No matter what stage of life you are at, it is always worth looking ahead with one eye on retirement. Not only should you have a good idea of how you plan on filling the time, but you should also know how you are going to fund this lifestyle. Unfortunately, far too many of us are simply not doing enough to prepare for retirement from a financial point of view. Young people think that they are so many years away from retirement that they don’t really have to worry, but it can sneak up on you a lot sooner than you would think! Proper wealth management is worth learning at the earliest possible opportunity. Here are a few top tips that can prove to be useful.
Get Independent Financial Advice
Your own wealth and money situation can be difficult to properly assess on your own. This is why it is worthwhile getting a wealth management advisor who can look at it for you. Simply putting money into a savings account or retirement fund may not be the best way to achieve the retirement you are looking for. Instead, making shrewd investments and choosing a better retirement fund can end up compounding and making a huge difference to your retirement prospects. When you get the advice, it is up to you whether or not to follow it. Ultimately, just getting that third-party perspective can be enormously worthwhile in so many different ways.
Put Achievable Goals in Place
In terms of retirement funding, one of the best ways of getting to a comfortable position is to put clear and achievable goals in place. People tend to be more focused and work better when they have something to aim at. This could be a certain figure that you have in mind for your pension pot. However, it can seem a long way off. You may want to have hundreds of thousands saved by the time you hit 65, but you need to break this down into achievable yearly and monthly goals. A financial advisor or a wealth manager can help you to put these goals in place if you are struggling on your own. It takes a combination of perseverance and discipline in order to reach them successfully. Of course, this is a difficult balance to get right, but the rewards at the end are certainly worthwhile.
Envisage Your Retirement
Not everybody’s retirement will look exactly the same, so it is worth planning your own as this will give you a better idea of what your goals need to be. For example, if you already own your own home, do you plan on living there during your retirement? A common option that many people utilize is to downsize their property in order to free up some funds. You should also do the basic research of how much of a state pension you can expect to receive. Also, think about whether you would like to retire in one go or whether you would like to phase this out or stagger your working overtime. Other aspects of proper retirement planning involve putting together a will for you to pass on your wealth. If you have any dependents, you also need to factor them into your planning as well.
Look at Your Income and Expenses
The changes you make now regarding your financial situation can add up and make a big difference to your long-term future. For example, if you get into the habit of practicing frugality now, you are more likely to be able to accumulate the money you need for a better retirement. Budget planning is a useful skill that you can carry with you for life. This means being able to account for everything that is coming out of your account every month with no nasty surprises along the way! Also, you should get into the habit of putting money away into an emergency fund. This means that you have something to draw upon if you ever find yourself in the situation of not having a regular income for any reason. Another good practice to get into is the diversification of your earning potential. Rather than just having a single source of money from your main job, you should also look at the business opportunities and freelance jobs on the side that allow you to bring in new revenue. This way, you always have something to fall back on should you ever need it at some point down the road.
Automate Where Possible
A big problem with the money management of a lot of people is that they simply don’t remember to save. This naturally means that they are not maximizing their potential. Rather than having to remember to do this each and every month, it is better if you automate the process and take it out of your hands entirely. So, you should set your account to transfer a certain amount into your retirement fund. This way, this is not money that you will be tempted to spend, and it will be used with a higher purpose in mind.
Practice Good Money Habits
We have already talked a little bit about the money habits that can lead to success, but there is plenty more that you can do. While some of these things may seem small, they can add up to you achieving the type of success that you are looking for. For example, it is worthwhile to get out of the habit of impulse buying. Much of the time, these are the purchases that don’t bring a great deal of joy to our lives anyway, and there is no point spending on stuff that you don’t really need. Before you make a purchase, it is worth taking a step back and working out whether or not this is something you need in your life. This is particularly important for bigger expenditures. Give yourself a period of a few days or even a couple of weeks to make a decision. If you do conclude that it is worthwhile, you should shop around in an effort to get the best price for yourself. There is no point in paying more if you don’t have to. A follow-on point to this one is that you should not spend money just to ‘keep up with the Jones’’. If you are buying something, it should provide genuine value to your own life. The simple act of talking about money with your nearest and dearest can also prove to be invaluable in so many ways, so don’t treat your finances like a poker hand that you are trying not to show.
Maximize Your Pensions
Your pensions are likely to provide you with the bulk of your income for retirement. Therefore, you should make sure that they are working as hard as possible for you. The first good habit to get into is the monitoring of your pension pot. This way, you can keep an eye on it relative to whether or not you are on track to achieve your financial goals, ready for when you do retire. When you have an employer, they will usually contribute a certain percentage towards your retirement fund as well. You may be able to increase the amount that you are contributing to increase what your employer is paying as well. The other main course of action that you can take is to build up your state pension. It may not be the case that you automatically qualify for the full amount, but you may instead have to make contributions along the way.
Get Your Estate in Order
Planning for your own retirement is obviously important, but you also need to look at your estate as a whole to determine what you will be passing down to your nearest and dearest. You need to think about You have worked hard to build up your estate, and you don’t want to pay any more tax than is strictly necessary. You do not want to get caught out with any rule or regulation changes, which is why many people employ a financial advisor, wealth manager, or accountant to ensure that they remain on top of everything. You also need to make sure that you have a clear will in place and people are made aware of your intentions for after you pass away. Otherwise, a lot of wrangling over money can occur, and this can be potentially destructive in so many different ways.
Review Your Financial Goals
We talked earlier about the importance of financial goals, but it is also worth recognizing that these do not necessarily stay the same throughout your life. Therefore, you should always take the time to reassess your current situation and work out whether your goals are still relevant to you. There are many situations when a change may be in order. For example, if you have just experienced a sudden drop in income, you will not be able to hit the same savings goals that you had originally set for yourself. If you suddenly change your plans for retirement, you may need to reassess your financial goals – whether this increases or decreases the amount you are saving.
Take Time for Enjoyment
While your financial and retirement goals are obviously hugely important to you, this does not mean that you have to stop enjoying all the other areas of your life. You never know what could happen along the way, and you don’t want to have any regrets. Often, people find that the emphasis that they have placed on having enjoyable experiences is more worthwhile than the possessions that they accumulate along the way. For example, a family holiday can often end up being a lot more memorable than a new car. The point of good money management is that you don’t deny yourself every treat and treasure in life. You work out the things that are most important to you and spend money based on them.
Planning for a financially comfortable retirement is worthwhile no matter what stage of life you are currently at. This way, you give yourself peace of mind that you are going to achieve your goals and enjoy a more comfortable retirement, which is full of the things that you love and want to spend your time doing. With many of us living longer than ever, it is more likely that we will have longer retirements; as a result, so we need to be prepared for what this means.