Planning for retirement

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

While I’m a long way off from being able to retire, the thought of how bills will continue to be paid when I reach that milestone crosses my mind.
Ultimately everyone wants to be able to retire with a comfortable income, if not on the level of the rich and famous.
But realistically, the goal should be to set enough money aside to be able to not only keep your utilities paid, but also have some fun.
Because that’s the real perk of being retired, not having to keep gainful employment, instead they can, hopefully, be able to take cruises, cross country RV road trips or just tend to a small garden in the back yard.
So, with the uncertainty of whether Social Security will be around when the current working public is old enough to retire, efforts will be required to ensure you won’t have to continue to work long after you were eligible to retire.
One of the first things any financial planner will suggest is reducing or eliminating any debt. The money currently being used to pay off student loans and credit cards could go a long way towards retirement.
For families with children, don’t forget to save money for their college education. If you won’t be able to pay for all of that expense, it’s not unreasonable to expect them to work and help pay for their higher education. Not only will it ease the burden on your finances, but it will give the young adults a sense of ownership in their college degree, maximizing their chance of reaching graduation day.
Probably the most important thing to do is contribute to your employer’s 401K plan, if one is available. If the employer offers a match, at least contribute the amount they will match, if not more.
With questions surrounding the availability of Social Security for the workforce currently in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, taking retirement into your own hands is the safest route.

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