These retirement planning articles highlight the critical rules for a rock solid retirement strategy. Do you follow them?
The articles on this website are written to help you adopt a retirement planning mindset.
Having a retirement planning mindset means that as you go through your life prior to retirement, you keep tabs on the things that will affect your retirement later.
For example, periodically checking on your retirement savings and thinking ahead of time about how purchasing decisions might play into your retirement date.
Thinking ahead so you can choose the right time to replace your car, factoring in when you'll be finished paying for college, and when your mortgage will be paid off.
Also, taking on new investments or income streams that can become more important to your lifestyle after retirement.
This might be rental property investments or vacation homes that you might rent out now but use differently after you retire.
One investment for the future that make sense to me is rental real estate. While you’re working and saving for retirement, you have tenants who are making the loan payments on your real estate investments. By the time you retire, these properties will be paid for, and they cost just the down payment. Then they become a source of income just when you need it most.
Avoiding or eliminating debt should be the number one priority as you approach retirement, but it can also help you to make the most of your earnings by not spending your money on interest charges long before retirement. This means saving for the things you want becomes the priority, as does living within your means and living a genuine lifestyle. Having more flexibility in your budget will make it easier to save, as well.
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The best way to avoid taking on debt is to live beneath your means and save money for the near future in addition to your retirement future. It can be difficult when your peers are spending so much to look prosperous and successful.
But recognize that it is only the appearance of prosperity if you have no money in the bank while you do it. Real prosperity balances your immediate living expenses with your need for savings for the unexpected or future needs.
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Most importantly, if you run into financial difficulties, due to the economy or anything else, never raid your retirement accounts. Consider them to be off limits no matter what.
Learning to spend wisely during your working years means you may also need less money to live during your retirement years. Instead of replacing your car every 3-5 years to appear successful, keep the same nice car for 10 or more years and actually BE successful, by saving all those car payments once the loan is paid off, or better yet, not having a loan at all and saving the car payment equivalence.
Use coupons whenever you can, as well as shopping memberships. In my house, we never order pizza at menu prices, we use coupons and save at least $10 whenever we splurge for it. You can also return your empty ink cartridges for a refund from an office supply store, or reuse them by getting them refilled.
When our shopping club was promoting their premium membership, rather than automatically buying into their pitch on how much money we would get back, we ran the numbers to see if our buying habits would actually earn the discounts they advertised.
They did not, so we can now confidently decline their sales pitch each time they tell us what a great deal it is at the checkout.
If you just barely break even, you aren’t really making or saving any money, and may actually tend to spend more than you would have just to make the target.