Best Savings and Budget Strategies for a Comfortable Retirement
When a person decides he or she wants to begin to save or develop a budget for retirement, it’s important to first consider other goals and expectations with respect to this stage of life. In fact, it's very much like a traveling train; it must leave one station before arriving at another. So, as we begin to develop the best savings and budget strategies for a comfortable retirement, we first have to take stock of all associated expectations and concerns. First, let’s dive into expectations.
Before you sit down and really get into the numbers for savings goals and retirement budgets, first consider your expectations. There are all sorts of items to built around, and we’ll examine a few of those here. For example, do you plan to work in retirement? If the answer is no, that will dramatically impact your savings and your budget. Of course, you can take the more conservative approach that you'll plan for retirement as if you won’t be working—meaning that any eventual decisions to work will result in extra income. Either which way, this is one expectation that directly impacts your savings rate and your budget: whether or not you have income coming in during retirement. Will that income result from part-time work? Will you only work part time for a few years? Or will this be something you plan to do for most of your retirement until you can't physically work anymore? These are all factors to consider.
Now, let’s discuss some relevant lifestyle concerns. Will you enjoy an active lifestyle during retirement? Will you hike? Ride bicycles? Participate in running groups, exercise, swimming, tennis, or golf? This is yet another expectation: the amount of exercise you’ll partake in. Some additional considerations include if you plan to have a quiet retirement or will take time to travel. Naturally, international travel will cost more than domestic travel, of course.
Travel is in fact one key area where it’s important to really drill down into associated expectations. Do you envision yourself going to Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, the Bahamas, Mexico, and/or South America? What type of travel is best suited for you? Maybe this means just getting into your car and driving to go see relatives a few cities or states away. Knowing the type of travel you plan to do greatly impacts your savings and budgeting. Then of course, tack on other activities like time spent with friends, opportunities to help others—not merely volunteering your time, but donating charity money as well—and maybe even moving into a new home. How much money do you plan to gift other people? Once you are retired, what do you think is an appropriate amount to give away? If you move into a new home, will it be more or less expensive than the one you occupied while employed?
Start A Business?
Also, you'll have to decide whether or not you intend to start a business. And of course, everybody wants less stress and more peace of mind during retirement. What will this look like for you? Will it require you to spend money, move to varied locations, or buy specific types of items that will help you reach this goal? These can even take shape as services, rather than things. So, that's Step No. 1: review your expectations before discussing the best savings and budget strategies for retirement.
- Money. Step No. 2 takes shape as working to fully identify and examine your concerns: first, with respect to money. Are you concerned about not having a paycheck anymore? What about the possibility of running out of money? Suffering investment losses? Leaving money to others? Spending too much money? Any of these five concerns will impact your strategy. For example, we've already discussed that if you won’t have a paycheck anymore, that will require more savings as compared with retirees who still plan to work on a part-time basis. Perhaps you have a stressful job now that you wish to retire from and move into a less demanding position—retiring from your full-blown career, so to speak. Then of course, if you are concerned about running out of money and suffering investment losses, you’ll certainly want to save more, lower your budget, and select investments that are less risky than those chosen by others who don’t share those concerns. Of course, everyone is concerned about running out of money, but this occurs at varying degrees. What about leaving money to others? If someone sets out to do this, he or she will need to save more and budget less. These are all concerns you should identify, rate, and decide how important they are to you.
- The next category is with respect to personal and family concerns. Are you concerned about being bored? If you’re married, spending too much time together? Providing care for parents? Helping out with family financial needs? Kids moving home? Caring for a child with special needs? All of these are legitimate and major concerns that must be addressed before you cherry pick the best savings and budget strategies for a comfortable retirement—and are all matters that can help you develop your plan to make retirement the best stage of your life.
Yet, as Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Keeping this in mind, you want to do your best to consider the very important question of how long you plan to live in your retirement plan. Living to 85 will require a much different savings and budgeting plan than if you plan on living to 90 or 95, for example; and so, life expectation is another key ingredient when developing your financial retirement strategies.
- Finally, beyond concerns, expectations, and life expectancy, the last consideration we’ll discuss in this article are goals. These can take shape as many different factors during retirement: for example, a wedding. Do you plan to finance this milestone event for your daughter or granddaughter? If the answer is yes, then you will need to factor the wedding gift into your budget. Or, if you plan on starting a business, know that the corresponding process is not cheap. Of course, we all dream of starting a business that is immediately profitable, but the cold, hard truth is 95% of small businesses fail within the first five years. As such, there is an overwhelming chance that your business startup could end up as an expense rather than the income-generating moneymaker you originally envisioned. That's a tough reality to face.
Are you planning to engage in home improvement projects? These costs will vary by job. For example, installing solar panels in your home will be less expensive than renovating your kitchen. What about renovating a bathroom? Finishing a basement? All of these home improvements and renovations summon costs that must be included in your plan to determine your savings rate and budget. At the end of the day, you can't just develop a strategy without addressing some of the items mentioned right here in this newsletter.
In summary, the best savings, budget, and strategies for a comfortable retirement include planning ahead to address what you truly want out of this time in your life.
Make sure you are fully aware of the emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial costs for all factors affecting your retirement goals, and then save for those goals accordingly. Then, develop a budget that will allow you to meet all of your expectations. That's truly the best strategy: pinpoint your dream and destination first before proceeding to the execution stage in the process.
Set Up a Free 20 Minute Call
If any of you would like to discuss your savings plan or budget so that you can enjoy a comfortable retirement, click on this link to set up a 20-minute no cost, no obligation retirement rate of success call with me. We can go over where you are now, where you want to be, and I will share with you some tips I implement with my clients to help ensure retirement is the best stage of their life.