Retirement is something that’s fairly easy to put off and worry about later, especially when you are young. After all, everything will sort itself out in the end, right?
Well… what if it doesn’t? What’s your plan then?
That’s the problem with that strategy — often life won’t work out the way you planned. And if it doesn’t, you’ll put yourself and your family in a less than ideal situation. The best way to do that is to plan for retirement.
Chances are, you don’t plan to work until the day you die. You may have even envisioned your dream retirement, sipping cocktails on a beach, on a porch in a cozy mountain retreat, or off traveling the world. But it actually takes careful financial planning for these dreams to be realized.
In this post, we’re giving you 9 reasons why retirement planning is important, and why you should start getting your ducks in a row early on, rather than when it’s too late. Let’s dive in!
1. The Average Life Expectancy Continues To Rise
The first reason you need to kick-start your retirement planning is the simple fact that people are now, on average, living longer than ever before. A longer life means you’ll need more retirement funds saved to continue to live off of. With the average American lifespan creeping up toward 80 years old, it’s easy to see that you’ll need a substantial sum to live comfortably in your retirement.
This is especially true because while the average life expectancy is now nearly 80, people often live even longer than that. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the above average bracket, you’ll need to stretch out your retirement savings further than you had planned. That means saving more and planning for longer. The earlier you begin, the better your chances are for having enough retirement funds to last your entire lifespan.
In short, don’t plan for an average life expectancy — plan for more!
2. You Can’t Work Forever
You might be defiant and think you can work until the day you drop, and for some, that may be the dream, but the fact is you can’t perform your profession at a high level for your entire life. As you age, you’re going to slow down and certain tasks will become more difficult.
No matter how much you want to keep working for your entire life, it is no excuse to not save for retirement. Having that money handy prepares you in case you retire earlier than anticipated. Without a retirement fund to fall back on, you’ll be stuck in your “work forever” plan.
3. Retirement Is The Best Time to Check Off Your Bucket List
You know that big list of dream places to visit, and things to try and experience that you’ve probably been making your whole life? Chances are, during your working career and early life, there are often responsibilities at home that make accomplishing them quite difficult. Whether it’s your career, building a growing family, or other circumstances and life events, there are often things holding you back. No longer in retirement, as long as you planned accordingly, that is.
Retirement is the perfect opportunity to go after those places and experiences you’ve seen in photos or videos and always wanted for yourself. You can now collect these experiences and engage in the events you weren’t able to do during your career.
One benefit of retirement planning and having a comfortable retirement also allows you to stay totally in the moment. You no longer have to worry about getting back to work or anything else. You can be carefree with your time. Whatever dreams you had for your life, retirement is most often the time to fulfill them, but it’s only possible if you carefully planned during your career. Otherwise, you may be skimping out on certain experiences and leaving certain items on your bucket list unchecked.
Having a good financial retirement plan eliminates stress and allows you to accomplish these goals. With a strong retirement fund, your money will free you up, rather than hinder you.
4. Your Future May Have More Financial Obstacles Than Your Past Or Present
It’s important to realize that you may indeed experience financial hardships in the future. People are often optimistic about their financial future, living with the faith that things will be better in the years to come, but it’s not something you can bank on.
Your future is not guaranteed, which is why retirement planning is necessary, and once you have a plan in place – stick to it. If you run into trouble later in your life, you’ll have to try as hard as you can to resist the temptation to dip into your retirement savings, although it will be there as a safety net if you need it. Keep in mind, there are sometimes penalties for withdrawing your retirement funds, and you will want to save them for your actual retirement.
This shouldn’t kill any optimism you have for your retirement, rather should show you the importance of having a plan. There will be speed bumps ahead in your life, and you might encounter some money troubles; having a retirement plan will put you in the best place to deal with them.
5. Relying On Social Security Or A Pension Is Risky
While retirement does make you eligible for low-cost medical coverage through Medicare and monthly benefit checks from Social Security, they most likely won’t be enough to give you the comfortable retirement of your dreams. Your retirement funds will supplement what you receive in Social Security, and provide a safety net should Social Security and Medicare ever be taken away.
Medicare and Social Security are meant to supplement your retirement, not be solely depended upon. Meanwhile, pensions have mostly gone away, but also may not be enough to cover the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to.
Proper retirement planning is necessary in the event you need to cover any long-term care that you may require later in your life. Medicare may not cover every form of care, so your retirement savings may become your safety net to pay for in-home care or a nursing facility.
6. Your Retirement Can Contribute to Your Family, Too
Your dream retirement might even involve giving back to your family. If you have a healthy pool of funds you can dip into, you can be the parent or grandparent that gives lavish gifts to your family, like taking your whole brood on a big vacation or buying a vacation home that you can pass down.
It even makes it easier for you to always be there for big events, you can just chip away at your funds to keep making the flights back to wherever your family might be. It will mean a lot to your family to know that you will always be there when it matters.
Your retirement fund also doesn’t even have to end with you. If you’ve planned carefully and have a healthy sum stowed away for retirement, you may have a nice gift to give your children or grandchildren when your time comes.
7. It’s Unfair To Depend Upon Your Family
On the other side of the coin, imagine your future with your family if you didn’t see the value in planning for retirement. It would then become your children’s responsibility to take care of you. In your retirement, you shouldn’t be dependent on anyone, let alone your own family.
Having a firm plan in place will make sure you don’t become a financial burden on those you love the most. You want to be in a position to help out a family member’s financial situation, not make things worse.
8. You Always Have Enough Money To Save For Retirement
If your immediate reaction to this section was “No, I don’t,” we’re here to tell you that yes you do! While we understand that everyone’s financial circumstances are different, you do have enough to save for retirement. Let us show you how.
When your finances are in rough shape and you’re struggling to make ends meet, it might not appear that you have any money to put aside for retirement. Where is this extra money going to magically come from? The things is, you already have it, you just need to change your mindset.
If you are able to make saving money to help plan for your retirement a priority, you’ll be able to see that you do indeed have some extra funds to build a pleasant future, no matter how dire things seem. Saving money is a challenge for some more than others, but it’s always much more of a mind game than a numbers game. As long as the end result of having a comfortable retirement is of high importance to you, you’ll find a way to save to make it happen.
Another common barrier is time, but to that, we have the same answer: you have it. As long as you prioritize your retirement, you will make the time to set forth a plan for your future, and become motivated to stick to it.
9. Why is Retirement Planning Important Today?
That’s right — today. Not tomorrow. It’s incredibly vital that you start planning for retirement early.
You’ll put yourself in the best situation if you start planning for retirement early on. Accumulating the funds you need for a comfortable retirement may take decades, depending on your income, and you’ll want as large of a nest egg as possible when you are no longer bringing in a salary. By starting to invest in your retirement early on in your career, your funds will accumulate and grow over time, leaving you with a substantial enough fund to fulfill your retirement dreams.
The best news is it is never too early to plan for your life after you’ve finished your career. Now that you realize the importance in retirement planning, you can start developing your retirement plan today.