STEP ONE - Face the New Reality
It may be the case that your investments are down – but don’t let that get YOU down. Rather than be passive, take action by either developing a plan or updating the one you already have. These are uncharted waters we are in so we all need to be flexible.
STEP TWO - Monitor Spending & Lower Your Debt
The easiest way to do this is to watch your spending – REALLY watch your spending. Ask yourself each time you make a purchase – “Do I really need this?” Go through your budget line item by line item and see where you can trim spending - do this exercise every quarter. Refinance your mortgage, negotiate lower rates on credit cards – pull out all the stops and get creative.
STEP THREE - Educate Yourself
Educating yourself about finances is both empowering and critical. In regards to your company pension or savings plan, don’t count on the plan administrator at your company to do the work for you. Do your own research and find out which is the best savings vehicle for you.
STEP FOUR - Educate Yourself
You read it right - step four is the same as step three because it is so important. There are excellent websites, blogs, newsletters and books on the topic of financial planning. Identify those you like and learn all you can – then look for a fee-only financial planner to begin working with.
STEP FIVE - Manage Your Stress
Again, if you take action you’ll feel much more in control of your finances and future. Do all the things experts tell you to do to manage your stress; whether it’s hiking, a meditation practice, singing or dancing. Then face up to the reality of your finances – don’t keep your head in the sand.
STEP SIX - Don't Procrastinate, Start Planning
If you haven’t already, start the conversation with your mate about your financial future. Hire a fee-only financial planner to get on track for a smooth retirement. Get prepared for your retirement years – a good plan will bring you what you need most - peace of mind.
STEP SEVEN - Stay Balanced
Expect challenges during this new phase of life and stay flexible as you navigate through it. Retirement is an exciting time of life and how you approach it makes the difference between success and difficulty. Your retirement plan is dynamic and you should be too. Review and adjust as often as you need to.
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