Planning for a long and prosperous retirement is no longer just about the money; because of the recession, boomers are needing to reboot their retirement plans. Here are six tips to get you on the right track again:
- Get healthy. This should take priority even over saving more money, since significantly improving your physical health will reduce the chances you will need expensive healthcare procedures. Exercise more, eat better and take advantage of any wellness programs offered by your employer.
- Spend less. Prioritize what you need versus what you want, and focus on spending just enough to meet your needs.
- Save more. Add more to your 401(k) or IRA; increasing your savings by just 1 to 2% of your pay can make a noticeable difference to your savings without impacting your current lifestyle.
- Pay off debt. Research shows that people who reduce or eliminate their debt prior to retirement do a lot better than those who carry debt into retirement. Pay off as many of your credit cards as possible and consider refinancing your house to take advantage of historic low mortgage rates.
- Continue working. Most boomers will need to work at least part-time once they retire. Start investigating the kind of work you might enjoy doing. If you earn enough to cover your daily expenses, you won’t have to touch savings, which can continue to grow until you are fully retired.
- Maintain your network. Retirees with a large network of friends and family do better in retirement and live longer. Be sure you continue to nurture your network as you ease your way into retirement.
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