It can sometimes be hard to imagine what you will be doing next year, let alone the next five years, ten years or beyond. But when it comes to retirement planning the earlier you start, the better it is. That way, you know that you will be ready for whatever life throws at you. So it is important to be informed and take decisions early.
If you're confused about where to start from, here’s a basic checklist to help get you on the right track.
- Understand Retirement Planning
If you wish to retire early and live 'the good life', you must first understand how to save for retirement. Apart from saving every month starting today, you also need to account for inflation. Decide when you want to retire and calculateyour target monthly retirement income needs to be at that age. This should include bills and lifestyle spends and medical expenses.
- Check Existing Retirement Savings and Investment Accounts
Work out the income your various income sources will provide you at your retirement age. While doing this, do consider expenses of dependents (spouse and/or children with special needs), inflation along with taxes and potential lifestyle changes. This is your projected retirement income. Of course, this calculation is unlikely to be 100% accurate, so be ready for any unexpected changes down the line.
- Set Your Retirement Goals
If you've not been saving already, chances are that the figure from step two will not match your target income from step one. But don't panic! This is what most people find out when they do calculate their retirement requirements for the first time. And that’s empowering – because now you can make a plan to close the gap. Speaking of which...
- Get Started with a Retirement Planning
Growing old can be fun when you plan better. And the earlier you plan, the better you will be placed at retirement. This planning will not only fulfil your needs in old age but also give you the opportunity to fulfil other wishes such as pampering your grandkids.
Whether you're increasing your existing contributions or just getting started, there’s a number you need to hit monthly. When you start saving early, you get closer to getting your projected retirement income to match your target income. Once you figure out your target income, you can increase your contributions whenever you have some extra money in hand.
- Make a Plan to Clear all Debts
If you can't afford the contributions you need to reach your retirement goals, you will have to start making some changes. The most important of these is to work on paying off your debts. The longer you take to pay them, the less you can afford to contribute to your retirement fund. And, of course, you wouldn't want to be in debt when you retire.
- Choose a Healthier Lifestyle
If your retirement goals are still out of reach, it might be time to start making some lifestyle changes. It is said that if you have a healthy mind and body, you take better decisions, including financial ones. Leading a healthy lifestyle can help contribute to your retirement plans. After all, you wouldn't want to be laden with health issues when you finally have the freedom to retire.
- Consider Buying Property
A lot of young people find themselves living in rented apartments for work or education. They spend a significant percentage of their income paying rent when they should be putting aside that money towards buying a house. While this may not be a feasible option for all, it will help your retirement plans.
When you purchase property early, you complete all loan payments early. This ensures that when you retire, you have a place of your own and you neither have to pay rent nor pay off a loan. Buying property is an additional step towards retirement planning and can leave you secure in the future.
- Consult a Retirement Pension Plan Advisor
Whether you want advice on saving for retirement or want a second opinion on your existing plans - consulting a professional advisor can set you on the right track. Pension plans or retirement plans are nothing but a combination of insurance and investment plans that help individuals create a corpus for their future in due course of time.
- Plan Retirement with Automated Contributions
Not only does this mean less hassle, but it also keeps you from forgetting to make your monthly payments. If you have a pension through your employer, they will usually deduct your contribution from your salary automatically. But if you have any private retirement funds, be sure to set up automated payments from your bank account.
- Review Your Accounts and Projected Income Regularly
More often than not, circumstances beyond your control can increase the retirement income you need or reduce the income your investments may provide. So, check your accounts and projections regularly and make adjustments if necessary, to be sure of staying on track. And if you're looking for a retirement pension plan, speak to our financial advisor now.