Planning your retirement and taking the necessary financial steps to keep you solvent and happy during your non-working years can be stressful at the best of time, let alone during the current unpredictable and volatile years we have been living through in the 21st century. That does not mean, however, that there aren’t many things you can do to give yourself the best chance at a comfortable retirement. With that said, below are some retirement planning tips in the age of uncertainty.
Learn How to Actively Manage
The emphasis currently being placed on retirement investment strategies, and wealth-protecting investment strategies more broadly, are on what is known as actively managed investment strategies. The most popular are those that are benchmark-free. You might also hear these strategies referred to as absolute return strategies, and the objective is to beat inflation by a considerable margin over an entire investment cycle.
The era of being able to invest your retirement savings into an index fund or spread out across income-producing equities and simply hold and wait is over, at least for the foreseeable future. Being able to take an active interest in your portfolio and make on-the-fly changes when necessary will become an increasingly important part of financial stability during retirement.
Start Planning a Budget Now
This means your current budget, which includes all of your current income and spending. While you should have a decent estimate of how much money you’ll need to save each month based on your retirement objectives, you also need to ensure that you have that money to save. It’s a good idea to make retirement savings a line item in your budget, just like food and housing, so you can put money down every month. Start thinking about what kind of lifestyle you are going to want to lead during your non-working years, adjust those costs for inflation, and put that money aside now.
Set Up Auto Transfers
Auto transfers is a tool that you can use to link your checking account and your retirement account to help you remember to save. Set it up so that cash set aside for the future is sent from your bank account to your investment account on the same day each month — perhaps the day you are paid. There is less chance of you wasting that money if you do it this way and you can, to a large degree, forget about it and just go about your life. You will quickly learn to live within this new retirement adjusted budget.
Pay Down Debt Now
Everyone should do their best to be debt-free by the age of 65. This includes credit card debt — particularly high-interest reward card debt — automobile and house loans, as well as any student and other large debts. The rationale is simple: you don’t want to enter your retirement years owing money. There are plenty of upsides to not owing any money, including better credit and better cash flow every month.
Every generation or so, the world seems to be plunged into a prolonged era of uncertainty, upheaval and unpredictability. Planning for retirement under these conditions can be incredibly stressful, but there are strategies to help manage the risk. Keep the above retirement planning tips in mind during this current and protracted age of uncertainty and ensure that your golden years are comfortable.