First Person: Planning for My Golden Years

Yahoo Contributor Network

Any number of clichés can describe financial mistakes we make when we're young, so I won't bore you by re-stating them. If you've reached middle age, or are approaching it and don't yet have a plan for your retirement you likely know this is a bad financial move. Not preparing for my golden years is probably what I regret most in my financial past.

Anticipate Changing Times

Back in the good old days, when jobs were abundant and a wide selection of employment opportunities abounded in the professional world, I assumed it would always be so. This led to the erroneous thought that there was plenty of time to save and plan for retirement.

Not only did I make an unwise decision by not saving money, but there was also undeveloped land that I should have utilized and gotten ready for a comfortable retirement . In my 20's I didn't think I'd ever want to live in the area again; my, how things change with time. The cost of digging a well and installing a septic tank would have been much less expensive with 1980's dollars than it is today.

Priorities Change Too

Of course, in my younger years, I didn't know I'd want to start a nursery on the property and potentially live there. I never considered that developing the property in any way would increase the value if I decided to sell it. On the bright side now, it would've increased the property taxes I've paid for more than a quarter century.

Goals and interests change throughout the years of life and developing property for your retirement years may not always be a good idea. If one of your goals is to own a home or the property for a business, take a look at the existing market. Prices are low and it is a buyer's market; particularly if you have reasonable expectations.

Based on my poor, personal experience, the worst thing one can do is nothing. I'm not saying that you shouldn't enjoy your youth, but keep the long-term future in mind. It might not be promised to us, but we'll be in a better situation if we make preparations and plans than if we ignore the coming years and do nothing.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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