You’ve worked hard your entire life. You’ve scrimped, sacrificed, and saved in anticipation of that great culmination of your labor: Retirement.
Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls along the way that can steal away your financial peace of mind and security in what should be among your most enjoyable, stress-free years. If you want to protect your income to preserve the retirement you deserve, here are a handful of things to be wary of and guard against.
The Unexpected Emergency
Life is full of (unpleasant) surprises, which is why having a plan in place for such occasions is of paramount importance.
Even if you’ve saved well above what you think you’ll need to retire comfortably, an unexpected lawsuit, divorce, illness, accident, or death can send you into a financial spiral in the blink of an eye.
To protect your income, and to protect your loved ones from the fallout of an unexpected emergency, make sure you have plenty of insurance coverage. Take time to decide upon a health plan that’s right for you, and consider purchasing disability insurance.
Splurging on a Dream
There are things we all dream about doing or owning. Many of us work our whole lives in order to afford a specific dream. Whether it’s a car, a dream house, or starting a business—“dream purchases” or investments can be tricky territory for those of us with limited means.
This is not to say you can’t have nice things in your twilight years, but it’s wise to proceed with extreme caution in order to protect your income and assets later in life. Splurging on a dream can torpedo a retirement.
For those considering opening a restaurant, for instance, just about any episode of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” program is a cautionary tale about how easy it is to blow through life savings in pursuit of a dream.
Is the “dream” worth it? More often than not, it’s better to play it conservative and protect your income.
Not Saving Enough
This is pretty straightforward, but most people simply don’t sock away enough cash during their career in order to retire without anxiety. We are living much longer these days, which is great, but that means we need to save even more and plan accordingly.
Another issue is that we often wait too long to begin saving and planning for retirement. It can be difficult to have the foresight to set aside sorely needed cash in the beginning stages of your career, but there are resources to help get you on track. The earlier you can start saving, the better.
Becoming a Provider or Caregiver, Again
“Mom! The meatloaf!” This is a refrain being heard by more and more retirement-age parents as their Millennial children continue to move back home in droves. And while it might be fun having the kids back in the house (maybe?), it can be a huge financial drain. Those iPhones aren’t going to buy themselves, after all.
In addition to helping children, many will eventually find themselves tasked with caring for their aging parents, which can take a tremendous emotional and physical toll in addition to the cost.
Protect Your Income, Your Loved Ones, and Your Retirement
If you want to make the most of your retirement, it pays to be proactive. Saving enough money to live the rest of your days without worry requires careful planning. You can start researching strategies to save for your retirement, regardless of your income level. And regardless of how old you are or where you are in your career, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement.
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