Guest Article By Morris Raymond
There are a number of things that make a person break into a cold sweat, but perhaps one of the more underrated ways to cause stress is thinking about planning for the future with an emphasis on retirement planning. It seems odd that planning for the amount of money you have for future use would cause so much havoc simply because we tend to be big fans of money. Still, there seems to be a negative cloud that surrounds all that is planning for retirement.
Perhaps it’s because it reminds us of an end to things as we know them. Sure, it’s only the end of our working life, but many of us identify ourselves by the careers we establish. When you’re no longer working, how does that ultimately affect the way you identify yourself? Big questions to be sure, but it also reminds us that we’re getting older & looking at our mortality head-on.
Regardless of the reasons why we put off planning for retirement, it’s important to make a plan early. While it may seem as though there is a big process involved, it’s as simple as choosing to start planning. After this step, here are three more simple ways to get the retirement planning process moving forward:
1. Set Goals – When it comes to retirement, we always hope to relax and have a nice time doing nothing. Even with nothing pressing, though, we want to do something cool like travel or dive into a hobby. One easy way to start a retirement plan is to lay out the type of goals you’d like to accomplish. Whether they seem a little extravagant or not isn’t an issue. A goal is a goal, and so long as it’s important to you & your family, list it.
2. Create A Working Budget – Though this seems to be a step most people in debt take, it is a step that even a careful retirement planner should take to help get their finances in better order. Sit down & establish your monthly expenses. Establish what your take-home pay is per month and see where the numbers fall. If you’re spending more than you’re making, you need to figure out the best way to shed unnecessary spending. If you’re “in the black”, the extra money should be used to begin establishing your retirement account.
3. Be Mindful of Extra Money – If you have money that comes to you in the way of a work bonus or raise, just don’t spend it. Literally, put that extra money into a retirement fund. You were operating before on the money being brought into your home, so it means you can still operate the same way. Any extra money should be seen as money that’s just out of your reach & untouchable.
Obviously, retirement planning is more complicated than what’s outlined here. Still, these are three very simple steps to start the process, and simply starting to plan for retirement is a step in the right direction.
Need help with retirement planning? Contact Sproles Woodard for more information on other steps you can take to get the retirement ball rolling, and take advantage of the numerous financial planning services they have to offer.
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