I think that it's important to have goals. Whether in career, finances, retirement or just life in general, goals can be beneficial in helping put some direction to our lives in any number of areas.
When it comes to retirement, goals can be useful in a number of stages. From the pre-planning and planning stages to entering and continuing through retirement, goals can help us create an overall picture of what retirement could and should be. Therefore, while I'm still a ways away from complete retirement, I still have some goals I'd like to achieve before I actually hit my golden years.
At the moment -- and with about three decades until retirement -- we're mortgage free, but this is largely because we sold our former single-family home and downsized to a much smaller condominium. However, this situation isn't going to last forever since we have two small children and a one bathroom condo just isn't going to work as they grow older and we have a full family vying for that one small space. Therefore, we will eventually have to upgrade, and in the process, we hope to avoid having to take on a mortgage but may not be able to.
But even with a mortgage, we still hope to have this debt paid off before we enter retirement since we've seen how helpful it can be even now. Being rid of what was previously a $1,350 a month obligation is certainly a weight lifted off our shoulders and is a benefit we've realized we definitely want in retirement.
Since we've found mortgage freedom, we'd also like to experience financial freedom in retirement by way of investment independence. What I mean by this is being able to live off of income other than our investment principal. Whether this means things like Social Security, interest, dividends, or cash, we'd like to do our best to avoid touching the investments that could serve to provide much of this income. This way we can let our investment principal continue to earn for us -- possibly even growing -- and keep it in place to use as more of a reserve rather than dipping into it for our regular expenses.
Through my extended family, I've seen the effects of not having fully independent adult children and I don't want this for our kids' sake or ours. Dependant adult children can be a severe strain upon a couple's finances as they near retirement. And children in such a situation often fail to develop -- or at least take longer to develop -- many of the skills and abilities that allow them to function and succeed in a life of their own.
Therefore, we're starting now -- when the kids are still young -- on educating them regarding money, work ethic, and responsibility. By doing things like assigning weekly chores, taking them with us when grocery shopping or going to the bank, and making birthday and holiday gifts of various money and financial products such as cash, bonds, collectible coins, and silver, we hope to instill an appreciation of and for money that helps build their financial independence.
New, new, new…or at least newer
Another goal we'd like to achieve before entering retirement is replacing older items with new if necessary. I'd like to have the peace of mind entering retirement that the things we have like our home's roof, our vehicle, our appliances, and similar expensive to replace items have been replaced or are functioning properly for the foreseeable future. This can alleviate some of the stress and worry of having to replace such items once in retirement and when income might be lower and expenses for things like health and medical needs higher.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.
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