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Retirement Plan B

May 6th, 2009 at 08:23 am

If you think you will have enough money to retire on think again. You may have, of course, but unless you know for sure it’s time to analyse your retirement plan and your investments. In these days of longevity, it may be that you will actually outlive your nest egg unless you do something drastic to prevent that happening. Do something drastic to your savings, that is.

The best thing you can do is add more money to them. While this may not be easy, there is nearly always some way you can cut costs or get a little bit more money. If you go for cutting costs, then don’t forget to save what you cut off your bills, don’t just go out and spend it on something else. It is quite possible to do this subconsciously if you have an attitude of rewarding yourself for all that cutting back. A coffee out here and a meal out there, plus that new tool you’ve been wanting for ages all add up very quickly.

Postposing your retirement, or going into part-time work so that you can add to your super or other savings may be the way to go. Or if you are lucky enough to have an investment home that is not as good as the one you live in, consider swapping for a few years. You could live in your investment home and lease out your fancy one for a great deal more money.

Another way to save money is to downgrade your present standard of living. Forget that holiday, stay home more often, and cook in instead of eating out. Every little bit counts and the more you save now, the better off you will be later on.

Don’t forget that if you retire in your early sixties you may have another thirty or so years to live. Will your retirement investments last that long? There could easily be rising health costs and of course there is always the rising cost of living to consider. Retirement planning is so necessary.

To find out what you’ll probably need to live on once you retire, add up all your present costs, leaving out such things as payments that you will be finished with when you retire e.g. mortgage or car payments. Then add up all your sources of income that you’ll get when you retire. Subtract your costs from your income and whatever is left will be your retirement income - approximately.

If it is not enough then you need to put Plan B into action immediately.

Retirement Planning

March 16th, 2009 at 07:11 am

Retirement planning is something that many of us put off until it’s almost too late. We don’t like to think about getting old - and certainly not old enough to retire. We want our life to go on forever just they way it is, if not better. And we talk ourselves into believing that it will. But the years pass more quickly than we expected. We get put off our job for someone younger; the promotion we expected simply doesn’t materialise, or we are offered a redundancy package.

Or before we know it, retirement has crept up on us and we are still unprepared. We may have to sell our house because we cannot afford those last payments on it. But we still have to pay rent for somewhere to live. If we are lucky we only have to downsize, but we may end up living in a caravan. All this could have been avoided if only we had planned for our retirement when we were younger.

Retirement planning need not be complicated. It can be as simple as deciding how much money is needed to live comfortably in retirement - and maybe do a few of the things we have dreamed of over the years. Then finding out much you need to save per fortnight to accomplish that. If you are not good at maths, then get a professional to help you.

Why Planning Will Help You Have a Better Retirement

February 17th, 2009 at 04:47 am

Young people rarely think about retirement; to them it is a time of life in the far distant future - and they are not even sure they’ll live long enough to retire. However, the years do pass quickly and it will seem no time at all before retirement looms ever closer. And it’s a bit late to start retirement planning then.

While you don’t have to constantly think about retirement planning while you are young, you do need to plan for it. Find out how much you will need per year to live on after you retire and multiply it by 25, which is the average length of retirement. Allow for things you might want to do, such as travel. Then find out how much money you will need to have saved up to give you a comfortable retirement.

If you have been actively working for many years, you might find retirement just plain boring; so planning is also needed to make that transition - not just in the financial area. It’s not that easy to suddenly lose contact with all your work colleagues and the stimulus of the working environment, especially if you were happy in your job. You might want to ease into it gradually by working part time. Or you could have many activities planned to keep you busy.

What Baby Boomers Need to Know About Retirement Planning

November 21st, 2008 at 03:07 am

Retirement planning is something that everyone should do, but baby boomers in particular need to look long and hard at their retirement investments, or find themselves having to put off retirement for several years because they just don’t have enough money. This is more likely if you are still supporting your children through university while at the same time providing health support for aged parents.

We tend to jog along complacently as far as our retirement investment plans go, thinking that our cost of living will go down once we retire, but this may not be so. We still need to eat the same amount. Our utilities will still cost the same - or more if the price goes up as it is quite likely to. And then we have all that time on our hands that we want to fill with travel or other hobbies. We can’t do that for nothing.

