Does the idea of hitting the golf course five days out of every seven sound appealing to you? How about travelling the world or spending an entire blissful day on the one challenging crossword puzzle? The definition of retirement varies from person to person – the trick is getting there at an age where you can still make the most of it. All that takes is some simple financial planning. Here are a few easy plans you can put in motion to retire early.
Maximise Your Investments
There’s a subtle but important difference between savings and investments. Savings are generally funds that are available whenever you need them – they are liquid. Investments are assets designed to generate returns in the long term, like stocks, bonds, real estate, or even art. It doesn’t take a market analyst to properly manage an investment portfolio either; online education companies like Learn to Trade provide novices with the basics of trading Forex stocks and can teach you good trading habits and principles for the future.
You should absolutely be looking for any tax advantages on offer and grabbing them with both hands. The more you can get back in your yearly tax return, the better. Unless there is another dire use it must be put to, you should absolutely add these returns directly to your retirement fund or your stock portfolio. Make sure you speak with an accountant every year when submitting your tax so you can be sure that you’re making the most of your return.
Modern advertising preys on those who make snap decisions and impulse purchases. You must be vigilant against these. Money you spend on things you don’t need now is money you won’t get to spend in your retirement. This of course does not mean that you’ve got to be cheap or stingy in order to get by – it’s about understanding the value of your money. Consider your purchases with your head rather than your heart.
All sorts of unexpected health problems can arise as you get older and good health care can become a very expensive proposition, with co-payments, premiums and deductibles all coming into play, depending on the severity of your illness. The life choices you make now regarding your health will affect you later in life. Smoking, lack of exercise, and poor diet can all have long-term negative effects. Endeavour to live well now so that you can enjoy all that free time later.
Save Early and Often
If you’re not already making regular contributions to a superannuation fund, start now. Contribute often and with as much as you can. The younger you are when you start, the more you’ll have when you retire. Time is on your side with this one – interest and your own contributions swell the size of the account until, when you go to retire, you’ve got a lovely nest egg just waiting for you to claim it and use it as you will.
Sticking to these extremely straightforward ideas will not only make daily life now more enjoyable, but it will also help you get on – and stay on – a solid path to an early, fruitful retirement. What are your dos and don’ts when it comes to preparing for retirement? Share your thoughts in the comments.