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Best Ways to Plan for Retirement
Understanding Retirement Planning
Retirement Planning refers to a process of saving money for the time when the paid work comes to a halt. It is the process of planning and analyzing your future monetary needs and the source from where you can earn that.
You have to identify your expenses, sources of income, manage your assets and make apt arrangements for future cash inflows. How will you spend your time after retirement, where will you live, your style of living etc also forms a part of your retirement planning apart from the financial aspects.
In order to remain financially independent even when the paid work ends, it becomes mandatory for you to plan your retirement. It is important for you to work out in advance if you have enough money before you retire and how you will improve your cash inflows after retirement.
If you wish to follow your lifestyle of today even after your retirement it is important for you to plan your retirement today. It goes without saying that though for few of you, you will have pension rolling in after your retirement but just ponder will that be enough to suffice? If the answer is No, then get started today and work towards your retirement.
Importance of Retirement Planning
- Retirement Planning is important as you would surely love to have money flowing in when you comfortably relax on a rocking chair heading towards your golden years.
- With age comes the uncertainty of financial security for yourself and your family and in most cases pension benefits are not enough to carry you forth. There comes the importance and need of planning your retirement.
- Your body is like any machine that undergoes wear and tear with time. Retirement Planning helps you to meet up those unanticipated medical expenses that may crop up in future. In case your health takes a worse turn while you are heading towards old age, it may become difficult for you to move on with your life without sufficient funds in your account. You need to well equip yourself with medical insurances etc so as to avoid your retirement income being eaten by medical bills.
- Retirement planning plays a pivotal role in estate planning. It is important for you to secure cash flows for future so that you do not have to liquidate your assets in future in order to meet your financial expenses. If you have planned your retirement in advance you can freely and lavishly spend for your children and grand children, retain that land with which you are so sentimentally attached and there is no fear of becoming a financial burden on your loved ones.
- We all resist change. But change is inevitable. While we you move towards your golden days, retirement planning helps you face any change or challenge that life may throw at you without any hitch. You can face any situation at any age when you are financially sound.
- If becoming completely dependable on the social security system after retirement is on your mind, think again. That’s the worst road chosen. With social security system as ours it becomes mandatory for you to plan your retirement else there are every possible chances of outliving your money and working till you breathe your last.
Best Ways to Plan for Your Retirement
- Time factor plays the paramount role while you plan to build your nest egg. You need to consider the difference between your current age and the age at which you will retire in terms of years while you prepare your strategies for your retirement. If you have a good number of years in hand prior to your retirement then you are in a position to take up greater risks and diversify investments accordingly.
- While planning your retirement you should keep inflation in mind as it can prove to be a vital factor in your scheme of things.
- It is very much important to keep in mind your spending requirements. You need to understand your spending habits when you start to plan for your retirement. Your portfolio would largely depend on the way you spend and the expenses you incur. Many people feel that when you retire you will spend less than what you actually do now but they fail to consider that when you retire you will have additional 8-9 hours which you used to spend in office and now this time may be used in traveling, shopping or other activities that may prove expensive.
- You need to consider the after-tax rate of return while planning your retirement. You may outlive your income if this part is not analyzed properly. You can not ignore the fact that you are taxed on your returns according to the plans that you have chosen. So you need to keep a holistic approach while you move ahead with choosing your plans for future.
- Portfolio Planning is of paramount importance. You need to choose and prepare a portfolio that churns out capital gains for you in the long run. You need to think about the risk that you can take today so as to reach your future financial goals. You need to list out plans that may provide you with regular fixed incomes. Stable dividend paying stocks, small caps fund or international investments can be taken into considerations while you prepare your portfolio.
- Diversification of your money in different funds while you plan for your retirement will help you to churn capital gains with ease. A diversified portfolio would help you to sail smoothly in the highs and lows of the market.
- There are number of investment options available while you plan for your nest egg, few of them are 401(k)s, IRAs, life insurance plans, pension plans RRSPs, real estate etc.
- You can financially secure your loved ones even after you die by including life insurance covers and good estate planning. A roughly structured retirement plan can be balanced with a good estate plan.
- Do not ignore the magic of compounding. When you start saving early for your future, compounding of interest works wonders for you. Your money tends to grow steadily.
- You can turn to your IRAs that offer tax deferred growth on your money.
- You should also analyze it well when and how you need to pull back your retirement savings.
- Try reducing your unwanted expenses so that you are able to save. Flip through your passbooks to check how much you save each month. Don’t get tempted to spend your saved amount. Invest your saved amount in order to churn out more money. Keep in mind that this saving is for long term usage.
- There is no harm in turning to a professional advisor if the need be in order to plan your nest egg but make sure you use your wits before taking decisions. Seeking advice will help but following blindly will not.
Retirement planning is one of the most important and crucial plans that we make for ourselves and our loved ones. You are a person who has walked with pride throughout your life. You would surely not want to become a financial burden on your children or family after you stop working.
Rather you would want to enjoy your life more when you will retire as there will be no office rush, projects, deadlines and targets to bother you. Plan your retirement well in advance so that you are able to enter and suffice through your golden age comfortably and proudly.
Contributed By: Megha Sharma
Megha Sharma works as a guest lecturer in Delhi. She holds an MBA & Doctorate from the UPTU. With extensive knowledge and experience in various financial products, she also works as a consultant in banking & finance domains wherein she offers advice to her clients in managing personal finance.