Every morning, we get up and go to work; every evening, we wrap it up and head home. This routine can last decades. It seems monotonous, but there is a higher purpose for it. We are all working hard now to ensure a comfortable life under retirement. Many people are guilty of beginning their retirement planning too late; others just don’t know what to do to correctly start a planning program. No matter when you plan to retire or where you decide to settle down, here are some tips to making the most of your time to prepare for retirement:
Start Your Retirement Plan Early
The most important aspect to retirement planning is beginning as early as you can. It is true that it is never too late to start saving; however, retirement saving will be easier, earlier. It is not only easier to start saving early, it is also more effective. If you save the same amount of money at age 25 as you would at age 35, you will see a lot less of a return for your hard earned wages by the time you retire. It doesn’t take long for interest to go down, but the bright side is it can also easily go up.
Understand Compound Interest
Learn a little something about compound interest. If you begin saving at the age of 25, you can really take advantage of interest. Investing about $25/week until retirement will mean about $165,000 at retirement, at just a 5% return. It is possible to get even higher returns that that, and also possible to save more than just the minimum per week until retirement age. If this were the case, you can see the incredible outcomes. The longer you wait to begin saving, the more of your own wages will have to be put aside for retirement planning. If you can begin saving early and take advantage of good interest rates, you could potentially multiply your input and be left with an enormous output.
Know How Much Money You Will Need
You need to know how much you will need during retirement. It doesn’t have to be a dead-on number, a ballpark figure will do; you need somewhere to start. After adding up all expenses, throw in the supplemental income that you will have when the time comes. For instance, jobs that offer a 401(k) program will allow you some additional money to your savings account. Lastly, figure out how much you need to save by subtracting your living expenses from your other sources of income. This new number should become your ultimate goal; however, it doesn’t mean you can’t try and beat it!
Resolve Unpaid Debts
One of the most crucial aspects of planning for retirement is taking care of unpaid debts beforehand. You do not want to be stuck with a long line of credit card debt the moment you plan to retire. If you have several credit cards, start trying to minimize them now. Pick the one with the highest interest rate and pay it off as quickly as possible; put the card into retirement until you have the debt under control. The more you spend, the faster the debt will accrue. If you want to continue building up good credit, make small purchases that you pay off in full when the bill comes. Think of all the money you can save by not shoveling funds needlessly into a credit card bill! Change your spending lifestyle and you will have a better opportunity to live well after retirement.
Make Sure Your Personal Information is Correct
Make sure that your information is correct on all important paperwork. Every year, analyze your Social Security statement and report any discrepancies. Do the same for your credit card statements. Look into your insurance policies and see if anything can be downgraded after retirement. You will not need to drive as much if you aren’t going to work everyday, meaning possible lower insurance rates. Checking over all of your information and talking with professionals will help you stay on the straight and narrow.
Practice Makes Perfect
It is a good idea to practice your retirement before assuming that you will be comfortable in it. Take some time off of work if you are afforded it; pretend that you have just retired. Do this before considering retirement to make sure that you are ready to do it, not just financially. Retirement is just as much mental as it is financial; you have to be mentally prepared to step into another stage of life. Save up enough money to go on a trial run and find out what retirement is really like. Travel a little, do some relaxing, take up a hobby; all of these things will prepare you for what it is like to take the plunge and retire.
When and Where to Retire?
Now that you know what it takes to prepare for retirement, it is time to prepare for when and where. These two questions are completely up to you. Some people continue working well into there 70’s, deciding not to retire until they have exhausted their yearning to be a part of the workforce. Some people will retire but retain a smaller, part-time working experience for supplement income and socialization. The possibilities are really endless, but it is a good idea to start planning ahead of time. Give yourself a time-frame, which will help kickstart your savings plan. If you don’t know when to retire, you won’t feel the urgency to begin saving for it. A ballpark age will do; just enough to get the ball rolling.
There are many places to go, many things to see. Choosing a location to retire and settle down can be difficult. Some people prefer the tourist attractions and populated areas, some prefer a little more peace and quiet. The choice is individual, but there are some states that just stand out among the best to retire in.
Why Retire in Arizona?
When it comes time to retire, people begin analyzing the map for a comfortable place to settle down. Retirement is usually a consistent next phase of life; it is time to invest and put down real roots. When considering a place to touch down for good, retirees are looking for factors that will improve their quality of life. Affordable housing, entertainment, culture, climate and health care are all important aspects to consider.
Arizona is becoming one of the best places to retire in the United States. All of the above questions find their answers within Arizona’s borders. Arizona is filled with sunshine, a dry heat that is less overwhelming than some of the more humid locations. There are plenty of cultural events, beautiful landmarks, renowned leisure activities and more. The climate is desirable, the sights are unbeatable and the state attracts many visitors each year that prove its worth.
The most crucial components to a retirement in Arizona include lower taxes, great health care facilities and the ability to care for the disabled or handicapped. It is essential that your plan to retire in Arizona includes not only moving expenses, but all other expenses that many be incurred as well. It is best to contact a representative of the state or a professional retirement planner for detailed information. You can request information on the state, the retirement communities and all other areas of information that you may be interested in.