Travel costs money and so do hobbies. And it would be a shame to have to miss out on doing something that you’ve been looking forward to for many years simply because you still don’t have enough money. But with a little more foresight and attention to financial affairs, that need not be the case. Baby boomers are the ones who have traditionally worked the hardest and helped their families get educated, all the while helping out their aged parents either financially or physically.

This has led them to lead a frugal kind of life and they may be looking forward to reversing that a little in their retirement. The bad new is that they may have to tighten their purse strings even more. In fact, baby boomers need to analyse their situation carefully, testing everything to see what they can expect to get and what they are likely to need.

Baby boomers no longer have all the criteria needed to gain wealth through investments. Retirement planning needs three things to be successful; time, rate of return and money saved. But baby boomers no longer have the luxury of time. Therefore they need to get the highest rate of return for the money they have saved that they can, without being exposed to too much risk. If they cannot get a good enough return, then they face the probability that their retirement will not be as they have dreamt and that a life of frugality will extend into the future.

When Should I Start Retirement Planning?

October 31st, 2008 at 06:04 am

It is never too early to start retirement planning. The earlier you start to plan for your retirement the better off you will be. When time is on your side, your superannuation or any other investment you make has time to grow, interest has time to compound and real estate has time to appreciate in value. You have time to weather a few downturns in the economy or the share market when you start retirement planning early.

The biggest problem is that the younger you are the less you think about retirement planning. It seems to be a million light years away. You just want to get out there and have fun - and that means spending money, not saving it. And as you get older there are other major purchases such as a car and home that need your attention first. But even then, if you can put aside a small amount every so often to go towards your retirement you will be better off in the long run.

The best time to plan for your retirement is when you start your first job. Even children at school who have part-time jobs should be encouraged to think of retirement planning. If they saved just $500 to invest in a retirement plan and didn’t touch it for the rest of their lives, they would be astonished when they got older by how much it had grown. Children and young people who have no debt, could save a great deal more than they realise. Their trouble is that mostly they want to spend, not save.

You might have found it impossible to save for retirement planning while paying off your mortgage and educating the kids, but now all that is over and paid off, you are looking forward to having money to spend for yourself. You could go for a holiday or do up the house. You might think it’s too late to do any retirement planning now, but this is not so. Even a few years spent in saving towards your retirement will make a big difference to your comfort when you stop working.

So while the best option for retirement planning is to start young, your next best option is now, today, before it gets any later. Knowing that your

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retirement planning is well under way will give you peace of mind and a feeling of independence

10 Things You Should Know About Retirement Planning

October 31st, 2008 at 05:14 am

Those who don't bother about retirement planning are just asking for trouble in their golden years. What should be years of enjoyable leisure will be spent in fretting and penny-pinching - all because you didn't want to plan for the future. Make up your mind that’s not going to be you! Find out all you can about retirement planning. Here are ten things to start you off.

1. You should start retirement planning as early as possible. However, if you've left it, late is better than never. You can still make a difference if you start now.

2. Retirement planning can be a great deal easier and more successful if you get advice from a professional. Sure, you have to pay them, but their advice will likely save you money and make you extra that you'd never have made without it, so they are worth their fee.

3. One form of retirement planning is not enough. Diversify your funds into several different companies, then if one fails you won't lose everything.

4. Don't just set and forget. Check those investments on a regular basis. Doing this will ensure that any assets that look sick can be changed to more of those that are doing well.

5. You can get tax-free or tax effective retirement accounts so why not take advantage of them? Saving on tax is a legitimate way of saving money too.

6. Many people use their retirement account as a fallback account. If an unexpected bill arrives, they dip into their retirement account. This is the best way to mess up your retirement planning. Leave it alone and let it grow.

7. Retirement planning should take account of how much per month and per year it will cost you to live during your retirement. You cannot make an adequate retirement plan if you don't know how much you will need.

8. Many retirement plans rely on Social Security. How do you know it will still be there in the future?

9. Don't forget the 'i' word - inflation. Planning how much you need to live on this year will not be helpful by the time you retire, when inflation has caused all costs to rise a great deal more.

10. Factor in the death of one spouse to your retirement planning. Will the remaining partner have enough to live on? Does each of you know the ropes sufficiently to manage if the other should die?

Once you've considered everything and a retirement plan is in hand, both of you will gain peace of mind, knowing that the other will be cared for financially. Going through your retirement years without your partner is bad enough without having to worry about your finances as well.