Your Retirement Plans Under A Microscope

Retirement plans

Retirement Is About Financial Survival

You’ve heard it before “money isn’t everything and money cannot buy you happiness”.   But have you heard that without enough money you will not survive retirement?   That makes sense.   Once you leave the work force and start retirement your cash flow, your pay checks, stop.

If you didn’t save enough money from your pay checks, once they stop how will you continue to pay your bills?   Moving in with your kids might work.

Do yourself a favor; think ahead and start planning today for tomorrow so that some day when you are ready to retire your only option is not combining households with your kids due to lack of retirement income.

You could live 30 years after you retire.   Your investments need to last that long.

Get The Microscope Out Before Retirement

To make sure your investments can generate the retirement income you will need to survive retirement take a microscopic look at your financial life before it’s too late.

Once you retire, it’s too late, your time is up!!  You had your time to work, earn and save money.   You only get your working years to accumulate retirement money.

Let The Analysis Begin

The best time to scrutinize your financial life is while you are still earning a pay check because you can still make any necessary corrections.

Step #1 – What Do You Have Now?

Can your sources of money support you?   Add it all up.

  • What is the current value of your retirement plans?
  • If social security is still available, what will your pay out be?
  • What is the value of your other personal investments?
  • Do you own real estate?  What is the value of that?

Step #2 – What Will You Need?

Use a retirement calculator to determine your financial needs.  A retirement calculator takes into consideration income and expenses.   You just added up your income sources in Step #1, now let’s look at your expenses.

  • Review all current expenses: insurances, home maintenance expenses, auto expenses, real estate taxes, association fees, health care costs, medications, deductibles, etc.
  • Forecast your future expenses.  Will any adjustments to expenses have to be made after you retire; additional expenses or the elimination of some.   Will you down size your home or move to a cheaper location?   Will you still have a mortgage, hopefully you paid that off before retirement.

Step #3 – Close Financial Gaps|What You Have, What You Need

Change Financial Habits

You can save money by adjusting your financial habits.

  • Everyone needs to get to know retirement before it comes.
    photo by acclaro

    Live on a budget

  • Clip and use coupons.
  • Raise the deductibles on your auto and home insurance policies.
  • Do your own landscaping vs hiring a service.
  • Clean your own house vs hiring a cleaning service.
  • Avoid ATM fees; find a bank that does not charge ATM fees, those fees can add up.
  • Watch the use of credit cards.   Avoid credit card balances, the fees and interest on balances are a waste of money.
  • Check the features on your cable, internet and cell phone; are there any that you no longer use or need?   Can you switch to a smaller package or save money by combining features?
  • Save money, buy in bulk.
  • Avoid coffee “on-the-go”.   Make coffee at home, save money.
  • The “lunch-out” because you slept in and didn’t allow for time to pack lunch at home costs money.
  • Cut back on eating dinner out; make it a treat to dine out, not a mandatory occasion.
Income Generating Solution

Cutting back on your spending is one way to close the financial gap between what you have and need.  Another solution is to find a way to generate a stream of income that you cannot outlive.   There is actually a way to do that.

Many investors use annuities as a way to supplement their retirement income.   Annuities are designed to pay out a lifetime stream of income.

You Have It Or You Don’t

When you reach retirement you either have the money or you don’t.   If you have enough money during retirement you survive, you don’t, you sink.   The choice is entirely yours; make the right one.


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