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Retirement planning is rarely cut and dry. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, 45% of American working households do not have a retirement plan. Most Americans rely on Social Security alone to fall back on upon retiring. There are millions of people with no firm plan even when approaching retirement age and it leaves people scrambling to find options when it may be too late.

Ten Tips to Freedom

  1. Financial professionals have a firm grasp on the current economy and future projections. In most cases, speaking to a professional is free and at least gives a retiree an idea of the path that best suits their financial needs.
  2. Social Security benefits average $17,000 a year. Even if retirement planning sneaks up on someone, a savings account is imperative. Not everyone can wait for the 8% growth that Social Security offers between retirement age and 70-years-old.
  3. Goals are set to assist, not hinder. It is no different than attempting to kick a soccer ball through goal posts. Multiple websites offer free retirement calculators. The path towards retirement is customizable when the numbers are manipulated to suit specific financial needs.
  4. Increase 401(k), IRA, or set-aside savings  every time a raise is received. It is easy to find a new expense to eat the extra money from an increase in pay, but reaping the future benefits is worth skipping buying something not needed.
  5. Saving bonuses and tax refunds are not easy things to do. But, buying something small as a reward and putting the rest in retirement savings is more than pennies in a bucket. The result will be what is important, not the materialistic items bought and long forgotten.
  6. Starting to save today is likely easier said than done. Setting a goal date through budgeting and examining expenses allows for the room to hide away a specific amount in a retiring savings plan. It could be a dollar or $100; every cent counts at the end of the day.
  7. Utilize 401(k) and workman’s deferred compensation to its fullest. Retirement planning is comfortable when money is going directly towards retirement without having to think twice about it.
  8. Work until you must retire. Ideally, no one wants to work past a retirement date chosen long ago. However, if someone can work until retirement is required, the more funds go towards savings and retirement plans.
  9. Side gigs after retirement are not a bad thing. The extra income allows retirement with pension or social security as the primary source, and either crowdsourcing or finding a part-time job to supplement according to financial needs.
  10. Consider living expenses in different places, including all over the world. Certain countries allow for pensions or retirement plans to stretch out further and live comfortably. If America is the only option, there are plenty of places with low cost of living to enjoy the days of retirement.

Retirement is supposed to be the highlight of a lifetime of work. It only takes a little work now to make retirement the highlight.