On How to NOT Screw Up Your Retirement Planning
Planning for retirement is something grown ups do. So as soon as you can when you settle into your adult life, if you can get your retirement planning moving, you will benefit from the wisdom of moving on this early in life when its time for you to retire. Too often young people live in a fantasy world that they will never grow old. But short of the worst case scenario of an early demise, everyone is going to get old and its far better to do so with a plan then to “let it sneak up on you.”
This is something you don’t want to screw up. Is it possible to screw up retirement planning? Of course it is. If you speak to senior citizens who did not start planning in advance and got to their senior years with nothing to fall back on and no funds to use so they can step out of the working world and enjoy a more leisurely retirement lifestyle, that is an example of people who screwed up their retirement planning. So it’s good to know the common mistakes people make so you can avoid them.
Probably the biggest mistake that you can make in your retirement planning is to wait to start it until you are pretty close to retirement. If you want to retire at 60 and you don’t start getting ready until you are 55, you will not have nearly as well prepared a retirement package as if you had started when you was 25 or 35. By starting early, you can set back a small amount each month and put it into an IRA, your employer’s 401k or some other retirement vehicle. Then just let that money continue to accumulate and grow and before you know it you are sitting on top of a pretty substantial nest egg.
Speaking of sitting on top of a nest egg, the second big mistake people make is not leaving that nest egg alone. When that retirement investment fund starts to get big, it is really easy to look at it as a way to get you out of credit card debt trouble or to borrow against for some new plan or possession you want. Above all, resist this temptation. If you lose that retirement fund due to foolish use of the funds in your middle age years, you are back to square one with nothing to show for your years of hard work developing that retirement nest egg.
The plan of setting up withholding from your checkbook or a direct deposit to your retirement account of retirement savings allows you to go about your busy life knowing that your retirement planning is underway. This is step one but its not a good idea to never go back and review your retirement plan and see if how you are going about getting ready for retirement well in advance. Make it a regular ritual to sit down and review what is going on with your investment funds. Look at the way your investments have been performing and if you are not getting a good return on those money, make some changes. Remember, just because your retirement funds are being managed by the company you work for doesn’t mean the money belongs to them. It’s yours so be responsible and manage it.
Starting early and staying proactive about your retirement is your best approach to retirement planning and one that will result in a much bigger retirement fund for you to start your golden years with. And by taking good care of your retirement before you need it, you are guaranteeing that it will take good care of you when its time to depend on that fund for a happy and prosperous retirement lifestyle.