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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

October 19, 2016 - 8:39am -- Anonymous

This has been a beautiful month filled with many horseback rides, family time and classes that focus on managing finances.  In my e-mail this morning was a reminder that Oct 17-21 is National Retirement Security Week.  Depending on where you are in your work history, you may be thinking about your future choices.  I urge young workers to begin today to plan for the future, waiting until you think you have money to save may never happen and you may not be able to have the kind of retirement you would like to.  For those of us on the other end, here are some great reminders; it’s never too late to start a more complete plan.

Retirement today is very different that it was for our parents.  To many it’s just a stage of life and they never plan (or can afford) to retire.  First of all, as life extends, retirements can easily last 25-30 years.  Check out an on-line life expectancy calculator to provide estimates.  Then begin the conversation about what retirement means to you and your spouse.  For some it means travel and living at the same level you may be living today.  There are several online calculators that help to give estimates of what your budget might look like, depending on the lifestyle you would like to have.  As we continue thinking, here are some tips that come from AARP:

Retire when you’ve reached your savings goal, not a given age.   Retirement beings independence and you’ll need to know how much you need to save to fund the kind of life you want in retirement.

Manage your risk, make sure that you have a variety of investments that are secure.  Remember a serious medical risk or death of a spouse could significantly impact your financial well-being. 

Pay off all debt before retirement, is the suggestion.  Auto, home, credit cards and any loans should be paid off so that your income can allow you to do the things you’ve dreamed of.  If there is debt, it reduces cash flow so acknowledge what that impact to your plan might be.

Seek professional advice, as savings and investments don’t stop when you retire.  Your goal becomes more complex as you begin to utilize your savings and keep it growing. Contact at least 3 companies to compare, ask the same questions to make a clear comparison and choose one that can focus on your personal needs and goals.

Plan a strategy by planning now and for your future.  Take control over as many things as you can and make plans so that you can enjoy the retirement that you look forward to.