Most people today are not prepared for their retirement. Hopefully, since you are reading this, you are in the minority of people who are actively planning for the inevitable event. I say inevitable because, sooner or later, you will retire from what you are currently doing to earn a living. Retirement, however, does not mean that you must prop up your feet and get in that EZ Glide recliner.
The baby boomer generation has redefined every phase of live as they have entered it, and the retirement phase will be no different. People are living longer lives that ever before and if they are taking care of themselves, their longer lives can include activities that, 20 years ago, were considered unlikely for so-called senior citizens. Those activities will depend largely upon how you are prepared money wise, when you get to those years.
One fallacy that has been handed to people is that your expenses will be less when you retire. You won’t need to travel back and forth to work each day, so your vehicle expenses will decline; your house will be paid off, so you’ll have no mortgage, etc, etc. This has proven to be a load of rubbish for most retirees. You will still be driving, maybe further to go to vacations, golf course, visiting relatives, etc. Most people have found themselves still with a mortgage payment, since they have been getting second and third mortgages trying to pay for their children’s college education and other major expenses. Health care for retirees can be the biggest expense they will have. Years of being on your employer’s health care plan did not prepare you for the expense of paying for it yourself. Having a credit card with no balance transfer fee and 0 apr is a useful consideration for older members of society due to the flexibility offered.
I am not trying to scare you into a panic, rather I am trying to get you to start to think about what is to come. All the choices you make today are going to affect your future either positively or negatively.
So, what are you doing to prepare? If you haven’t managed to put money into an IRA, Roth IRA, 401K or a 503B, you may well find yourself working out of need, not want. It is not too late to start to try to put your financial house in order, no matter what age you are. There are options out there for you to pursue, whether it is a second job, a residual income opportunity, reverse mortgages or a plethora of other choices. It is never too late to start to save and invest. Consider what purchases you are making today that might be optional. Think about how you can cut costs and use the money to prepare for your future. The smallest investments today can turn into much needed funds down the road.