Once your working days are over, you deserve a break. That’s why so many people look forward to their retirement to live out the rest of their days in comfort, happiness, and surrounded by the people they care about most.
Sadly, however, too many Americans struggle to put together enough savings to retire comfortably. Between student debt, credit card debt, and personal debts of other kinds – not to mention the high cost of living in many American cities – it’s no wonder why so many people struggle to have the funds they need to retire in comfort.
Even despite all this difficulty, though, there are still concrete steps that you can take to help ensure your retirement is happy and comfortable. Let’s take a look at a few.
Start planning as early as you can afford to
Many people start thinking about retirement planning when they reach their late thirties. While technically you can make this work by diligently putting away extra cash for the remainder of your career, ideally, you should start saving up well before then.
How early? As early as you can. If you’re in high school working at the ice cream parlor to save up a little cash for the weekend, you can probably wait a little. But even college students should start thinking about their retirement savings if they want to take full advantage of the time they have ahead of them to save.
Calculate your monthly retirement budget
The next step you can take is figure out how much money you’ll need to keep your standard of living through retirement. Think about things like rent or mortgage payments, regular grocery bills, utilities, travel expenses, car payments, and just for fun spending that you plan on doing regularly.
By making a clear budget for your retirement, you’re more likely to act in the present in ways that allow you to save as much as you need. That’s because you can use your monthly budget as a basis for calculating how much money you’ll need in total in order to retire.
And remember: there are options for those who haven’t quite saved enough. Whether that means finding an inexpensive piece of property in Florida or getting a reverse mortgage in Oregon, many retirees find ways to make their assets work for them in retirement.
Save up for medical expenses
It’s a difficult fact of life, but one that we will all have to deal with one day: as you age, medical complications become more likely. This in turn leads to higher costs, as procedures, exams, and tests all begin to add up in price.
In addition to your regular retirement account, it’s a good idea to start putting away money specifically for medical expenses. You can do this with a separate account, or just acknowledge that a portion of your retirement savings is intended for medical expenses.
Prioritize your health and wellbeing
Your health and wellbeing are the most important assets you have to your name. After all, without your health, there’s really not much else you can do.
You can think of the way that you live your life when you’re younger as a sort of retirement savings. If you have bad habits when you’re young, you might find it difficult to break them when it’s time to retire. Plus, certain habits like excessive drinking and smoking, can make health complications when you’re older even more likely. Invest in your health now for a happier retirement in the future.
Don’t forget about mental health
Mental health is also a form of health that must be tended to. Loneliness is a chronic illness among many elderly people, and with loneliness comes depression. Learning healthy coping strategies is essential to any retirement plan.
Spend time with the folks who matter most
In addition to coping with mental distress, however, you should also seek out the cure: spending time with the people you love. In the end, family and friends are the most important things we have in this life. It’s important that you spend time with them while retired, as it will make your life much more meaningful.
Remember to live life to the fullest
Speaking of making life much more meaningful, remember that during retirement, it’s your time to let go of all the stress of your job and finally live the life you always dreamed of. Travel, take up a new hobby, learn a musical instrument – do what makes you happiest, and your retirement is sure to be as comfortable and full of joy as it can.