Professional Development

How to Prepare for Retirement While You’re Young

Written by Peter Jones

I know, you don’t think you need to think about retirement yet. But trust me, it sneaks up on you. You’re probably already behind. Rather than being overwhelmed, focus on a few simple things you can do this year to make sure you have the life you’ve always dreamed of in your sunset years.

Eat Right and Exercise

Keeping up your health is half the battle. What good is retirement, after all, if you’re too sick to enjoy it? Fight off obesity, your risk of heart disease, and diabetes. Being healthy and active will improve your quality of life, and it will save you a small fortune in health care costs.

Save Smart

Just shaving off bits of every paycheck and dumping them into a savings account isn’t going to cut it. Try funding your 401k to the max—this is free money courtesy of your employer! Taking more out of your paycheck will also save you on annual income tax. And, if you have the means, try buying property to generate more income—or even remodeling your house to include a rentable unit for a little extra cash.

Know Where You’ll Be

Have a home with equity, but very little savings? You won’t have access to your biggest assets to pay your monthly bills. To get greater access, consider selling your house and downsizing to a smaller property, renting out a spare room, or refinancing your loan or mortgage. You might even qualify for a reverse mortgage and be able to convert your home equity into cash.

Know Where Your Money Is

You’ve worked so hard for your retirement savings. Make sure you know what your money is doing—and whether it could be doing better. Meet with an advisor for a once-a-year review of your funds, just like you see your doctor for an annual physical.

Make a Bucket List

Don’t get all the way to your retirement and then have no idea how to spend your time. Stave off the potential loneliness and boredom by making sure you have a list of things to do with yourself—projects and trips and plans you never had time for in your working years.

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About the author

Peter Jones