Home Finances Action Steps For Better Retirement Planning

Action Steps For Better Retirement Planning

Financial planning

People who’ve been retired for a while say they wish they’d saved more of their money and invested it more. They also advise to keep investing in yourself, learning how to do your job better, which gives far better returns than anything you’ll get from the investment markets. Retirement Watch CEO Bob Carlson provides Suzanne with action steps to improve you retirement planning. Financial wellness is one of the 8 foundational principles of wellness, part of the Vitality Revolution podcast series sponsored by Humana.

Suzanne asked for some basic steps that anyone could take right now to prepare for their retirement. Bob answers, “Well, this is something where you don’t need to take my advice. But instead, I looked to surveys of people who’ve been retired for a while and, and what they would have done differently and what advice they would give to younger people. And of course, the first one is they would have saved more, they would become saving earlier even if it was relatively small amounts and they just generally would have saved more of their income and invested it rather than spending it on things they enjoyed but didn’t really last.

“Invest in human capital, your human capital. Things that’ll make you more valuable to an employer, or help you do your job better, or if you own a business, help you do that business better. It’s an investment that has great returns, far better than anything you can get in the investment markets. Keep investing in yourself no matter what age you are.”

Bob says, “I was writing a book on social security a couple of years ago, and ran into this woman at a dinner party. And she says, well, I hope you’re gonna tell them to wait, because my husband and I, we took everything early: took social security, we took our pensions, and we went into our retirement funds early. And then he died, and so his social security went away, and his pension went away, and it was really a mistake. We enjoyed that money. It was great to have it when we were in our fifties and early sixties. But I’m struggling now and I hope you’ll be telling people to wait.”

“A third thing is, consider the long term in your decisions. That’s something that many retirees say they regret. They did things like take Social Security early, take their pensions early, not pay enough attention to Medicare and long term care. And there are options for that when they were younger, and they could have done things differently, could have qualified for different types of things, particularly long term care, where insurers are getting more and more stringent. And as you get older, the rejection rate for people applying for long term care insurance just gets higher and higher. So there are things like this that you need to focus on the long term when you’re younger, and by younger, I mean, really in your fifties or sixties is when you’re making a lot of these decisions.

“Probably the most important thing is to save early and often. It’s tempting to say you can afford to buy these new things that you really want. But think about your older self, when that fancy new TV or car or whatever is, is long discarded. Is your older self gonna be glad you bought it 20 years earlier, or is it gonna wish you’d put some of that money into a retirement fund and invested it, so you now have a multiple of what you put in rather than not having that money at all? So think about what you’re gonna be like older, and plan on living longer than the average life expectancy, and realize how long that money is gonna need to last.”

Regarding Bob’s Retirement Watch newsletter, “What I do is independent research on these issues. I’m not affiliated with any large financial firms. So when I’m advising on any of these retirement issues, it’s just independent. So I’m going to tell you the facts on both sides. I’m going to tell you who should do one strategy and who shouldn’t. And it’s gonna be what’s best for you.

“Readers tell me I explain things in more detail than other publications do. The other publications stop when they just start to get interesting. But I try to explain really down a little more in the nitty gritty, while still being pretty straightforward, in simple language. And I’m gonna keep you up to date on the changes. All these things change. Some of them change quite rapidly. So one of the big benefits of the newsletter is I’m gonna keep on top of what’s going on in the retirement financial world, and I’m gonna bring it back to you, and let you know what’s changed, and what that means to you.”

Learn more:

* Bob Carlson: https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B001K8LP5K/about
* Retirement Watch newsletter: https://www.retirementwatch.com/ or 800-552-1152
* Retirement Watch: The Essential Guide to Retiring in the 2020s at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Retirement-Watch-Essential-Guide-Retiring/dp/1684513332
* The Vitality Revolution podcast series: https://answersforelders.com/vitality-revolution/
* Humana: https://www.humana.com/
* Answers for Elders: https://answersforelders.com/welcome-to-answers-for-elders/

Hear more podcasts about financial wellness at https://answersforelders.com/financial-wellness

Answers for Elders is part of the SeniorResource Network: https://www.seniorresource.com/
Check out our affiliate podcast Alzheimer’s Speaks: https://alzheimersspeaks.com/