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Plan for a Financially Secure Retirement with these Five Helpful Tips

by Lou-Ann Jordan Mar 4, 2024

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Ideally, you should start planning for retirement in your 20s, but sometimes this is not always possible due to various circumstances.

Although you may think you’re behind in planning in your 40s, don’t be dismayed. It’s best that you get started now. Your 40s are an excellent time to set about making financial decisions because the chances are you have a better grasp of who you are, what you can do, and what you want.

With all the changes we experience as we age, worrying about a reduced income shouldn’t be one of them. But a happy retirement requires preparation.

Let’s take a look at five ways you can plan for a financially secure retirement.

Save! Save! Save! – We know it’s important to save, but for many of us, it seems impossible. Either you spend too much and have huge amounts of debt you’re still working through, or though debt-free, you believe your salary is too minimal. Nevertheless, you must sacrifice and put aside some portion of it. At this stage in life, saving shouldn’t be considered optional but necessary.

That said, creating a budget and plan can help curb spending and diminish debt. Check out our article on Debt Demolition as we cover several practical ideas that can help. Meanwhile, small salaries can be supplemented with part-time jobs or monetising talents. Another alternative is to attempt to negotiate a salary increase with your employer. Ultimately, the goal is to spend less and save more. Wave goodbye to extravagance.

Activate Other Sources of Income – Regrettably, some 40-something-year-olds do not have three times our salary saved — that’s the recommended amount. Rather than feel despondent, there are other ways to bolster your income.

For one, you can do an inventory of your skills and talents, and then determine their viability for monetisation. You can activate other sources of income by offering these skills at a cost. The best part is that they can be done while maintaining your nine-to-five. This extra income can go towards your retirement savings.

Pay Attention to NIS – National Insurance (NIS) is a tax deducted from earnings by employers. Among other benefits, it secures a pension later in life. The monthly payouts are earned because of the contributions made during years of employment.

Usually, your employer deducts these from your earnings. In most instances, a specific number of contributions are required to qualify for a full state pension. Now is an excellent time to check your payment record, especially if you’re self-employed. You can also make voluntary payments to catch up.

Also, keep abreast of any developments or changes being made to the scheme. For example, some countries have extended the pensionable age from 65 to 70. This development makes our first two points so important.

Consider Investing – Investing can seem daunting because it requires some expertise many of us may not have, but it shouldn’t be ruled out. Find a reputable financial advisor for guidance on investment opportunities. The aim is to invest in something that offers strong dividends in the long term. You can also examine ways to expand your current investment portfolio.

Expand Interests – Now that we’ve got the major financial stuff out the way, let’s deal with other aspects of your well-being. Develop more interests. You can strengthen your skills by dedicating more time and exploring new areas. The benefit of this is twofold. Firstly, doing something you enjoy can be therapeutic, improving your sense of well-being. Secondly, refining your interests may present an opportunity to earn additional income.

Growing older is exciting and you can plan for the life you want, no matter where you are presently. Also, there’s a wealth of information available online, showing you how to have the happy retirement you deserve!

Sources: AARP, Nerdwallet, and Rockland Trust.