You can’t control the economy, and you can’t always avoid health scares or changes in circumstance.
But there are things you can control, from small to big: everything from the kind of car you drive to the amount of money you put into savings each month.
Why not start now?
Let’s recap eight things you can do to sidestep the unhappy bin:
1. Ditch the BMW and stick to the Asian brands. The ultimate driving machine is a shiny new money sump — get a car that gives you comfort and cushion instead.
2. You don’t need a second career as a stock trader. Keep your day job! Not really — you’re retired, remember? But do leave the investing to the professionals.
3. Give your money a purpose. Find a cause you are passionate about and contribute either money or time.
4. Don’t move and don’t renovate. They’re both too costly — you don’t want to start out your retirement in the red.
5. Make big-ticket purchases before you retire. Take care of big purchases one to three years prior to your retirement date, including (but not limited to): new boats, cars, and RVs, expensive artwork, or a pricey vacation.
6. Plan and budget for your retirement. Happy retirees spend at least five hours a year planning for retirement. You should, too.
7. Make sure your Rich Ratio is over 1. It’s not how much money you have that matters; it’s how much you have in relation to how much you spend.
8. Check your pessimism at the door. Pessimism can be costly, and fear is almost always financially devastating. Don’t let pessimism lock you out of missing out on a stock market and economy that, despite the road bumps, will flourish over time.
This post is an excerpt from "You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think: The 5 Money Secrets Of the Happiest Retirees," by certified financial planner Wes Moss. Moss is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and host of "Money Matters."
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