Have you done the necessary steps to prepare for the golden years? As a way to celebrate National Financial Planning Month, we’ve created a financial checklist that will help secure your savings as you enter the retirement phase. These quick and easy steps will identify common money problems and cite essential tools and ideas, such as the importance of long term care insurance. Think of this checklist as your go-to reminder in planning for your future. You can adjust and customize it as well, to suit your needs.
First up with this financial checklist is, well, a list. Identifying sources of income and where money needs to be placed can help you have a clear view and direction on how you can attain your desired retirement. Writing all details down – whether paychecks or small expenses – matters, for you to properly draft a savings plan.
After listing down and finding out how much money you make and plan to set aside for retirement, you can now create a budget. A step up from your initial list, your budget will guide you on how much should be spent. By keeping track of both income and expenses, you will be able to see if you are heading to the right retirement direction. Additionally, a budget can also help you make the necessary adjustments in case something unplanned (accidents, illnesses, etc.) happens.
Do not enter the retirement phase with substantial debt. The earlier you pay down your debts (credit cards, loans, etc.), the less time and effort you need to waste on interest fees. Make sure to plot debts and loans on your budget as well, for you to see how long it will take to pay.
Make sure to invest in yourself. After all, you need to be in your tip-top shape (both physically and emotionally) to accomplish your financial goals. On your budget, make sure to allocate funds for a “me” category. This particular section can be anything from exercise classes, arts and crafts, hobbies, travel, recreational activities, and food. Basically, anything that would help improve and allow you to have the proper mindset to prepare for the future. Earning and saving money isn’t easy, so it would be to your benefit to spend and treat yourself every now and then.
Similar to the point above, including a “health” category in your budget should help you prepare and have access to cash in case illness or an accident happens. Make sure to include vaccinations, prescribed drugs, or potential medication that need to be purchased in this category. You do not need to buy the medicines right away, but having some money ready (and an idea of how much is expected to be spent) should help you in case you do need to make a purchase.
When it comes to saving money, having multiple sources of income may increase the chances of accomplishing your retirement goals. However, the little, often unnoticed changes that you can make in your spending habits can make an even greater impact. The savings you can gain from choosing to pack your own lunch instead of buying for meals can give you more cash to allocate to the different categories in your financial plan. Opting to commute to work instead of driving a car will not only help you save up on gas, parking, and toll fees. You’ll also get to spend more time walking, potentially improving your health in return. Making use of coupons or promos to purchase goods and services may help as well.
Make sure to have all bases covered by purchasing long term care insurance (LTCI). With coverage meant to address one’s Activities of Daily Living (ADLs, such as eating, bathing, personal hygiene, etc.), you can be sure that your finances are secured and that you can live your retirement years just the way you expected it to be. Think of it this way: with you building up a nest egg with your budget, you wouldn’t want to throw away your hard-earned savings just to pay for long term care, right? Aside from securing your funds to where they’re supposed to be allocated, an LTCI will also help your loved ones – your coverage prevents you from being a burden to your family and friends who would need to look after you, in case you are diagnosed with an illness or are a victim of an incapacitating accident.
We hope the checklist above will enlighten you on the topics and details needed when it comes to planning for your future. Financial planning may be a challenge, but breaking down the important facets into manageable points will allow you to focus and achieve the retirement that you deserve. For LTCI, make sure to seek help from agents and financial experts to get the most suitable policy to fit your needs.