When I was younger, watching Disney’s version of Alice in Wonderland, I was struck by the scene in which Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road she should take. When he finds out that she doesn’t know where she’s going, he basically tells her that it doesn’t matter which road she picks.
The same applies to your retirement. Do you have a plan? Do you know what you want your retirement to look like?
Before you can get the retirement you want, you have to know what you want. Only then can you properly plan for it.
Do You Know What You Want To Do?
First, you need to decide what you want to do. Some things to consider about your idea of a good retirement include:
- Do you want to quit working altogether? Or do you just want to do something a little different?
- Where do you plan to live? Will you downsize?
- Are you planning to do volunteer work?
- Is there a hobby you want to pursue or something you want to learn?
Really spend some time thinking about what you want your retirement to look like.
Do you want to travel? Are you interested in moving into a retirement community?
Understanding what you want to do is about more than just figuring out how much money you need to make it happen. Studies show that retirees who keep their minds and bodies active have a better quality of life and fewer health problems. They also tend to live longer.
What you decide about what you want to do for retirement makes a big difference in how you spend your “golden years.” Deciding ahead of time what you want to do can help you stave off some of the problems that come with being unsure. It doesn’t matter where you end up if you don’t have an idea of where you want to go.
Start Preparing Now
If you want your version of a successful retirement, you need to start preparing now. In most cases, this means determining how much money you need to make your ideal retirement happen, and then setting aside a monthly amount to build your nest egg. It can also mean cultivating regular and passive income sources so that you have money coming in each month to meet your needs.
But it also means that you need to take other steps. Work on paying down your debt so you don’t end up with obligations that drain your retirement funds. If you know that you want to travel the world, and you don’t want to drag your stuff around, start de-cluttering your life sooner rather than later.
Look at your ideal retirement, and make an effort to start preparing now. By creating a plan to help you reach your goals, you’ll start down the right road today.
How are you preparing for retirement?
- E*Trade IRA - Official Site