Retirement isn't just something that just happens when you reach a certain age, it is something you have to plan for carefully. People retire at different ages and for different reasons. The more you plan, the more enriching your retirement can be. Where do you start?
The first step is to define what kind of retirement you want to have. What are your five most important goals? And try to be as specific as possible. So if travel is one of your goals, don't just put down, "travel', put down, "ride the gondola in Venice."
You also want to take stock of your health and your finances. Are there any health issues you should take care of, or changes you should make to stay even healthier. Your health is everything.
Then take stock of your financial health. Will you need to continue to work? Are there any assets – like antiques or collectibles that can help you retire, or any passions or hobbies you have that will help you earn money and enjoyment during retirement? Turn something you love doing into a source of income in your retirement.
You will also want to make sure you understand Social Security. Everyone is going to need it. The longer you wait to start collecting Social Security, the more you'll collect. To make sure you collect 100% of your benefits, you need to wait until you're age 66 and 4 months.
Lastly, create a realistic retirement budget. Track your income and expenses. Figure out how much money you'll need in retirement. And make sure you invest carefully so you're not exposed to too much risk or paying too much in fees.
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