If you haven’t planned for your retirement yet, and you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got good news:
- You can still save—it's not too late.
- You don't have to worry about your age or how many years are left until retirement.
- You don't need to fret over whether the stock market will perform well or if the economy is booming or busting at the time of your exit from the workforce.
- There are still a handful of actions you can take no matter your financial situation.
No matter how volatile the economy can get, you can ensure that you have a happy and secure retirement for decades to come by working with investment advisors in Greenville, SC, who are dedicated to your financial success.
Allow our certified financial planners in Greenville, SC, to share these eight steps to help you retire in five years (if that’s your goal). No matter where you are on your financial journey, there is an ideal strategy for you.
Step 1 – Set your target date.
The first step is to determine your target date. You want to set a date that is achievable, but still far enough away to give you ample time to prepare. For example, if you're 35 and plan on retiring at 65, then 50 years might seem like a good time frame for working towards retirement. If you don't have a retirement date, then there's no way of knowing how much money needs to be saved each month or year in order to reach it.
Without this essential knowledge (and goal), there will be no urgency when it comes time for action.
Step 2 – Calculate how much you’ll need to save.
You will need to know how much you will need to save, in order to determine how much money you should be saving. It’s a little more complicated than that, but it all starts with knowing the amount of money you will need.
To calculate how much you will need in retirement, first determine your current expenses and then project those expenses into retirement age. If you are not sure of your current expenses, use this calculator for an estimate. Or reach out to the team at Global View to help you in getting started with a more accurate approach.
Once you have determined what your monthly expenses are now and how they might change in retirement age (could there possibly be any change?), then multiply this number by 24 (the number of months per year). This is the total amount that must be saved annually if you want your savings account balance to grow sufficiently enough so you can live off of invested principal and interest alone without touching principal during your senior years without running out.
Step 3 – Define your retirement lifestyle.
Whether you are retiring in Greenville, SC, or another destination, your retirement lifestyle should be predetermined. You need to come up with a plan for how much money you will need in order to live the lifestyle that you want. What does this look like for you?
- Do you want to travel?
- Would you find joy in volunteering?
- Do you want to try more hobbies to support your health and wellness for retirees?
Once the numbers have been determined, it’s now time to make a plan for how exactly these goals will be accomplished. This means looking at how much money is coming into your household and what expenses are going out each month. Do some research and look into how much houses cost in other areas of the country so that when it comes time for downsizing your home, there won’t be any surprises about reducing living costs during retirement years.
What matters most is making sure that all of these plans are realistic given current events – especially since many are still feeling the effects of the previous recession which led our economy into great despair! However… even though times may be tough right now – remember: NEVER give up hope!
Step 4 – Review your expenses and make changes now.
It’s time now to review your expenses and make changes so you can live more frugally in retirement. Many of the changes that are necessary for this stage are already covered in the previous steps, but there are some additional actions that can help.
For example, if you've been paying off credit card debt, it's time to talk with a Global View advocate advisor to explore using a portion of those payments toward building an emergency fund or investing instead. Again, you may also want to consider downsizing your home and moving into a smaller place with less maintenance costs. Or consider taking advantage of lower interest rates on loans right now while they're available in order to pay down more debt faster before interest rates rise again (when they inevitably will).
Step 5 – Revisit your asset allocation.
Take a closer look at your asset allocation. If you have been investing for 20 years and have not rebalanced, your portfolio will probably need a tune-up. Your goal is to have a portfolio that is diversified enough so that no one market sector or asset class has too much effect on the overall performance of your investments.
If you are not sure whether you need to rebalance or add new investments into your portfolio, then consider the following:
- If your portfolio is currently not diversified enough (less than 10% in each major asset class) then consider adding another asset class such as real estate or commodities. Even though these investment types may seem risky, they will help increase diversification which will reduce volatility and increase returns over time. Learn more about “alternative investments.”
- If your portfolio has too much risk (more than 75% in equities), then consider adding more bonds or cash equivalents like short-term bonds or money market funds as these options tend to offer lower risk and higher stability than stocks but still provide some growth potential over time.
Step 6 – Start a new income plan.
Once you have a better understanding of yourself and your needs, it's time to start planning for retirement in South Carolina. To help you create a realistic plan for your retirement expenses, we can help.
The next step is determining how much money you'll need in order to retire comfortably. You should consider factors like inflation rates and taxes since both of these will affect how much money per month or year gets spent on items such as food and entertainment—and ultimately impact what kind of lifestyle someone could expect during their golden years without having enough funds saved up beforehand!
Once again: yes, this might seem overwhelming at first glance but once again we encourage everyone reading this content right now not to give up hope just yet because if there's anything worth learning about life then surely one thing.
Step 7 – Invest as much money as possible into tax-advantaged accounts like a 401k or IRA
Investing in a 401k can be a great way to save for retirement because it allows you to put away pre-tax dollars and grow those funds until you retire. It’s also protected from creditors if the company goes bankrupt.
The only catch? You have to contribute every year — and while it might seem like an easy thing to do, especially if your company matches your contributions up to 6% of your salary, there are plenty of reasons why people don’t save enough for their golden years:
- They don’t understand how compound interest works
- They don't want another bill
- They feel like there's no point because we're all doomed anyway
If you fall into this category, try putting aside just 1% or 2% at first—no one will know except for your—then try increasing that amount by 1% every few months until it becomes second nature. If contributing is still too hard or stressful on top of everything else going on in life, consider switching jobs and starting fresh with a new 401k program that offers lower fees and fewer choices (but also less stress).
Step 8 – Protect your legacy.
- Make sure your estate plan is up to date.
- Make sure your beneficiaries are listed correctly.
- Make sure your executor is qualified.
- Be sure you have a will, and make sure it’s up to date if you do have one.
- Get a living will in place so that if something happens to you, everyone knows what to do with all of your assets and property.
Start planning for your retirement now, regardless of current circumstances.
It’s important to start planning for your retirement now, regardless of current circumstances. You may be thinking that you don't have enough saved up at the moment, so why bother?
The truth is that most people in this country are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and they will probably continue doing so until they reach an age where they can no longer work.
It's difficult not to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle of life and forget about retirement planning; however, it can make all the difference when you're trying to retire early or just live comfortably when you're older.
We hope you find these steps useful. We’d like to remind you that retirement planning is a lifelong process and it’s never too late to start. When it comes down to it, the most important thing is that you take action now so that when the time comes for retirement, you feel ready!
Give us a call at Global View and let us know what help you need—you have it here.