New Years Retirement Resolutions

by Suzanne Powell

The new year brings about a time of reflection for many. One of the primary areas for review is personal finance. If you are thinking about retiring within the next few years, you may want to create a resolution or two to help you better prepare for your non-working years. However, some people believe it is too late for any plan to be useful or beneficial. While it is better to start preparing for non-working years early in your career, starting now is better than not making preparations at all. Read on for some of the areas you can resolve to address in the near future.

Set Retirement Goals

Everyone has some vision for their life after they stop working in a full-time position. For some, the goal is to continue working part-time; others want to travel or be closer to family. A primary resolution should be to define your goals. Without specific goals, it is not possible to plan appropriately for the future. After all, maintaining your lifestyle if you travel frequently may be much more expensive than if you stay close to home.

Eliminate Debt

Another resolution should involve eliminating debt. Debt cannot usually be paid off quickly, so resolve to create a feasible debt reduction plan. When you pay debts off now, you can reduce the amount of income needed after you retire. For example, if you pay off your mortgage, car loans, and credit card balances, you may be able to live on several thousand dollars less each month. By reducing the income required to live comfortably, you can feasibly retire with less money saved up.

Prepare a Budget for Retirement

In addition to making a plan to eliminate debt from your life over the next few months or years, you also need to prepare a budget for your non-working years. This budget should include estimated income from all sources after you quit working, reasonable estimates for expenses, and focus on cost-of-living adjustments related to inflation. If you plan to relocate to a new town after you retire, your budget should be realistic for that specific area.

Update Insurance Coverage

Many people who are preparing for the future fail to consider changing insurance needs after leaving the workforce. As you get closer to retiring, determine if you will continue to need life insurance. Analyze your need for different types of medical insurance and long-term care insurance. Each retiree is in a different position, so there is no catchall rule regarding how much or what types of insurance you need to have. Remember to update your budget with the premiums for these various insurance products. It is also wise to consider deductibles associated with each policy when determining how much money you will need.

Some people are so discouraged by their late start planning for this life stage they simply throw in the towel. However, you can see that your initial efforts in each of these areas can help you get on the right path. Even though you think that you may be far behind others who are your age, you may be in a better position than you appear to be at first glance. When you make these crucial resolutions and start acting on them quickly, you can move forward with a confident footing as you approach your non-working years.

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