As I scrolled through some of the leading financial publications recently, I noticed that many reporters are covering the news of retirement “unpreparedness” – sharing surveys, anecdotes and detailing the “dire” situation that Americans are facing.
However, when it comes to proper financial planning, it’s not these kind of scare tactics that will get individuals and couples on track. Rather, simple and actionable goals need to be implemented to increase the probability of success for financial plans, and in turn, retirement goals. Below, I outline small changes to weave into your lifestyle, and easy strategies to consider.
- Realign wants vs. needs. Analyze your monthly expenses and distinguish those that are discretionary from those that are non-discretionary. What unnecessary expenses can be reduced or eliminated? Are there cable TV services that you pay for and never use? How many nights a week do you go out for dinner? Can you say “no” to a lavish vacation? By reducing some of these expenses, you can redirect those funds to increase savings contributions. After a careful review of necessities from luxuries, try a combination of saving a little more and spending a little less.
- Balance and strategize your debt load. If you have debt such as a home mortgage, home equity line of credit and credit card debt, there are times when debt consolidation loans can make a significant impact on the success of your financial plan.
- Time to downsize? Is the house you raised your five children in still necessary? Downsizing could reduce your monthly expenses from things such as utilities and maintenance, allowing for more to be directed to achieving your financial plan. If moving is not in the cards, be mindful of any major post-retirement expenditures such as home additions or remodels. Be certain that projected cash flows can absorb the expenditure without impacting your long-term financial plan.
- To work, or not to work. Sure, retirement is a time for relaxation that you earned after dedicating decades toward your career. But, is part-time work something to consider? It can be a great source of pocket money, and allow you to spend time doing work that you are truly passionate about.
No matter where you are in the retirement planning process, it’s important to understand that taking small and manageable steps can create positive change for your golden years. Working with a Certified Financial Planner can help you create your financial plan and stay on track. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. Univest Wealth Management is here to help no matter your stage of life. Our motto is we focus on what you value, not on what you’re worth. To have a conversation about your financial plan, contact us at 877-723-5571.
Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania uses the marketing name Univest Wealth Management to provide (1) investment and wealth management, fiduciary services and trust services through its subsidiary Univest Bank and Trust Co., (2) specific fiduciary and investment advisory services through Girard Partners, Ltd., (3) securities products, insurance products and brokerage services through Univest Investments, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and (4) investment management and related products and services to Pennsylvania municipal entities through TCG Advisory, Inc. Investment products and services are not FDIC insured, and are not a deposit of Univest Bank and Trust Co. or bank guaranteed, and are subject to risks, including possible loss of any principal amount invested.