If you’re like most people, then the first thing you think about when it comes to investments is no longer having to go in to work. No more commutes. No more office politics. No more need to glance at the clock on the wall, wondering if it’s working.
In fact, the first three months of retirement are considered the detoxification phase. It takes that long to start to change your thinking and behavior. It’s only after you finally quit working that you come to stop doing everything in a hurry and make more thoughtful decisions.
But before you can get to this place in your life when you can control your time and feel as if you’ve got your life back, you have to carefully plan your retirement, making sure that you insure, budget, save and invest in a sensible way.
While you will probably need insurance for a number of things, you should make sure that life insurance is on your list.
The cost of life insurance will vary, depending on your age and health habits. Generally speaking, though, you only have to spend less than $100 a month to build up a substantial a substantial amount of death benefits, the amount your beneficiaries will receive after you die.
As in most types of fiscal matters, the earlier you start the better. In fact, the number of death benefits after a 20-year term is staggering. So, for instance, if you were to invest a mere $24 a month for 20 years, your beneficiaries would receive about $250,000 worth of insurance. Meanwhile, if you were to invest about $60 worth of insurance over the same period of time, they would receive about $1,000,000 worth of insurance.
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Savings is not easy. On one hand, you’re always surrounded by temptations; and, on the other hand, your dollar does not stretch enough.
But, despite temptations and the rising cost of living, it is important to get into the habit of setting aside some money every month and putting it toward your 401(K).
How much should you set aside? One good rule of thumb is called “the 80% rule.” That is, you should save enough to receive 80% of your salary for 20 years.
Saving is difficult if you don’t budget.
What’s more, you need to budget both before you retire and after you retire.
Budgeting your money before you retire, helps you increase your savings. You may, of course, have to settle for buying less than you want before you retire so that you can have plenty of the things that you do need when you retire.
Budgeting your money after you retire, allows you to buy more of the things you desire to feel in your golden years.
Investing can be complicated because there are so many ways to invest. There are also many technical financial concepts to understand.
Fortunately, you just need to get good at just a few ways of investing to use your money to make money.
Since you’re planning on retirement, you should choose investments that will give you a decent return on your money without too much risk. Consider safer investments like Treasury inflation-protected securities, annuities, real estate investment trusts, dividend-paying stocks, municipal bonds, and US Treasury notes and bonds.
In summary, the four essential things you will need to do to prepare for retirement are insurance, saving, budgeting, and investing.