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Preparing for Retirement: 5 Things You Need to Do Today

Preparing for Retirement: 5 Things You Need to Do Today

It has been said that he who fails to plan, plans to fail. In the world in which we live, it’s all too tempting to focus on the here and now, rather than peer into an uncertain and somewhat frightening future. When it comes to retirement, however, the less light you choose to shed on your later years, the murkier and more foreboding they become. Whether you are starting your first job or winding down your last, here are 5 things you need to do to ready yourself financially for retirement.

1. Start Saving Today

Few people in their twenties, thirties, or even forties spend the time or show an inclination to start thinking about retirement. Work, kids, hanging out with friends—it’s all you can do to just keep the pace. However, this is the best period to start putting money away for the future, while your earning potential is climbing and time is on your side. The more you can set aside while you are young, the better—that money will continue to compound over time and be there when you really need it.

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2. Invest Wisely

Setting up an investment plan designed to benefit you in your later years is just as important as saving money while you are young. Distinguishable from the rest of your financial portfolio, your retirement plan features accounts such as a 401k or an IRA. These types of plans are fed by contributions from earned income, which grow tax-deferred over the life of the account. No matter what you do for a living or how much you make per year, if you are a working adult, this is something you need to establish as soon as possible.

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3. Put Health First

It’s always when you have good health that you take it for granted, or find excuses (like long hours at work) to push preventative healthcare down on the list of priorities. However, taking good care of yourself now is a winning strategy in planning for your future, as you will not only be fit today, but able-bodied in your later years. Most importantly, by seeing your doctor regularly, getting your heart pumping a few times a week, and eating right, you’re doing what you can to protect against medical pitfalls that can limit your ability to earn and save, or burn through your retirement savings in one fell swoop.

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4. Draw a Plan

When creating a thorough plan, sit down and consider as many factors as possible, including determining at what age you would like to retire, and how you envision living the rest of your life. You need to come up with an amount of money that you will require per month to meet your estimated expenditures. Calculate how much you need to save, along with any pensions or social security benefits, to meet your goal.

5. Live on a Budget

If you aren’t yet, it’s highly advisable that you experience living on a budget, much like the one that will be your reality in your retirement years. Not only will it prepare you for the future, but it can also shed light on how, why, and where you spend money, thus exposing ways to be more efficient. With the money you save, you can increase your efforts to get ahead, doubling down now on a bet that’s sure to pay off when you need it most.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing wrong with living life in the moment, but it’s crucial that you also begin to plan for your future. By getting your savings in order, setting up the appropriate investment accounts, and having a solid plan, you ensure that your golden years will be rewarding ones.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

We all like to dream about being financially wealthy. For most people though, it remains a dream and nothing more. Why is that?

It’s because most people don’t set their mind to achieving that goal. They might not be happy in their current situation but they’re comfortable – and comfort is one of the biggest enemies of growth.

How do you go about developing that millionaire mindset? By following these simple steps:

1. Focus On What You Want – And Take It!

So many people are too timid to admit they want something and go for it. When there is something that you want to accomplish don’t think “I could never actually do that”, think “I could do that and I WILL do that”.

Millionaires play to win, not to avoid defeat.

This doesn’t mean to have to become a selfish jerk. What it means is becoming more assertive and honest with yourself. You don’t have to grab off other people. There is a big pot of unclaimed gold in the middle of the table — why shouldn’t you be the one to claim it? You deserve it!

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2. Become Goal-Orientated

It’s almost impossible to achieve anything if you don’t set firm goals. Only lottery winners become millionaires overnight. By setting yourself attainable goals, you will get there eventually. Don’t try to get rich quickly — get rich slowly.

Let’s take the idea of making your first million dollars and expand on what kind of goals you might set to get there. Let’s also say you’re starting at a break-even position – you’re making enough to get by with a few luxuries, but nothing more.

Your goal for the first year can be having $10,000 in the bank within a year. It won’t be easy but it is doable. Next, you need to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

Always look at ways to make growth before cutbacks. With that in mind, you might want to see if you can negotiate a pay rise with your boss, or if there’s another job out there that will pay better. You might be comfortable in your old job but remember, comfort stunts growth.

You may also have other skills outside of your workplace that you can monetize to boost your bank balance. Maybe you can design websites for people, at a fee of course, or make alterations to clothes.

If this is still not enough to make the money you need to save $10,000 in a year, then it’s time to look at cutbacks. Do you have a bunch of old junk that someone else might love? Sell it! Do you really need to spend $10 on your lunch everyday when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost?

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If you are to become a millionaire, you need to start accumulating money.

Here’re some tips to help you: How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

3. Don’t Spend Your Money – Invest It

The reason you need to accumulate money is for step three. Millionaires tend to be frugal people, and that’s because they know the true value of money is in investing. Being your own boss goes hand-in-hand with becoming a millionaire. You’ll want to quit your regular job at some point.

Stop working for your money and make your money work for you.

Rather than buying yourself a new iPad, that $500 could be used to invest in the stock market. Find the right shares (more on that later), and that money could easily double within a year.

There’s not just the stock market — there’s also property, and your own education.

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4. Never Stop Learning

The best thing you can invest in is yourself.

Once most people leave the education system, they think their learning days are over. Well theirs might be, but yours shouldn’t be. Successful people continually learn and adapt.

Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he turned twenty. Most people never read another book after they’ve left school. Who would you rather be?

Learn everything you can about how economics works, how the stocks markets work, how they trend.

Learn new skills. If you have an interest in it, learn everything you can about it. You’d be surprised at how often, seemingly useless skills, can become extremely useful in the right situation.

Start developing the habit of learning continuously: How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You

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5. Think Big

While I advise to start off with small goals, you absolutely should have a big goal in mind. If you have a business idea, then that is your ultimate goal – to start that business and make a success of it. If you want to invest your way to millions of dollars and do little work other than research, then that is your big goal.

There is no shame in not achieving a big goal. If you run a business and aim to make $1 million profit in a year and “only” make $200,000, then you’re still significantly ahead of most people.

Aim for the stars, if you fail you’ll still be over the moon.

6. Enjoy the Attention

To be successful, you have to be willing to promote yourself and enjoy the attention to a certain extent. Now the attention doesn’t need to be on yourself, it could be on your brand, but attention definitely attracts money.

Never be embarrassed to get your name out there. That means finding a spotlight and being brave enough to step right up underneath it.

If you run a business, try contacting the local papers. You’d be surprised at how amenable they often are to running a story about you and your business, and it’s all free publicity.

Above all, remember: You control your own destiny. Push hard enough for anything and you’ll get it.

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Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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