Guest Author - Sharon Michaels
Are you taking your retirement seriously? Over the next twenty years it is estimated that more than 40 million women will reach retirement age. Many of these women will have no savings, retirement plan or other monetary resources to help them enjoy the ďgolden years.Ē If baby boomers and Gen Xíers are counting on Social Security or other government assistance to get them through, the golden years may not be so golden.
Complacency maybe the greatest obstacle women face when planning for retirement.
Let me ask you these questions:
1. Have you thought out and planned for your retirement?
2. Do you know financially what youíll need for your retirement years?
3. Do you know the options available to help you save for retirement?
4. Are you currently saving for your retirement?
5. Are you saving enough?
Many of us donít want to think about retirement. Why? It usually means weíre contemplating our ďtwilight yearsĒ of life. The unknown can be frightening. Think of retirement as another phase of life. Itís not something to be feared but one to be embraced. Thatís why planning and preparing for retirement is so important. Preparation helps take the fear out of the unknown.
Building your retirement income takes time. The sooner you begin, the more youíll have when you want it. Procrastinating means youíll have to save more in a shorter length of time. Taking control of your financial future begins one step at a time. Are you ready?
1. Have you thought out and actually written down how you want to live during retirement? Iíve heard it said that we often take more time planning a vacation than we do our retirement. Itís time to look into your crystal ball and visualize the future.
Making the time to practically and emotionally write out your ďidealĒ retirement scenario is a vital part of making it reality. Itís important to see and feel the excitement of retiring comfortably. The more passionate you become about living an ideal retirement life, the greater the commitment youíre willing to make toward saving for that future.
2. Become specific about the amount of money it will take to live your ďidealĒ retirement scenario. Itís time to plan what itís going to cost to live in retirement. What is it specifically going to take to maintain the financial lifestyle youíve envisioned? Look at the expenditures closely. Itís time to figure out food, fun, housing, utilities, insurance, medical expenses and of course those unexpected obstacles.
What amount of yearly income will ensure that you can live the life you want?
3. Itís time to figure out the dollars and cents of where you are now and where you want to be at retirement. This may be a good time to get in touch with your financial planner or other retirement expert.
There is a link to a financial resource web site at the bottom of this article. They have an interactive retirement calculator that will show how to calculate your retirement needs and what itís going to take to achieve the numbers. I was impressed!
If looking at BIG numbers may frighten or demoralize you Ė skip looking at the interactive calculator for right now and focus on what you can do today. But be realistic, you are going to need money for retirement. You canít place your head in the sand or hope you win the lottery.
4. Where do you begin? Again, Iím suggesting you talk with a financial professional. A convenient place to start may be going to the bank where you currently have your checking and savings accounts and ask their advice.
~ Itís time in your 20ís and 30ís to develop a viable investment strategy for retirement.
~ If youíre in your 40í and 50ís, itís time to have a viable plan in place and be contributing regularly and seriously into that plan. This isnít the time to procrastinate.
~ Itís not too late even if youíre in 60ís, but itís definitely ďcrunchĒ time. Now is the time to save more than youíre spending. Itís time to cut back on your expenditures and get very serious about the future.
5. The key to retirement is not to out live your money! Itís about achieving financial independence and self-sufficiency. How much per year are you willing to invest in your retirement future?
Here are some resources:
I highly recommend looking at our January Book Club selection Women & Money by Suze Orman. Month three of her ďSave Yourself PlanĒ is about retirement investing. Go to the link just below this article for the Book Club Selections page.
Canadian women - Hereís a link to Amazon.com. Itís a book entitled Redefining Retirement New Realities for Boomer Women. If youíve already read this book please go to our forum and let us know what you think.
Hereís the link to the retirement calculator I mentioned in number 3. Retirement Calculator
Itís extremely important to make time and plan your retirement years Ė abundance and wealth is about living and enjoying a financially healthy lifestyle, no matter your age. (offsite link)