Unless you were born into wealth or were lucky enough to get a high-paying job with a fabulous pension, your retirement won’t be a one-and-done situation. Building a comfortable retirement will be a series of strategies.
For example, having a 401(k) is great, but you also need plenty of cash savings. A paid-off home is a huge asset, but other forms of consumer debt could sandbag your dreams. A healthy Social Security benefit certainly helps, but not everyone can expect one of those.
Simply put, if you want a happy, comfortable retirement, there are specific steps to take; no matter your age. These tactics can help.
1. Take this quiz to see if you can retire comfortably
Maybe you never thought much about what retirement actually is, other than “that golden time when I no longer have to punch a clock.” But there’s a bit more to it than that, and SmartAsset’s free quiz helps clarify things both financially and personally.
Some of us are hesitant to look our retirement finances in the eye. It’s like stepping on a scale, or going to the dentist: What if the news isn’t good? But that’s where SmartAsset can set your mind at ease.
SmartAsset uses your quiz answers to match you with an experienced money planner in your area. This financial expert will go over your financials, then work with you to create a plan for the retirement you want.
Some people think they can manage their own retirement planning, thank you very much, but keep this in mind: A recent Vanguard study showed that a self-managed $500,000 would turn into $1.69 million in 25 years, on average – whereas a financial adviser could turn those same bucks into $3.4 million.
Here’s what else a skilled financial adviser can provide: clarity. Maybe you haven’t considered what you want to do in retirement (other than sleep late). What might your retirement lifestyle look like: spending time with loved ones, travel, volunteering? Staying where you are now, or relocating? Kicking back 24/7, or starting an encore career?
SmartAsset will match you with a planner to help define your retirement dreams and fund them. Get started by taking this free quiz.
2. Save $8,256 on your mortgage (before it’s too late!)
The Federal Reserve has strongly hinted at not one, not two, but three interest rate hikes in 2022. This may or may not affect your current mortgage, since rate hikes don’t always have an impact.
But why take that chance? Especially since low interest rates have nowhere to go but higher? And if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, then …….