Never Too Early To Plan For Retirement


Are you thinking about retirement yet?  If you aren’t, you should be.  I’m not talking about considering whether or not you should retire this year, but even young workers would be wise to keep retirement in mind.  All too often, it is easy to push the long-term away from one’s mind, but time has the bad habit of passing quicker than one realizes.  Are you prepared for retirement?  Saving up for the time when you must quit your job is essential for your future happiness.  One of the most tragic things in the world is the sight of retired couples who are reduced to the bare minimums of survival because they have run out of money.

Exit planning does not simply apply to businesses.  Yes, a business owner needs to know how and when he is going to transition from running his business, but everyone has to leave his job and some point.  How does one know when is the right time to end his career?  In fact, when is the right time to move on from any job, not just to retire?  Liz Weston, of MSN money, wrote an interesting article on the subject of quitting one’s job.  She offered five questions to ask before you turn in the towel.

Can I afford to quit?

Nothing is as terrifying as facing a period of unemployment with nowhere to go and no cash to keep oneself afloat.  On the flip side, a store of savings can help tide you over until your next job.  It will also leave you more options because an emergency fund gives you the power to hold out for the job you really want without feeling the pressure to provide.  A fat emergency fund and careful spending habits can mean less panic when you’re facing a gap between paychecks.

If you are planning on retiring, you need to think longer term.  Many factors are beyond your control, so it helps to be prepared for any possible outcome.  Try using a retirement calculator to determine your probability of success.  Also, consider consulting a fee only financial planner.

How will I cover health insurance?

Health insurance can eat through a huge section of your savings.  Americans spend more on healthcare in the last three months of their lives than they do in the rest of their lives. Finding affordable coverage can be tough if you are younger than 65 (the eligibility age for Medicare).  Sometimes employer coverage can be extended via COBRA, but you could end up paying the full cost.  You could also contemplate a plan of your own, but even someone with minor health problems may have trouble getting coverage.  Before you retire make sure that you have adequate health care because chances are you are going to need it.

What will I do next?

Don’t just run from a bad job, run to a good one.  Always have goals for where you want to be in a year, in five, and in ten.  You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what that is.  If you are retiring, find something to do.  Busy people go crazy when they have nothing to do. Find a hobby, work part time, babysit your grandkids, but don’t just sit around the house watching tv.  In retirement, the people who are happiest tend to be the ones who have a passionate or sustaining interest in something — and that something probably isn’t playing golf, said Ralph Warner, the author of the excellent book “Get a Life: You Don’t Need A Million to Retire Well.” If you’re not done with work, check out the classic book “What Color is Your Parachute?” for good advice about how to get to the next stage.

What do the people around me say?

Listen to advice. The people that surround you may be able to identify issues that you can’t see for yourself. Your friends and family know you well and probably have good ideas, but don’t make your decision based on other people’s opinions.  Solicit advice, but in the end do what you think is best.  Never let fear hold you back from making a decision.

What solutions am I overlooking?

Sometimes quitting is not the best solution.  Before you decide to leave, look for other options.  Perhaps you can transfer out of a bad team environment. Maybe human resources can help you manage relationships, or perhaps a mentor can.  If you don’t feel challenged enough, try asking for more responsibilities.  It can never hurt to ask.  After all you can always just quit like you originally planned if it doesn’t work out. Financial Planner Christine Fahlund suggests: Continue to work, but cut back on saving so you can start taking trips, indulging hobbies and doing the other stuff you planned to do in retirement. Working even a few years into your 60s can dramatically increase your retirement benefits, Fahlund said, even if you don’t add much to your savings.

The bottom line when it comes to deciding whether to retire or not is that if you are unsure, keep working.  The extra income can’t hurt while you are making your decision.  Retirement planning takes a lot of forethought and effort, but in the end it is incredibly worth it.  Cleaning up clutter follows the same principle.  Let’s face it: no one wants to hire an outside contractor to help his company organize its records, but the payoff is immense.  I promise you that contacting Tarheel Imaging will be worth your while.  Times are tough; only strategies that actually benefit the bottom line are implemented anymore.  Let us be that revenue booster.  You pay your people far too much for them to be hunting up records for hours every week.  Call Tarheel Imaging to streamline your document system so that you can find every document you need, when you need it.  Clients have the right to secure personal information.  Don’t be the firm that compromises their security; call Tarheel Imaging today!