Don’t Get Left Behind: 9 Ways to Start Planning for Your Retirement Today

The thought of being able to put your feet up and not have to worry about going to work anymore is an appealing one, but if you want to achieve that dream of enjoying a comfortable retirement it takes planning.

There is no time like the present when it comes to retirement planning and it can often take people by surprise how quickly those golden years come around.

Here are some pointers on how to get your secure financial future on track.

Fast-forward to the future

A good way of testing whether you are likely to be ready for retirement would be to imagine you are about to retire in a couple of years and see what state your finances are in if that was the case.

Take the opportunity to work out what debts you have and how much income you will have available to cover those costs and provide you with enough to live on.

Look at the projections for your savings and investments and work out with this will be enough to give you the monthly income you need, then make a plan that addresses your needs.

Taking a look into the financial future can sometimes be the wakeup call to action that is needed to sort out your money situation now so that the years ahead will be more comfortable.

Find the money to put away

It is far too easy to dismiss the relevancy of retirement planning in your younger years and if you have a mortgage to pay and kids to get through college it can feel like you don’t have enough spare cash to be able to put some away.

It is amazing how you can find extra money from your budget when you need to, and even if you think you don’t make enough money to be able to put some savings away each month there is a good chance that you can make some simple adjustments to find that cash to put away.

Even a small amount saved each month will add up to a reasonable sum when you reach retirement age. Work out your monthly expenditure and be resourceful so that you find that vital monthly cash for your nest egg.

Trust in the stock market

It would be wrong to suggest that investing in stocks is a surefire way to increase your money as the value of investments fluctuates up and down depending on how the market is performing.

However, in the long term, the stock market has historically managed to produce annual double-digit growth. If you don’t understand the market enough to invest directly, find a good retirement planner and let them find the best option for your needs and risk profile.

Treat each decade as a financial milestone

Many of us tend to view certain birthdays as milestones in our life journey and as you turn, 30, 40, or 50, these are also important checkpoints to see what state your finances are in for the future.

You might have different financial goals according to your age and it is highly likely that your thoughts of retirement will be much more prominent by the time you hit your 50th birthday.

View each decade of your life as not just a cause for celebration but as the perfect time to check how your retirement plans are looking.

Join your company scheme

Plenty of governments around the world tend to encourage people to plan for their retirement as it means that they will be less reliant on the state for financial support.

Depending on where you are, you may well get tax incentives for joining a company scheme and if this the case, it is a no-brainer, as your employer and the tax man might add extra money each month to your contribution, boosting your retirement pot in the process.

Taking a calculated risk with your money

If you just put your money into a savings account that offers a low rate of interest inflation can quickly erode any gains that you might make.

The best way to avoid your money standing still is to take some calculated risks with your cash but it is wise to consider doing this when you are younger and have time on your side.

If you are a couple of years away from retirement you wouldn’t want to invest in high-risk investments as you may not have time to recover. However, If you are in your 30’s, for example, you can afford to speculate a bit more as you have the luxury of time to ride out any storm such as a stock market slide.

Always check the performance of your funds

In addition to carrying out a thorough review each decade, it also makes good sense to keep a close eye on how your funds are performing on a regular basis.

Some investments you hold are likely to underperform and others will exceed your expectations. The key is to do some regular financial pruning and make changes if things are not going according to plan.

Increase your savings when you can

If you get a pay rise at work and get more disposable income as you pay debts off consider increasing your savings and investments.

The more you can put away each month the more comfortable your retirement is likely to be, which should be all the incentive you need to boost your savings funds when your finances allow you to do so.

Ask the experts

You can’t be expected to know everything about financial planning and it is a complex subject.

If you are not sure about your options or want to try and maximize your investments, it can often pay to get some professional help.

Properly planning for your retirement is one of the most important things you can do and if you don’t want your finances to get left behind it is time to take control and steer a better course toward enjoying your golden years in greater comfort.