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Your Pre-retirement
Checklist
Are you really fnancially ready for
retirement? Use Robin’s checklist to
fnd out.
Consider a Roth IRA in addition
to your 401(k).
Relocate or downsize to lower
your monthly expenses.
Make all the catch-up
contributions you’re allowed.
Cut costs in these key areas:
housing, transportation,
insurance and entertainment.
Increase your income through
part-time jobs, a new business
or consulting.
LiveWell: Mid-Life
9
No matter your stage in life, it’s never too late to save up for your dreams.
Even after the 2008 economic meltdown, there is still opportunity. But you
need to start today, says WXYZ Channel 7 Action News “Money Coach” and
President of Budget Wise Consulting, Robin Thompson.
It begins by creating a simple budget, something she calls a “spending
plan.”
“The idea is not to deprive you but to create the freedom for you to
accomplish your goals,” she explains. “If you’ve developed the habit of
spending, you can develop the habit of saving.”
She recommends scrutinizing what you spend in four key areas to look
for savings:
1. Housing
2. Transportation
3. Insurance
4. Entertainment and dining out
Other tips? Pay down credit cards and other debt. Start a savings plan
right now. Apply bonuses and pay increases to your retirement plan or
savings account rather than spending them. Review and adjust your
insurance coverage and investment portfolio every year. Spread assets
among many investments to reduce risk.
“You may have dreamed of a second house, more travel or the ability to
help family members fnancially. Whatever your dream, you can still
accomplish it,” she says. “It’s all about disciplining yourself and your
money.”
And if you’re thinking ahead to retirement, think about enjoying a higher
quality of life.
“If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, take advantage of
catch-up contributions, which allow people over age 50 to make additional
payments to their 401(k) and IRA accounts,” she adds. “You can really
afect your lifestyle in the last fve to 10 years before retirement.”
“Today’s retirees have a diferent mindset. They might want to leave their
present job, but they still want to remain productive – through consulting,
part-time work or volunteering for an important cause,” she says. “This is
defnitely not your grandparents’ retirement.”
A Brighter Future
Robin Thompson, M.A.