When it comes to retirement income, we should focus on the bottom-line cost only after we build a mission statement that outlines how we plan to spend our time when “every day is Saturday.”
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To that end, I recently sat down with a group of Manilla.com experts — Lori Popkewitz Alper, Erica Bell, Sam Burgoon, Lisa Klug, Monica Ricci, Kimberly Rotter, Jen Senecal, Erin Kreitz Shirey, and Nicole Williams — about their plans and what steps they are taking to financially prepare for retirement.
From their responses, which you can read in full on womenandco.com, I identified nine steps that each of us can take today to electrify our retirement savings and boost our chances of turning our retirement vision into a reality, namely:
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- Live within your means: Don’t blur the lines between what’s truly a “need” versus a “want.”
- Spend on the right things: focus on experiences rather than “stuff.” And, when it comes to experiences, don’t underestimate the powerful, positive memories of family nature walks and potluck dinners with friends.
- Save consistently.
- Max out retirement contributions (e.g., 401(K), SEP, IRA).
- Minimize credit card debt.
- Pay off long-term debt (e.g., mortgage).
- Build a diversified investment portfolio.
- Plan ahead and keep a cushion for unanticipated events, whether it’s a leaky roof or an illness.
- Be as organized as possible: Keep your fingers on your paperwork and pulse on your financial health (e.g., credit score, net worth, cash flow and how you’re tracking against long-term goals).
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Where are you on the retirement continuum? Have you created a mission statement for your retirement? Have you put “pen to paper” to figure out what it will take to finance that vision? And, what steps are you taking to save for the time when every day truly is Saturday?
To help take your retirement planning up a notch (or two!), don’t forget that Citi’s Women & Co. has a range of retirement resources to help.
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