Secrets to Retirement Planning

Secrets to Retirement PlanningEveryone wants to have a comfortable retirement. A healthy retirement and to be able to take advantage of the free time they now have.  Like everything else, you can increase your chances of achieving these goals if you plan for retirement. The Secrets to Retirement Planning are pretty simple once you understand them. Plan financially, emotionally and look after your body as well. The fundamentals of meeting these goals are pretty straightforward:

  • Sufficient funds to do the things you have always wanted to do
  • Healthy bodies and minds
  • Interesting and challenging things to do

If you have these three things, chances are all the details will work themselves out, and you will have a wonderful retirement. Sure, there will be challenges along the way, family issues, and surprises you could not predict. However, if you have dealt with the retirement planning issues of money, health, and interests, you should be able to weather these small storms.

Secrets to Retirement Planning

Let’s take a look at these three areas in more detail.

Sufficient Funds

The answer for everyone is, of course, different. You need sufficient funds in your retirement to meet your basic needs for a safe and healthy life. Beyond that is what you really need to enable you to meet your retirement goals.  Starting when you are younger and setting aside at least 10% of your salary every year in savings should get you to where you want to be when you retire.

Of course, you will have to save more if you have lofty goals. Develop a plan based on your current lifestyle and spending habits. Calculate how much money you need to save based on the year you retire and the expected life span. Assume a conservative interest rate as well, forcing you to save a bit more. With these basic tools and plans, you should find yourself in a good position come retirement.

Follow the basic rules of diversifying your investments, never put all of your investments in one basket, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is, and try not to chase speculative investments; invest for the long term.

Healthy Bodies and Minds

This is probably the easiest for many people. All you need to do is exercise the body and mind to stay sharp and enable you to enjoy all of the things life offers well into your old age. Too much of a good thing is also bad, so 3 days of exercise for 30 minutes each week is probably sufficient for most people. Overdoing it, as in seven days a week marathon running, for example, will probably wear out your joints well before you usually would. Who wants to go through knee or hip operations with the associated immobility?

Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise and is great for sore knees and hips. Even if you are not a good swimmer, just getting out and being active in the pool is great exercise. Consider some of the swim gym classes as well, where you exercise in the water.

You also need to challenge the mind and keep it sharp. Working will help with this as long as your job requires some thought. Experts indicate that doing crossword puzzles, playing games, and working on various projects will also help to keep the mind sharp. How about doing math to keep your mathematical skills high? You can impress the kids at the store by adding up your costs before they can punch it into the cash register. Did you ever notice that when the cash register is not working, most have no idea how to add it?

Interesting and Challenging Things to Do

If you become a couch potato, you are probably headed in the wrong direction. When asked what he was doing in retirement, one friend of mind answered by saying he gets up in the morning, has his coffee, reads the paper, and watches the grass grow! This indicates someone who has no outside interests and is bored. Needless to say, his friends were appalled. Fortunately for him, he was able to land some small contracts which will keep him going for a while; however, he needs to find something exciting and challenging to occupy his time.

It does not matter what it is. Go back to work, take up some hobbies, volunteer, travel, do something. The only essential criterion is to make sure you look forward to getting up in the morning to tackle what you have planned for the day. Of course, if travel is on your list, you also need to be able to afford it.

Don’t wait. Start planning for your retirement when you are young, and you will be sure to have a very successful, enjoyable retirement lifestyle! Comments are welcome!

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