Retirement can conjure a lot of images in the mind’s eye. You may picture yourself lounging on a tropical beach with a cocktail in hand watching the waves gently lick the alabaster sands, or simply imagine an everyday lifestyle of arising whenever you choose to with an open-ended itinerary in front of you. Life is for living, and there is certainly nothing wrong with looking forward to your golden years with very positive expectations.
However, in the end “retirement” is not a state of mind…it is simply a word describing the act of putting your working years behind you. To be able to do this you’re going to have to have the financial resources to pay your way without earning a paycheck or operating a business. For most people, this is going to take careful and concerted advance planning.
The sad truth is a very high percentage of people find this out after it is too late to do anything about it. There was a poll conducted recently by the Associated Press in conjunction with Life GoesStrong.com that was intended to gauge how prepared baby boomers are for retirement. About one-fourth of the respondents said that they would never be able to retire, and well over 40% of them stated that they were not confident they would be able to retire in comfort.
When you recognize the need to plan for the future your first impulse may be to accumulate savings. Of course this is a good idea, but debt reduction is important as well. Debt comes along with interest, and the sooner you extinguish it the better off you’re going to be during your retirement years. Along these lines, you may want to think very long and hard about incurring debt unnecessarily if you are serious about meeting your retirement goals.
To be prepared for retirement you have to map out a plan and stick to it. If you’re not a financial expert in your own right, the best way to go about this would be to engage the services of a good retirement planning attorney who will listen as you explain your objectives and place you on a path that leads to the realization of your retirement vision.