If you thought that retirement started at 65 for most Americans, think again — according to a recent Gallup poll, the average reported retirement age for currently retired Americans is 61. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person who has made it to their early 60s can, on average, expect to live another 23.3 years.
The arrival of spring has brought warmer weather, longer days, a renewal of life … and the yearly desire to clean out and get organized. It’s also the perfect time to get your financial house in order. Here are some housekeeping tasks you can tackle to help make sure you and your money are headed the right way in the year ahead.
Today’s retirees are finding that retirement requires at least as much psychological and emotional preparation as it does financial preparation. So, retirement planning needs to include a thorough assessment of human assets and liabilities along with an assessment of financial assets and liabilities.
Congratulations! Your hard work and contributions at the office have been recognized and you’ve earned yourself a raise. You might be tempted to start spending it right away, but this is probably a bad idea. Be cautious about raising your budget and lifestyle in a permanent way after getting a raise — it can make it harder to get ahead over the long term.
Regrets can be hard to live with: I wish I hadn’t eaten that banana split; I wish I’d bought that sweater when it was on sale; or I wish I learned to speak French. But these are all mild regrets compared to what you’d feel if you didn’t make the best choices for you and your family when preparing for retirement.
The saving versus paying off debt is an age-old quandary that has plagued people since the advent of consumer debt. Pose this question to a group of financial planners and the responses will be split, roughly down the middle. While there might be as many advocates for savings as there would be for paying down debt, the broad consensus will likely be that it really depends on the situation.