D Smith: Keep retirement plan on track
Are you concerned you may outlive your money? Some people fear outliving their assets more than they fear their own death.
We can’t predict our future, or the many factors that can effect how long we live. We can take positive steps to reach lifestyle and financial goals.
Take good care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, avoid stress and have routine medical and dental checkups.
You do not want to stop working earlier than planned due to health concerns, or have to pay expensive health care costs for the rest of your life.
Balance your life now. Take care of the most important person you are responsible for—yourself.
Balance your priorities daily, weekly and monthly. Too much work or too much play can cause an improper balance in your life.
Avoid unnecessary debt. Spiraling debt can wreck the best intentioned retirement plan.
Try to pay down your debts, and stay away from high interest cost credit cards. Families should work together to avoid excessive spending; if one person is a spender and another is a saver, this can cause a family conflict.
Work together to manage and control spending and saving habits.
Be realistic about future inflation. Ten years ago, most seniors did not own a cell phone.
Today most seniors have a cell phone, and also a home computer to e-mail friends and family.
Inflation and changing technology can erode our retirement savings.
Plan for the unexpected. Do you have a back up plan in the event of an emergency? Set aside some extra cash to cover an unexpected crisis in your life.
The crisis may not involve you, but may involve a family member. What about a sudden job loss, or accident?
Pay yourself first.
When you earn more, save more. Set aside a portion of a bonus, tax refund, or inheritance to increase your retirement fund. Look for ways to earn extra income during your lifetime and in retirement.
Start a small business, work some overtime, or work your way up the ladder within your company to a higher paying job.
Continue to research options that may be available to you.
Choose to work longer. Staying in the workforce means more years to save and fewer years of drawing on your retirement income. Many people in retirement are interested in working part time or may take the opportunity to start a new business venture.
Know your own number. How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?
Prepare a budget sheet or fact finding summary to help you find out your own number. Put all your income on one side of the sheet and all your expenses on the other side.
If you have a shortfall in retirement income, are you setting aside a monthly amount to supplement the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and other pension income?
If you need help or have questions, talk to a financial expert.
Keeping your retirement plans on track is a positive step to staying focused and committed to reaching your financial and lifestyle goals.
Doreen Smith is a Certified Financial Planner with Capri Wealth Management Inc.