Are you coming to the end of your working life but feeling worried that your finances are not in a) the best shape or b) in a mess that you feel you can’t sort out then you might need some help to not only get them sorted out, but to also make a strong retirement plan so you can sit back and enjoy those golden years more, rather than fretting about money. If you’re a few years away from settling down then you still need to make plans and think about the future. Here’s a helpful guide to making sure your money is safe and you’ve a sound retirement plan in place.
Save As Much As You Can
While you’re working you should have been putting away little and often into a private pension, IRA or employee retirement plan. Whilst values can fluctuate over the years, even a small amount can go a long way to helping you have something to fall back on as you edge towards retiring.
Make Use of Social Security
Make sure you heck with social security what you’re entitled to and when you can start to claim it. Many people are not convinced they can claim much and are always pleasantly surprised when they realize what they’re owed. Married couples may also be entitled to extra monies and it is always worthwhile checking the social security calculator on the website to see exactly how much you could be allowed to claim and when you can start to get the benefits from.
Be Certain To Check All Your Old Bank Accounts
Over the course of someone’s career they may have had many different jobs, or had money in lots of different places that they might well have forgotten existed or knew how to claim – especially if a particular bank became insolvent or shut down. When you start to make a retirement plan, be sure to look online – or simply go through all your old papers and accounts to see what money you had and where. This can sometimes be an unexpected goldmine that throws up a lot of monetary opportunities that can’t be missed.
What Other Annuities And Financial Resources Do You Have?
Think about other financial plans you might have, and other annuities that you can call on or claim. Do you have any taxable investments, stocks or shares you can call on? Can you actually take an early retirement from your job because they’ve offered you good financial terms. These are all worth looking into or considering as you make a retirement plan. Talk to your employer and talk to any companies you might have invested with too.
A word of caution – try not to include inherited money in your retirement assets. If you stand to inherit money from parents who are still alive, or who live for much longer than expected – the cost of their care might eventually eat into the money which would come to you in the end. So it is always best to leave this open ended and not include it in any figures, simply because it is a “moveable” in terms of its worth.
How Much Will You Need To Live On?
None of us can ever really truly say how much we will need to live on in the future, but it can be good to have some kind of ball park figure to work with and when you’re making a retirement plan it can be very useful to have as a baseline. Think about things like whether you’ll move house or not, whether you’ll downsize and whether or not you’ll have adult children living with you who might need support.
Think About the Pitfalls with Your Retirement Plan
It’s also good to have a plan for if something goes wrong. Think about outcomes such as:
- A plan for if you become sick and need to take earlier than planned retirement
- What to do should the company you work for make you redundant before you’re due to retire
Plan for these also. It’s sometimes impossible to know, but better to have some kind of idea for what you might do than to simply find yourself in the situation and panic.
The main thing to do is to plan and plan carefully. Think about every aspect of your finances and how to work them to your best advantage. Retirement years are supposed to be for enjoyment and happiness and not worrying about money and if you follow these guidelines and make some initial sound investments and savings then you shouldn’t have too much to consider when the time comes. A little forward planning can make a smooth transition into the golden years of your life. Never be afraid to ask questions about money, sometimes you can be surprised at what you find!