Turning the “Big 5-0” is something that can be celebrated or dreaded. For me, I chose celebration — in Hawaii just recently! I truly believe that life keeps getting better with the turning of every year. Perhaps someday the experience will change, but so far so good.
Various milestones whether it be reaching a certain age, job position (change/ promotion/ retirement), family stature (marriage/ parent/ grandparent), or even sporting achievements…deserve to be recognized. Then, along with recognition comes reflection. Of course, for me, having chosen to manage peoples’ financial lives as a profession, reflecting a great deal on the future comes naturally. My husband may even say that I drive him nuts “reflecting” on the things we need to be doing today and over the next 10-15 years to make retirement a reality.
Here are a few of the items at the top of my list so far:
- SAVE, SAVE, SAVE…and then SAVE MORE.
- This means saving for fun AND emergencies; saving for retirement AND vacations way before we retire.
- Know how much you SPEND. Not necessarily to the penny, but definitely know the categories and fairly accurately what is spent in each category.
- I am happy to supply a spreadsheet of categories to get you started.
- Max out your retirement contributions to 401k and IRA as early as you possibly can–definitely by age 30.
- There may be years when you need to save less due to “life happening” but in those times, try to find balance between spending less on discretionary items to pay for big events AND be able to make even small retirement contributions along the way.
- If you are NOT maxing out your retirement contributions, then consult with a professional on how to get from “Point A to Point B”.
- Financial realities can be harsh but with a PLAN and a few years, real progress can be made toward even partial retirement someday.
- Take care of your health along the way. Both in terms of longevity and future cost of healthcare, a healthy lifestyle earlier in life can ease all sorts of burdens in the future.
ALL of these items are easier said than done. I am working to improve on all of them (except #3 & #4). The perspective from which I come is gained from the privilege of working with successful people from all walks of life. I get to see how successful individuals handle ALL the categories above and how they face challenges, celebrate, reflect and even relish achieving each of these things….and more.
Finally, after reflection comes action. The constant cycle of celebration – reflection – action can lead to great things. For the successful people reading this edition, you know who you are and I hope you keep enjoying the journey! For ALL of us, keep the cycle going.
*Please see my new Blog at https://kerriewagnerdebbs.wordpress.com for archives of past issues and more.