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When you’re younger, retirement seems like a lifetime away, but suddenly you reach the age where you realize you need to start seriously planning now. After all, plenty of people are retiring younger and moving into over 55 communities in Dallas TX, where they can settle down or create a home base for their travels. If you need to start thinking more seriously about your retirement, here are five simple steps to get you focused.
- Envision. First and foremost, start envisioning your idea of a dream retirement. Are you travelling all over the world or settling into a community where you can sit back, relax, and work on your golf swing? Once you have all of that free time, you need to know what you’re going to do with it. In addition, you need to start thinking about when you want to retire. Not only do you need to know how much you have to save, but it also has an impact on your pension, Social Security, and Medicare.
- Estimate. If you’re picturing a retirement in one of the over 55 communities in Dallas TX, then it is important to get an understanding of how much that will cost. If you’re planning road trips or international vacations, you’ll also need to have an idea of what your plans will cost you. Ultimately, you need to make a budget for your daily life and any extra plans. It’s still going to be a rough estimate, but be sure to round up to hopefully get you closer to the real number. Then start estimating how much you’ll need in savings and other income sources in order to have enough to retire comfortably.
- Plan. After looking at your estimated Social Security and pension payments and determining how much money you will still need to meet your retirement goals, divide the shortfall by the number of years left until your retirement. That gives you an idea of how much you need to save each year to meet your goal. By creating a savings plan, you can start looking for ways to reduce your current costs, as well as ways to increase your income in order to meet your requirements. This is also a time to reconsider your retirement dreams if it seems your goal isn’t realistic.
- Invest. The closer you are to retirement, the more challenging investing can be. You don’t want to be too risky, but you still want to get as big a return on your investment as possible. There’s no one easy answer, but some options include target date retirement mutual funds. However, make sure you use a low-cost provider to avoid needlessly high expenses. Another option is income-producing real estate with a financed mortgage set so that you are clear by the time of your retirement.
- Throughout all of this, it is important to keep taxes in mind, whether you’re paying them now or once you retire. You should aim for maximum tax deferral by making the most of government-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k), IRA, etc., as well as rental real estate. Both help with tax savings, while also making it much harder for you to get at the money. After all, when it comes to regular savings, it can be too easy to dip into it. Make your money work for you, while avoiding temptation.
This is a simplified approach, but it gets you thinking about what you really need to start doing to achieve your retirement goals. Having real plans and numbers can also give you the incentive to reach those retirement goals.