In spite of all the advice you see out there to start saving early for your eventual retirement, we’re realistic. We know that many people—either out of choice, neglect or necessity—put off saving for their retirement, only to find themselves up against a wall of anxiety when they realize that retirement isn’t very far away. However, according to Carla Fried of CBS Money Watch, it may not be as bad as you think. In fact, according to Fried, “he who hesitates can in fact win at retirement.”
The article suggests that due to the recent economic downturn many people are choosing to put off their retirement until they feel more secure… a feeling that may never materialize. But that hesitation can serve a purpose: It provides the opportunity to take a good look at your finances and your choices, “take a deep breath and make some smart tweaks to your plan [so] you can still pull off a successful retirement.”
These are some of the tweaks Fried recommends:
Put Off Your Retirement Date. At best you give yourself a few more years to bulk up your savings account, at worst you’ve eased some of the pressure on the savings you already have.
Consider Downsizing Your Home. Moving into a more economical home not only gives you some breathing room on the monthly mortgage once you retire, but you may be able to put some of the proceeds from the sale into your savings.
And there’s one more that isn’t included in the article, but that you won’t want to overlook:
Talk to Your Attorney About Estate Planning. You may not expect it, but estate planning includes thinking about health care, long-term care, and how to work with the departments of Social Security and Medicaid instead of against them. Making a plan before you retire can relieve a lot of stress.