TedTalks: Saving for Tomorrow

It’s easy to imagine saving money next week, but how about right now? Generally, we want to spend it. Economist Shlomo Benartzi says this is one of the biggest obstacles to saving enough for retirement, and asks: How do we turn this behavioral challenge into a behavioral solution?

4 Types of Retirement Accounts

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. There are various types of retirement accounts that allow you to start saving for the future your way – so when you retire, you can hopefully keep living the lifestyle you’re used to.

Transition into a Long and Happy Retirement

Retirement, Scott Storick

For years, you have asked yourself when this day will come. There have even been times where you have doubted that it will come at all. But like many Americans who have experienced a long and fruitful career, retirement is always just around the corner.

Now, what you may not know is that when it comes to retirement, preparing for the transition is just as important as saving for the transition. Yes, having the financial funding plays a vital role in the activities and opportunities for your golden years, but the biggest hurdle is the starting point. Many experts have even recommended easing out of work and into retirement with a planned and measured approach than going about it cold turkey. The reason why is because we are use to working. For thirty or so years, you have played a vital role at your companies. The transition from the daily 9-to-5 hassle and bustle will more and more difficult, especially when it comes to your personal activities when you do enter into your retirement.

But fear not! Below, I have provided some crucial and helpful steps to ease you into your golden years. These tips will provide the much-needed buffers as you begin enjoying the rest of your life.

To start off, begin your process by cutting back on your work hours. Weeding off the routine of the 9-to-5 is never an easy thing to do. You have seen this first hand with your weekends, especially for those young professionals coming out of college. But considering part-time hours can help you prepare your physical and mental transition each and every day. This will allow you to get accustomed to the leisure hours as well as new activities for your future golden years.

Once you cut back on your hours, begin cutting back on your expenses. While before you could splurge on things on a daily basis, retirement, in itself, limits your financial holdings to whatever sum you have saved for your future. To get acquainted with your new budget, begin altering your lifestyle that is more pragmatic and tangible to the funding you will have in the future. Now I am not saying for you to cut those morning coffees. Instead, maybe cut those bigger expenses such as clothing apparel or unnecessary trips.

Now with all the new extra time, you want to make sure you are utilizing it to its fullest. For that to happen, begin thinking about your own passions and interest. Some elderly enjoy watching television. Others, however, enjoy other activities such as sports, biking, traveling, etc. Whatever is the case, be sure to optimize your hobby! This will force you to stay active and youthful!

Once that is done, try and gain a holistic understanding of your day-to-day schedule. By managing your time efficiently and effectively, you will be able to develop a stronger and more tangible schedule for your future.

Now, like anything in life, this will not always be easy. But by identifying these roadblocks will allow you to ease your way into your new lifestyle. This in turn will promote a more happier and joyful welcoming when you finally retire.

Thinking of Never Retiring? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Young entrepreneurs join the workforce with the drive to achieve many high goals. One common goal of aspiring entrepreneurs is to work for their entire lives. While many people look forward to the relaxing days of retirement, many young entrepreneurs are not writing this into the game plan. This issue is up for contention, as the never retiring lifestyle is not necessarily as glamorous as it may seem.

At the age of 85, Warren Buffett is still kicking and says he’ll never retire. He fully believes that working for your entire life leads to a more enriching lifestyle. Here are a few of the pros to never retiring:

1) You’ll increase your earnings

So many people are calculating the age at which they can afford to retire. But if you work beyond this age, you can increase your funds. These funds serve as a safety net in case there is a financial upheaval, as well as providing some extra money for your own personal enjoyment. If you do retire, then all of the money you can use for the rest of your life with be either from your savings or from income generated by your investments. Healthcare costs are increasing and the American lifespan is greatly increasing as well. With these changes, your lifestyle can lose its luster if you retire.

2) If you love your job, keep doing it!

When you get to the typical “retirement age”, do you really want to stop working or do you just think you’re supposed to? If you love your work, why quit? Many people after retirement begin to lose a sense of purpose. If you keep working, that sense of purpose will be here to stay.

So how about if you don’t love your job? You may want to make a change. But who says that the change you need to make is a retirement? Instead of no longer working, it might be better to look for a second career, or maybe even start your own company!

3) You worked hard to develop these skills, why not continue putting them to use?