There are many places to retire in Arizona, but there are some that shine brighter than others. Here are the three top rated places to settle down and retire in Arizona:
Prescott was named the number one place to retire in Arizona, and for good reason. There are several highlights to living in Prescott, including the Courthouse Plaza which offers a good amount of entertainment and socialization for retirees. Craft, antique and art showings are all offered within the heart of Prescott, attracting many visitors and tourists each year. Prescott is home to the world’s oldest rodeo, providing residents with a touch of culture and history.
There is a National Forest that covers over 1.2 million acres; outdoor and recreational activities like hiking, fishing and water sports can be found within. Prescott is one of the best places to live in Arizona and the entire United States, making the list of top 100 small towns within the country. It boasts entertainment, culture and climate; it is counted among the best in healthcare, cost of living, housing and taxes.
Retirees enjoy Prescott for its entertainment and culture but also its preservation of historical sites. Buildings and landmarks have been protected and preserved throughout time, impressing all who view them. There is an unmatched element of diversity and culture as the city provides residents with historic events, performances, fairs and showings.
Those who are worried about the heat and high temperatures of the dry Arizona climate will enjoy Prescott as it is located at 5300 feet; it boasts a milder climate, only about 85 degrees in the summer and down to 52 degrees in the winter, keeping it comfortable all year long. Prescott is not at a loss for recreational activities as it provides residents with superior golf, outdoor experiences, camping and casinos.
Those who retire to Arizona are drawn to Sun City, a very successful city in the United States. Sun City was initially an attractant for those who wanted fun in the sun, aptly named. However, it has quickly become known for its character and strength. Sun City is more of a community than any other, its residents quick to come to the aid of any who are struggling, staying true to the vision of its founding fathers. Retirement communities are springing up relentlessly, adding to its appeal for retirees.
Sun City is a community that is needs no introduction and no assistance; it is self-sustaining and stress free. Many of the residents use golf carts to get from point A to point B, cutting down on traffic and allowing for some freedom within city limits. Health care is not a problem in Sun City, as there are many quality medical facilities that grace its streets; care and skill are just a few of the traits that are exhibited within their walls. Treatment centers are rooted in Sun City to meet the medical needs of its residents and retirees.
The entertainment possibilities are endless within Sun City limits, including golf, bowling and crafts. There are recreation centers that provides swimming and related activities. Throughout the city there are 8 golf courses, 120 clubs with charters and leisurely activities for all who wish to participate. Community is everything in Sun City, adding to its allure when choosing a viable retirement community.
Money Magazine once voted Tempe one of the top ten places to retire in the United States. Those who are looking for culture, experiences and entertainment choose Tempe, Arizona as their retirement home. It is a greatly populated city, providing top-notch education opportunities at Arizona State University and making Tempe a diverse place to live. Many retirees takes pride in the educational gold mine located within Tempe’s borders, calling it the “All-American City.” The campus provides culture which branches out into the community and engulfs all who reside there. Arts and historic landmarks, museums and galleries are attractions that hold the attention of residents and tourists alike.
There are many recreational activities that can be experienced in Tempe, including water sports, running and hiking, shopping and socializing. There are well-known restaurants, diverse cuisines and nighttime activities that serve as points in favor of Tempe for retirement. Music surrounds the city, including country and jazz and old hits from the past. There are sidewalk cafes and unique shopping experiences that are centered around Tempe’s many specialty shops and an incredible Mall District.
There is much to see and more to do in Tempe, making it a great place to plan for retirement. Retirement communities within the city are making headway and allowing retirees to enhance their quality of life through outdoor activities, culture, beauty and continued health.
Arizona Retirement Planning
There are many reasons why people neglect retirement planning at an early age; some do not understand the benefit of beginning a savings account early in life, some enter the workforce later on in life, still others are caught up in the present and neglect to look far enough into the future. Whatever the reasons are for starting a retirement planning program later in life, stress begins to set it. It is important that people realize that it is never too late to begin planning for retirement. It may take more work and more financial input, but it can be done.
It is impossible to predict a specific retirement age, but the United States census suggests that many people retire around the age of 62, still others younger than that. As you approach the median retirement age, start thinking about the possibilities. You can consult with a professional retirement planner and find out what you need to do to save for a comfortable lifestyle during retirement. A retirement planner will help you figure out what you need to save, what supplemental income you can count on, and how to account for economic changes like inflation and increases to the cost of insurance. Trying to figure everything out on your own can be a daunting task, but a professional retirement planner can help take the heat off.
A good savings plan in a necessary component of any retirement planning program. Retirement in Arizona comes with its own set of financial responsibilities. You have to plan for the location you are settling down in. Arizona has a good housing market, lower taxes and great health care which makes it a desirable location to begin your retirement. Save for the lifestyle you want and what you expect from your retirement. If you are able to put aside more than normal one month, do so. Increase and decrease your savings plan as you see fit, but remember the benefits of putting aside more than you originally expected to.