If you didn’t find your Pot ‘O’ Gold, don’t fret…It’s not too late. Retirement planning can begin today regardless of your age. But, it’s important to implement a plan now so you don’t miss out on the benefits of compound interest.
The biggest barrier to retirement success is failure to plan. People way too often find the whole topic exhausting, especially when the daily financial pressures overwhelm our cash flow planning and consume our attention.
Not planning for retirement though, is a critical mistake. As the years pass us by, we lose the natural investing edge of time. Compounding over time is a huge advantage. It allows our investments to grow exponentially.
Feel like you’ve missed the boat? Nonsense. You are very likely to live longer than you think, so even a mid- to late-career retirement plan strategy can make a huge difference. If you are in your 40s or younger, you have the advantage of time on your side. Don’t delay…get started immediately.
- If you are in your 50s
Many people think of retirement as something that starts at 65 and ends 10 years later. The fact is, many people will live 20 to 25 years beyond retirement. So, it is imperative to have a plan in place that will support us for the extended time.
Power boost your workplace 401(k) to the max and try to add to a Roth IRA as well until you reach a total retirement investment of 15% of your take home pay. If money is tight, consider a part-time job just to fund your retirement planning. Money invested that earns a market return will double approximately every 10 years or so, so over time your retirement account will grow.
- If you are in your 60s
If you already have a nest egg, it’s prudent at this point to begin to scale back risk. However, if you know for a fact that you will work well past 65, and you feel your work income is secure, don’t be in a rush toward slow-growing your investments.
Also, put off Social Security as long as you can. Delaying benefits to the maximum age can increase your monthly payout considerably.
- If you’re already in your 70s
You’re getting a late start, but it’s possible to reduce the financial risk . At this point, saving in low volatility accounts for emergencies is likely the best move, but if you come across a windfall of money, consider investing it.
For instance, downsizing your home might generate some cash, as would an inheritance. If you get any money that you don’t need to spend and your short-term savings is in good shape, a small portfolio prudently invested will be a cushion against the risk of outliving your savings.
Whatever you do, don’t throw up your hands in defeat. You can achieve a more comfortable retirement by setting goals and sticking to them, wherever the starting line turns out to be.