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that more and more employers are recognizing the knowledge and experience that an older employee can bring to a position. As many Baby Boomers retire, employers are getting concerned that their access to this knowledge will be limited.

Nowadays, there are a growing number of options in terms of work schedules. There may be more options available to employees who are approaching retirement age than either working full-time or not working at all. If you are getting to retirement age, why not try to renegotiate your hours or time off? This experience will have you much more engaged than you would be if you simply retired.

On the other side of the coin, Jay Jay French of the band Twisted Sister warns us not to be too excited about never retiring. The truth about working when you’re older is that your physical health and mental capacity is not what it was when you are younger. As employees work past the typical retirement age, whether that’s in a rock band or in an office, they are more likely to experience health issues that can affect their work.

Many younger people see the “never retiring lifestyle” as an opportunity to be a powerhouse for the rest of your life. While working for your entire life can certainly be fulfilling, it is important to remember that certain adjustments may need to be made due to health problems and other effects of aging. Luckily, this is where Buffett’s advice regarding work schedules comes in. Working your entire life can be enriching as long as you shift your schedule and other aspects of your work life to accommodate your needs.

The Problems of Borrowing from Your Retirement Plan

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When it comes to your finances, debt is one of the things that can prevent you from meeting your monthly and annual financial goals. For any person, debt is our financial obligation that we pay at a given period of time. The one thing you need to comprehend is that debt can delay your retirement altogether.

If you are struggling to pay the bills, it can be clear that you cannot meet your financial obligations such as long-term savings or retirement. With the 2016-year starting off, try and make a plan on how you can pay off your debt in the most efficient and effective way. Try not and make the mistake of taking out of your retirement plan. The purpose of a retirement plan is to finance your post-work years, allowing you to maintain a financial holding for your personal standard way of living. Any type of withdrawals permitted under the plan can compromise the amount and your future.

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As such, any financial or retirement advisor will encourage you to both save and defer from making any withdrawals. The reason is because there are negative repercussions when you do. Taking a loan from your retirement account may adversely affect your retirement savings. The only time you do this is if you have exhausted your other financial options. For instance, if you have a credit card balance of $10,000.00 dollars with an interest rate of 20% and you can only afford $200.00 dollars per month, it might make financial sense to take a loan from your retirement to pay of that exceeding balance.

When it comes to taking a loan or making a withdrawal, it is imperative that you understand the difference between the two. When withdrawing from your account, you are removing a portion of your balance and reducing the numbered amount from your assets in your portfolio. In comparison, with a loan, the loan itself is treated as part of your portfolio. Unlike a withdrawal where you are not required to return the amount, with a loan you will be asked to repay the amount in order to avoid tax consequences. One of the biggest reasons against taking a loan from your retirement plan is that the amount you repay in interest will be double taxed. This is because the loan repayment includes the interest. Now, because of that tax, some people will decide to withdraw than loan. While it is understandable, just note that at the end of the day, you are risking your financial future. Remember, the goal for your retirement plan is to provide an estimated source of income after your post-work years. This cannot be beneficial if you pull the assets from this savings.

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At the bottom line, you should not take a loan from your retirement account unless it is an absolute necessity. View your finances holistically and determine whether the loan is beneficial for you right now. Yes, having a large debt is not the most comforting thing in the world, but you do not want to make the mistake in risking your future.

End of the Year Retirement Strategies

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With 2015 coming to a close, it is now the time to get a strong stance over your finances. By understanding and conceptualizing your finances holistically, you will be able to evaluate, plan, and strategize the best ways moving forward into the New Year. This type of organizational understanding will give you the ability to view your financial and personal goals and adjust any necessary steps that can alter your finances in a better and more lucrative manner.

Below, you will find five ways to get your retirement planning back on track before that New Years Eve ball hits the ground. This type of action plan will help alleviate those financial concerns and set you off on the right path for 2016. Take a look!

1. Review Your Investments

If you have not looked at your accounts in the past three-to-six months, now is the time to check in on them. Any allocations, investment performances, or contribution rates should be noted. The main questions to ask are: Is this where you wanted to be before the year hit? Why or Why not? Is there room to save more? What does this mean for your long-term financial goals? By reviewing and evaluating your investments, you will be able to understand what changes you can make or additional cash you can save to alter your portfolio in a better way. In addition, your 401K plan may remove certain funds from its offerings. Be sure to review where that money is currently sitting and make necessary adjustments.

