We all want to enjoy a happy, comfortable retirement one day. After all, retirement is meant to be a well-deserved reward after years of hard work. How can you make your retirement dreams a reality? It all starts with careful planning. Here are some tips to help you navigate the retirement planning process and pave the way to a bright financial future.
Create your retirement “wish list"
Planning for retirement includes thinking about your finances. But, there are other aspects to consider, too. One of those is how you want to live your life in retirement. Answering these key questions can help you narrow down your retirement “wish list."
- Where do you want to retire? Will you move closer to family or relocate to a new destination?
- How will you spend your days? What hobbies or activities do you want to pursue?
- What's most important to you in retirement?
If you have a spouse or partner, it's important to discuss your retirement dreams together. Make a retirement wish list, marking each item as a “want" or a “need." Even if retirement is still years away, you can start planning for the life you want to live right now.
Know your sources of retirement income
Next, look at all the income sources you will have for the long-term. This may include savings, Social Security, employer-provided plans like a 401(k) or a pension and your investments. A retirement income calculator can give you a better idea of your retirement outlook.
Build your retirement savings
No matter how much you've already saved for retirement, you can always take steps towards a more secure future. Give your retirement fund a boost with these strategies:
Pay yourself first. Put your retirement savings on autopilot by scheduling recurring deposits from your paycheck into your savings accounts. Take advantage of your employer's 401(k) plan if one is offered and contribute at least enough to receive the full company match. Put any "extra" money (bonuses, raises, income from side hustles, monetary gifts and tax refunds) directly into your retirement fund.
Get ahead of debt. The best-laid retirement savings plans can be held up by high-interest rate debt. If you have credit card debt or personal loans, first focus on paying those down as quickly as possible. When you're free of high-interest rate debt, it's easier to increase your savings and achieve greater financial flexibility and freedom.
Buy thoughtfully. Saving a little more today can help you reach your retirement goals faster. Use discounts and coupons, travel during off-seasons and buy in bulk. Another tip is to spend more money on experiences with loved ones rather than material things. Photos and memories of fun-filled times will last forever!
Live the life you want to live in retirement
When you're ready to start planning for your dream retirement, the CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS")* financial advisors and registered representatives on WPCU's Retirement Solutions Team, available through CFS,* can help make the whole process easier. They can help you can organize your finances and help create a plan that will put you on the path to success.
Contact us today to learn more about retirement planning options and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation appointment.