We all know the importance of starting a savings plan for retirement early – after all, this is the only way to accumulate that million dollars the experts tell us we’ll need to live comfortably.
Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always make that possible and many of us end up in our 40s and 50s with very little saved, stressed about the retirement that’s looming in our near future.
So, can you still retire comfortably without having the coveted million dollars in savings?
Yes… yes you can. While a million bucks would certainly make things easier, it’s not mandatory for a carefree retirement. In fact, you can enjoy a wonderful retirement with much, much less.
To start, do your math and figure out how much money you would need each year in order to live. Factor in future changes such as paying off a mortgage or dependents moving away from home. Then estimate how much money you expect to have coming in, including both Social Security and any pension or retirement plans you might have.
With these two numbers, you can start focusing on how to fill the gap.
The best way to do this is with savings and investments, such as an employer-sponsored 401k or an IRA account. But while you’re socking money away in savings, also remember that you don’t have to stop working when you retire.
Maybe this is when you’ll finally launch that small business you’ve always dreamed about or work part-time as a florist or at a day-care center. This is an opportunity for you to actually choose something you’red really want to do instead of choosing a career because it pays all your bills.
For most people, figuring out how to close the financial gap opens up a whole new range of possibilities and if you let your imagination run with those possibilities, you might find that you’re a little excited about the idea of retiring after all.