you don’t need to map out every day of your post work life having a basic plan will be a great help when it comes to figuring out just how much you are going to need in the bank once you receive that retirement clock.
Begin Making (Big) Changes
It’s not enough to know that changes need to be made in order for you to enjoy a comfortable retirement, you actually have to make them. For many, this is where a visit to a financial planner may prove most helpful. While you can crunch the numbers alone, and make some basic changes, like cutting down on the number of times you eat out in a month or downgrading some of the services you pay for monthly, a professional can help you decide how best to make use of the money you save to reach your new retirement savings goals.
The reason? There are a growing number of financial options and instruments that are specifically designed for those saving for retirement, and choosing the right one for you can be hard. From higher interest rate savings accounts to stock market trades – and maybe even offshore investing – a financial planner can help determine the right path for you (and your money) as retirement draws nearer and nearer.
So relax, Retirement Planning for 55 Year Olds’ is not as hard as it seems and may even open up new opportunities and a fresh way of looking at your future.