Whether you are nearing retirement age or thinking about the future, retirement planning is something everyone should do. It helps you get ready for the days when you are no longer working by helping to start the right savings account and providing enough income to pay for a senior living community if that is what you decide on. Here are some tips for starting your retirement plan.
Create Financial Goals
One of the first things you will do in order to start your retirement plan is to start saving money, but without a goal, it can be hard to know how much to save. Before you start transferring money into your savings account, set some financial goals. You should have short-term goals and long-term goals for saving purposes. A short-term goal might be to have enough money for a life insurance policy, while long-term goals often include the amount of money you think you will need to have a pleasant retirement. Once you create your financial goals, figure out how much you need to put away each month to meet these goals.
Plan for Future Living Arrangements
You will also need to plan for your future living arrangements, not just daily expenses. For example, there may come a time when you need to move out of your current home and live in a senior retirement community. Now is a good time to start researching these communities in your area and ask about their rent. It is never too early to start finding out what your alternatives might be. Check out independent living and senior homes, as you never know what your needs will be.
Find Out if You Have Pension
If you are still employed, do you know if your employer has a pension plan? This could keep you from retiring too soon and help you to better plan your finances for the future. Some pension plans require you to work a certain number of years before you qualify. If you want to retire when you are 55 but the pension won't go in effect until you are 58, that is a good reason to hang in there for a little longer. You can also find out what the pension plan is and approximately how much you will get when you retire.
Take Advantage of Employer Retirement Plans
You also want to take full advantage of retirement plans offered by your employer. To begin with, start transferring a certain amount of your income into their 401k plan. This can be a very small percentage and will give you money to live on when you retire. Another thing to look into is whether or not your employer has a matching rule. This means they will match whatever you choose to put into the 401k plan. If you transfer 2% of your income, and they match it, then you have twice as much in that savings account.