You may have started out your working life thinking that retirement was a long way off and then suddenly woke up and you were in your fifties without a dime saved for that “far away” goal. Not to worry, you can still save enough money to avoid facing life as an impoverished senior citizen and you don’t even have to give up everything you love to do it. Here’s how.
Acknowledge That It is Better Late Than Never
The first step to starting your retirement late is to realize that it really is better late than never. You may not have heeded advice to save for your golden years but for you to move forward you need to let go of the guilt and look at your future instead of wallowing in the mistakes of the past.
Redefine What Retirement Means to You
When you have forgiven yourself for starting late the next step is to redefine what retirement means to you. You may not be able to clock out of your regular job as early as some of your other friends but that doesn’t mean you need to commit to working the same hours as you did in your twenties. You may be able to work less if you save enough to supplement the income you will lose as a result. You might even find that working part time gives you something to look forward to and creates opportunities for you to socialize.
Start Contributing to a Plan
Don’t put off contributing to a retirement plan for another moment. Start investigating the retirement options at your place of work and take up any matching offers from your employer. You may decide to use an employer plan or to start an annuity or a registered 401(k) plan. Whatever you decide, you need to start it immediately and then set up a standing order to take care of subsequent contributions.
Take Advantage of Catch-Up Options
The government makes provisions for those who are over fifty to make extra tax-free retirement contributions. Never let this opportunity pass you by. Find out what allowances you qualify for and maximize them as far as you can.
Don’t Be So Conservative
The time to be conservative is long gone. Of course this doesn’t mean you need to go wild and invest your entire retirement fund in the stock market but you also should not opt for a totally risk-free option because you won’t benefit from more attractive rates of interest. To have a decent nest-egg you need to put your money to work.
Pay Off Debt
Finally, you should try to pay off all your outstanding debt. If you are carrying excessive debt chances you are paying out more in interest than you are able to make on your investments, which means you are perpetually in a negative financial state. To give yourself the best chance at a solid retirement plan you should pay off your debt while also contributing to a retirement fund.