The statistics are depressing no matter how you look at them. Nearly 40 percent of Americans have given little or no thought to retirement planning.1 More than half of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. One-third have nothing saved.2 Nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t use a budget.3
Why is retirement such a challenging goal for so many Americans? There are a number of possible answers. One is that many may feel retirement is far in the future, and they believe they have more pressing concerns today. Others may face financial difficulties that make it difficult to save.
Some, though, may simply be resistant to the planning process. After all, retirement is a big goal. If you’re behind on your retirement savings, you may not want to see just how behind you are. You may be hesitant to learn exactly how much you need to save. For many people, retirement planning is simply an unpleasant experience.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Retirement planning isn’t something you can avoid. At some point you will have to face the financial facts of retirement. The earlier you start this process, the more time you will have to make any necessary changes and form a stable financial foundation. Below are a few tips to make retirement planning more enjoyable and less painful:
Think about why money is important to you.
At first glance, this may seem like a simple exercise. After all, money is important because you need it to pay bills, buy goods and fund your lifestyle. However, it likely has a deeper importance if you commit some thought to the idea.
Think about how you will use money in retirement. What goals do you want to achieve? How do you want to spend your time? How do you want to provide for your family, either while you’re alive or after you pass away?
Perhaps you want to travel the world. Or maybe you want to stay close to home and spoil your grandchildren. You may want to start a new business, or you might simply want to have financial security and peace of mind.
The point is to think about retirement in terms of what your money provides for you, not just the dollar amount you need. When you think of the goals and objectives that are important, you may feel more motivation to stick to your planning goal.
Break your goal down into manageable components.
Bigger goals always seem more daunting than small ones. That’s why it may feel impossible when you see the actual amount you will need to save for retirement. A figure that’s in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars may be discouraging.
You don’t have to save that amount today, though. Instead, break the goal down into small chunks. Focus on what you can achieve in the short and intermediate term. How much do you want to save this week, this month or this year?
Don’t worry about the long-term goal. Instead, focus on what you can accomplish right now. If you consistently meet those short-term goals, the big goal will take care of itself.
Work with a professional.
Much of your stress and worry may come from your uncertainty surrounding retirement. You know you’re behind, but you don’t know how to fix it. That’s where a financial professional can help. They’ve likely assisted people in the same situation, so they can use their knowledge and experience to help you develop a plan and solution.
Ready to confront your retirement savings gap? Let’s talk about it. We can help you identify your challenges and develop a plan to overcome them. Contact us today at Carstens Financial Group in Arnolds Park, Iowa. Let’s connect and start the conversation.
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15964 - 2016/8/4
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