Early retirement is the ultimate dream for many American workers. Making the dream a reality requires focus and disciplined saving. Unfortunately, many workers may not be able to achieve their dream of early retirement. According to an analysis of the Federal Reserve’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, the average American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement.1
Some workers, however, may be in a strong enough financial position to leave their career early and start living life on their terms. Think you fall into that group? Below are a few steps to take before you retire early. If you’ve addressed these issues, early retirement may be an option for you. If not, you may want to take action and tackle these challenges.
Create a plan to pay for health care.
According to Fidelity, the average 65-year-old retired couple can expect to spend $280,000 in retirement on things like deductibles, premiums, copays and more.2 That figure doesn’t include any potential long-term care costs.
Do you have a plan to pay for medical expenses? If you retire early, you may have to pay out of pocket or buy a private policy before you’re eligible for Medicare. Consider maxing your contributions to your health savings account (HSA) and possibly looking into a long-term care insurance policy.
Develop a retirement budget.
A budget can be your most powerful financial tool in retirement. It helps you see where you spend your money, how much you can afford to spend and what changes you may need to make to stay within your income.
Developing a budget is only the first step, though. You also may want to take your retirement budget for a test drive. That’s especially true if you hope to live on a tighter spending level after you retire. Try living on that spending level for three or even six months to see if it’s feasible. If so, retirement may be a possibility.
Plan for how you will spend your free time in retirement.
Retirement planning isn’t only about your finances. You should also know how you will spend your time in retirement. What’s important to you? What activities do you enjoy? What do you want to accomplish?
Many retirees have a challenging time transitioning to a wide-open schedule. They fill that time with costly activities such as travel, shopping and expensive hobbies. The result is that they spend too much money in the early years of retirement and leave themselves in a challenging position in the later years.
If you don’t know how you will spend your retirement, you may not be ready to stop working. Develop a plan not only for your money in retirement, but also for your time.
Wondering if you’re ready to retire early? Contact us at Protecting Your Retirement. We can help you analyze your needs and objectives and determine whether early retirement is right for you. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
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