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4 Proven Tips on How to Successfully Plan Your Retirement

4 Proven Tips on How to Successfully Plan Your Retirement

We all would like to have financial security in the future, but most of us aren’t taking the right path toward this goal. Planning for your future isn’t something that should be taken lightly. A financial literacy survey found that 40% of the American population will never make enough money to allow them to retire.

That’s a huge blow as this number is very high. Almost 50% of the population will most likely have to work for a life-long period in order to survive. With that being said, you have to take action so you don’t fall into this group of people. As a way to help you out, I’m going to share some proven tips with you to help you plan your financial’s future.

1. Use your money wisely.

As soon as you start working, you should plan how to utilize your money in the right manner. I know you may like buying beautiful things, but you should also put in your head that you’re making someone else wealthier as you’re lowering your saving. Assured Retirement Group states:

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Budgeting helps you manage your cash flow so that your income remains higher than your expenses.

However, I’m not claiming that you shouldn’t buy things you’re in need of, but you should be responsible as to how you’re spending your money. Buy things you need instead of buying those you want. There’s a big difference between these two. Once you start doing that you’ll be surprised to see how much money you’re actually saving which would’ve been gone down the drain.

2. Reduce your household costs.

If you’re about to be retired and no longer have the need for a big house because your children are all grown ups and out on their own, you’ll have to cut down on your housing costs. There’s no justification for spending money on something that’s not needed while you could be using that money for your much needed needs.

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Try to pay off all your debts or at least most of them if you can. Going into retirement debt free will definitely gives you peace of mind. Your retirement years should be the period of time where you’ll only have to enjoy the rest of your life. It shouldn’t be some additional years of you having to keep thinking about your expenses and debts.

3. Investing is far superior than saving.

It’s always a great idea to open a saving bank account; it gives you a form of a safe storage to put your money into. Though they claim that their customers earn interests on their saving, it’s really not significant if your account’s size isn’t a very large one.

Your best bet to make profits with your hard earned money is by investing. There are various ways you can take to invest your money. For example, you can buy stocks, you can open a small business, or you can open a CD account instead of a saving one. These are just a few options that you can take advantage of.

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4. Seek for professional help.

Oftentimes people are looking for suggestions to know whether or not they should start planning for retirement. In reality the earlier you can start the better it is for you. It would be in your advantage if you can start planning your retirement at a younger age, which would enable you to stop working before the average age.

If you’re interested to take the initial step and don’t know how to approach that, you can hire a Financial Advisor at a very reasonable cost to help you through.

Your current investments, Social Security benefits, or pension plans will play a huge role in this process if you’re not currently working. That’s because you’ll need a source of income in order to start planning your retirement. If you don’t have a source of income you can’t think about retirement.

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Overall

Many people won’t be able to afford going into retirement; however, it’s something that we all would like to achieve in our lifetime. If you’re working or if you have a source of income, you shouldn’t have any problem planning your retirement.

I’ve shared some proven tips with you throughout this blog post, taking some of them in consideration can take you a long way with your plan. Be smart about it; don’t wait the very last minute to start thinking about retirement. It just doesn’t work that way. Good luck with your plan, I’m hoping you have a successful retirement.

Featured photo credit: Travel Planet via travelplanet.in

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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