Retirement Dreaming

The following post comes from the Military Saves Blog.  Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
Sandy Boenig, AFC®, Military Saves Associate

Retirement planning can be exciting, but saving for it may prove to be challenging for you with the constant concern for everyday financial obligations. I’ve always been a fan of looking at the sky; there are clouds, they warn us of storms.

Other times it can be perfectly clear, allowing for endless day dreaming, and at night the sky can be filled with stars. Thoughtful retirement planning can help you better manage the variability that exists over time – planning, in most circumstances, is the key to success.

Imagine what your retirement will look like

  • It’s just an idea, so you aren’t married to it, but it is helpful to know what you are aiming for.  Do you plan to be close to family, someplace warm, near a military installation, in a state with low taxes, in another country, or maybe you want to join the Peace Corps. The point here is to dream a little.

What do you want to do in retirement?

  • When you are thinking about where you will retire, you also want to think about what you will you do…pursue hobbies, take classes (many colleges and universities allow seniors to audit any class they want), or is there a career you would like to start?   If you are retiring from the military chances are you will still be relatively young. 

Consider life changes that will come down the road

·There are a couple of curve-balls life can throw at you, that nobody really wants to think about, that can alter your retirement.     

oThe first is health.  You could be perfectly healthy right now, but you may become disabled or diagnosed with a serious illness.  Make sure you understand how your health benefits work so you aren’t suddenly faced with large medical expenses.

oThe second is mobility.  Think about what you would do if you became disabled.  Many older retirees make a point of having homes that are on one level, with no steps, or an elevator accessed building.

oFinally, needing skilled care.  If you should need to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility you can quickly deplete your savings.  Consider Long Term Care insurance.  There are various types of this product, and you should speak to a qualified agent to get what is right for you.  Premium is least expensive when you are younger and healthier, so you don’t want to wait until you need the insurance to apply.

So now that you’ve thought about the good and the bad things that can happen in retirement check and see if your savings are on track to achieve your dream retirement and take action.Take the steps you need to make it happen.

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