2. Create a Plan for Extra Cash

Remember, at the end of the day, you are working for a specific retirement goal or goals. If you were lucky enough to have been given a specific bonus or increase in income before the year-end, plan a place for how you’ll allocate it before you receive it. Do not make the mistake of spending it on miscellaneous items. If, however, there are certain expenses you have to make such as gifts or credit card debt, try breaking the amount up so that you can save at least 20%. At the end of the day, you need to look at the bigger picture. Understand that this money can truly make an impact in shaping your financial future.

3. Know Your Money: Evaluate Cost and Expenses

During the holiday times, people happen to overestimate the amount they are spending on gifts and presents. If you are one of those individuals, be sure you understand the amount you are spending. Take an hour or so to review your overall cash flow, whether it is annually or monthly. Then try and conceptualize the expenses you pay monthly and the big expenses, such as holiday presents, that you had to endure this month. If you find the figures to be shocking, try and plan what you can do to get back on your retirement path. If they seem to be stable, look into how you can improve your financial retirement plan.

4. Create Financial Goals for 2016

Another year means another opportunity to move into your financial goal! As you head into the New Year, lay out an overall savings goal that is specific, measurable, and attainable. Say you want to save $5,000.00 in your Roth IRA by the summer time or you want to have at least $1000.00 or more a month going to your retirement plan. By setting these goals down to a specific number, you will be able to target and track your progress in the most effective and efficient manner.

5. Preplan for the Big Moments

Like any person, we will eventually end up spending. I am not saying that you should not spend. Rather you should be smart about your expenses. Start off by mapping out those big financial expenses for the year. This can range from vacation to graduation gifts. By preplanning, you will be able to strategically and financially plan out the most affective and impactful way to save. Keep in mind, be absolutely clear on your financial goals for this year. While you may spend, you do not want to go overboard where your retirement plan can be put at a hold.

Steps Before Retirement

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Congratulations! After a long and fulfilling career, you have finally reached the last leg of your retirement. Like many Americans, you may be looking forward to ending your career and enjoying the quality time with your family and friends. While you may be eager to jump into that lifestyle, take a minute and consider the type of retirement you want to enter into once you finalize your decision. The one big mistake many people make is that they transition quickly from work into retirement. Instead, consider easing into this new life. Understand that this decision is not just a financial one, but it is also a mental and emotional one as well.

Below, you will find various tips that can help aid you in your transition into retirement. By following these steps, you will be assuring your dreams, goals, and passions for the future.

Start off by cutting back on your expenses. Yes, I understand that you have made financial strains in the past to save up for your retirement, but doing this makes a difference in whether or not you will be enjoying your new life. Unlike your savings tactics in the past, there will be no revenue coming in to buffer your expenses. If you are looking for those daily brunches or long weekend fishing trips, you need to think strategically about the overall cost that each activity is for your future. Start off by seeing what you can financially cut out in your life. This can range from downsizing your home to adjusting your own everyday expenses. Remember, the only difference that stands between your happiness and goals is how much you have in your pockets.

If you have the ability to work part-time, try and do so! At the end of the day, you have to remind yourself that you deserve this. You have given your all to your company and they appreciate the hard work and sacrifice you made each and every day. By working part-time, you will be able to ease into those hours of “not-working. Many Americans oftentimes feel uneasy about not having a schedule because of that quick transition. Try not to make the same mistake. Understand that your retirement is not a punishment, but a reward for everything you have given to society.

If, however, you feel like you have more to offer, but still want to transition out of your company, try picking up a new part time job that can truly fulfill your days. Do not make the mistake of picking a position that is high demanding and stressful. Make sure that whatever job you take, it will be something that you can enjoy and benefit from each and everyday.

Lastly, if you feel like getting another job is not in your cards, try looking into various volunteer positions or hobbies to fill up your time. Many retired Americans optimize this time to engage in causes and organizations that they feel passionately about. One important thing to keep in mind is the financial aspect of the hobbies. Make sure that your hobbies align with your finances. Oftentimes, hobbies such as weekend fishing trips or sailing can be quite costly. You do not want to make the mistake of burning your retirement within a year. If you find that they are too expense, seek other options. At the end of the day, you want to enjoy your time rather than worry about your finances. You have already been smart enough to get to this point. Just be cognizant of each expense and how it can impact your lifestyle.