I’m going to talk about what you can do if You Think That You’re Behind On Saving Money For Retirement.
I think this is actually a category that quite a few people might actually find themselves in and if you’re in that position where you think you’re behind on saving money for retirement, it can actually be pretty stressful. Especially as you’re getting closer and closer to that age when you want to retire and maybe you’re even seeing some of your friends start to seriously talk about retiring or possibly even retired themselves. So here’s a couple of things that I wrote down that you can do to try to maybe alleviate some of that stress.
So the first thing that I usually like to do when I find myself in a stressful situation is to write everything down. To try to get as much of what my problem is, or what I perceive my problem to be. Get it all out on paper. So in this case, if you’re worried about saving money for retirement, the first thing to do is really to kind of take an inventory of where you’re at right now for retirement.
I mentioned it yesterday in yesterday’s video blog, but we recently put together a great three-part mini workshop to help you do exactly that. There’s some great worksheets that can really help you identify your expenses.
Look at where you’re currently spending money, where do you think you’re gonna spend money in retirement. We’re also going into that mini workshop to help you identify your retirement gap, so you can really see how close or how far are you away from that retirement goal. And then in part three of the mini workshop, we start to look at some ways to help you potentially fill that retirement gap. So that’s number one. Get everything out on paper. Usually just that exercise will tend to help you, make you feel a lot better.
Number two is that, take a look at where you’re spending money. So after you’ve written down some of those expenses, what I think a lot of people many find themselves in a position is, is they say: “I know I need to be saving money for retirement” or “I should be saving more money towards my retirement, “but I just don’t, I can’t seem to make that happen. “I can’t find the money to be able to do that.” So what that means, essentially, is that your cash flow has gotten all out of whack. And is maybe a little bit upside down. And that’s pretty easy to have that happen because as time goes on, expenses creep up and I know over the last eight to 10 years or so since the big financial meltdown from 2008, it seems like expenses have gone up a lot faster than incomes have gone up. And so, where you might have been in a really great financial position five or 10 years ago, now all of a sudden that cash flow is a lot tighter.
The other thing that happens, I’m 45 years old and I’ve got a couple of high-schoolers as I’ve mentioned, and my expenses have kind of crept up over the last couple of years. It seems like every time I turn around, there’s money that’s for something the kids need. It’s a sports event, it’s a dance at school, it’s new clothes that they just out-grew. So, I know first hand how expenses can get out of control. So take a look at that, see where you’re spending money, and try to identify where there may be some opportunities to limit that.
What I also find is that a lot of financial planners talk about, tackling the discretionary spending. And they will tell you not to go out to dinner as often, stop going to the movies, you know. Kind of really tighten the belt. Don’t buy as expensive groceries. But really, I think for a lot of us, there may be some real opportunities to tackle some of those big expenses. I like to call them the big four. Taxes, housing, insurance, and debt. And those are some things that if we can cut a little bit out of some of those areas, we can really potentially improve our cash flow situation without it maybe necessarily even affecting our lifestyle very much.
The third thing that we can look at to help us get a little bit more closely to planning for retirement is to look at some of those lifestyle things. As an example, I know a lot of people talk about potentially downsizing their house as they get closer to retirement, but maybe that’s something that you could even look at or explore now. You know, even if you’re still five or 10 years away from retirement. So if you’re planning on say, potentially downsizing your house anyway, maybe it makes sense to do that now. That way, you have five or 10 years where you’re still working and then you can potentially beef up the amount of money that you’re putting away into retirement accounts.
Cars are another thing. In fact, I’m gonna do one of my future video blogs about car related expenses. But cars have gotten very, very expensive. And with leases out there and all the new fancy bells and whistles that cars have today, car payments have become a huge percentage of a lot of people’s everyday cash flow. And so, maybe looking at that. Do you have to have an expensive car? We know a car’s a depreciating asset, it’s never gonna get more valuable unless you have some kind of a collector car or something. But most likely, cars are not gonna get more value, they’re just gonna keep depreciating for the entire time that you own them. So that’s another big area that you could potentially cut a little bit.
Those are a few things there. Like I said, I put together this mini workshop and really it’s a great way to kind of take a look at where you’re at for retirement, like I said, identify the retirement gap and I think once you do that, for most people, you’ll start to feel a lot more comfortable about where you’re at for retirement.
What I Do
I help individuals make the transition from working to retirement.
As you approach retirement you will be making some of the most important financial decisions of your life. Most of these decisions don’t get a do-over, once you’ve made them your stuck.
My goal is to help you get the most out of your retirement resources. I do this by coordinating and optimizing what I call the 7 Core Elements of Retirement Planning.
It all starts with a plan!
We use advanced financial planning software to help you understand your retirement cash flow so you know where the gaps are.
Understanding your retirement gap is the foundation to getting the most out out of your retirement resources and avoiding costly mistakes.