Is Your Money Retired or Actively Working For Your Retirement
At some point in time just about everyone considers the fact that one day they’ll retire from the work force and have to care for their needs without a steady, regular income.
Most of us are taught the importance of stashing money away for emergencies and ultimately for retirement. But, more often than not life gets in the way and that important step of putting money aside gets skipped for years, maybe even decades.
Young people are hard pressed to think seriously about retirement.
When you think about how endlessly life seems to stretch out full of promise and potential, it’s understandable that planning for such a distant event as retirement is not a prominent thought.
If you are in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s and have started saving money, congratulations are in order. That’s because in my experience most people don’t begin to seriously consider their financial futures until they hit age 55. In fact, a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research institute (EBRI) says that only 14% of all workers have $250,000 or more in their retirement savings. That percentage rises to 23% for workers over the age of 45. But, keep in mind that’s 23% of the 14% of all workers.
Now before you get too giddy about your saving habits there are a few things to consider. First, if you are merely putting money into a savings account, you might as well think of your money as already retired. That’s right. Your money is sitting around doing absolutely nothing for you. To prepare for a more financially stable retirement you must invest your money. Put it to work for you. Find a way to make your money work hard for you now and into the distant future so you don’t have to.
Before you can invest your money, it’s important to think about your long-term financial plans. A financial assessment can help you consider typical life events that require advance planning. Too many people wait until a crisis occurs, then they spend all their savings. A financial assessment will take into account your spending and saving habits and can help you establish a financial plan that will serve as a road map toward a financially stable retirement. Financial assessments and plans will be very different depending on your age, number of dependents and your health at the time of your meeting.
Once you have a financial plan in place and stick to your investment goals, as you get closer to retirement age, you’ll want to start looking into estate planning. This happens when your money has worked well for you and you have assets to distribute upon your death. The most usual legal instruments for this purpose are a Last Will and Testament or a Living Will. These instruments also include the legal processes for distributing your property after your death.
Proper planning and investing can lead to a comfortable retirement. However, once you have assets you must have processes in place that will protect them in the event of long-term illness and other unforeseen life events. In the case of a long-term illness, without planning assets will be depleted rapidly on care until they are gone. If that happens, limited options are available. Thus, the best time to seek guidance on asset protection is long before there is a noticeable decline in either physical or cognitive ability or at the very least as soon as there are noticeable signs of decline.
Don’t put your money into retirement. Put it to work for you and establish plans for its protection so that your retirement can be as enjoyable as possible. Call The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC for a free 15-minute telephone consultation to see how we can best serve you.