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The Reason Why so Many People are Unprepared for Retirement

Preparing for retirement can be challenging. There are so many questions you need to ask, not to undermine checking your savings to ensure you have enough, and making sure that you have no outstanding debts or lingering mortgage payments that you need to get out of your mind. 

Where can you start? You might have already explored a few retirement workshops, borrowed a few books from the library to learn about saving for retirement, or even consulted your local financial advisor. All of these things are not wrong in themselves. Yet, none of them can help you prepare effectively for retirement without a robust plan.

Having a plan is key. With the rising cost of living, inflation, and a global economic recovery from the pandemic, many are finding it hard to prepare for their retirement; money is, by all means, an issue. The mind-boggling question of whether they have enough to subsist on, keeps nagging on their heads. Here are a few other additional reasons why people might not be prepared for retirement, along with helpful tips for saving. 

People are Making Hasty Decisions
Lack of effective preparation for retirement can take a toll on your financial plan. Many employees are changing jobs like crazy, which can be detrimental to your financial security. In the wake of the pandemic, many jobs do not necessarily provide sufficient income. When that happens, employees end up cashing money from their savings while looking for a better-paying job. 

Student Loans
Studying for a degree can be costly; that’s why many end up paying for their hefty college and university degrees over many years. On the other hand, family heads might be bogged down with paying for their children’s loans, which adds another dent in their budgeting plan. 

Caregiver’s Responsibilities Add a Burden
Caring for an ailing parent or family member isn’t easy; it can take a mental, emotional, and financial toll on you. Many caregivers say that their lives are more challenging in retirement than when they were working. At times, if they don’t have the means to send the parent or family member to an assisted living facility, they end up spending most of their savings on them.

What Can You Do About It?
The undeniable fact is that no matter what you are doing, you need to save more money. So, before you go on a whim, you need to invest in your known assets first. This is a great way to ensure that you establish some sort of security. Here are a few ways to do so.

1. Pay Off your Mortgage
Paying off your mortgage plays an essential role in financial security. As a start, ask your loan service provider to run a fresh amortization schedule to ensure that your mortgage is paid by the time you are 65. Although you can continue working until you are 70, it is vital for you to ensure that your mortgage is paid by 65, if not earlier. When you do that, you can switch to a less demanding job in your 70s.

2. Cash-out Wisely
The more frugal you are with money, the better equipped you will be to pay off your debts, mortgage, and other lingering expenses. For example, if your employer has a retirement savings plan sign up for it and contribute to it. It will help you save more money in the long run. Over time, the interest and tax deferrals can significantly affect the amount you accumulate. 

3. Have a Plan to Work Longer
If your situation allows for it, working longer can help you accumulate more money and pay off any lingering debts. Granted, this might not be a strategy everyone wants to embrace. If you are still in your 50s and 60s and are not sure if you have enough money, working longer is a good contingency plan to fall back on. 

Conclusion
You are the only one who can make the savvy choice of spending wisely. Going forward, you can make wise decisions by implementing the steps above to save more. Admittedly, you won’t always do everything right all the time, but with your determined efforts, you can reach your goals, progress, and learn, then the money will be sure to flow! 

David Messiha | Contributing Writer

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