Image Source: Pexels
It’s easy to get pessimistic when thinking about retirement in the current day and age. From the pandemic disrupting present-day cash flow to political rhetoric clouding the future to the possibility of Social Security down the line — everywhere you look, the thought of retiring seems threatened.
This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy financial perspective. If anything, it’s tempting to live recklessly with no thought for tomorrow.
Before you throw in the towel, though, here are a few tips to help you avoid those jaded feelings as you try to plan for your retirement.
Remember that You’re in Control
First thing’s first: remember that you’re ultimately the one in control of your retirement. Do you need to adapt to your circumstances? Sure. Can you predict the future? Not really.
Nevertheless, when it comes to perspectives and plans, the decision-making power does stop with you and no one else. It’s a concept that is actively at play, even now. For instance, since the pandemic started, both millennials and Generation Z have begun planning to retire sooner rather than later.
This isn’t pie in the sky wishful thinking. It’s rooted in a reevaluation of their financial needs. These are the areas where you already do and will continue to have control throughout your life. Knowing that can help you maintain perspective.
Establish (and Stick to) Healthy Financial Habits
Next up, make sure you’re living with healthy financial habits. These are helpful both now and in the future. We’re talking about things like creating a budget, setting aside emergency savings, and making sure that you’re cultivating a healthy credit score.
This also includes planning for the long term. Establish a good retirement planning preparation strategy. This includes things like getting input from others, calculating what you need to save, defining your risk tolerance levels, and building up nest eggs.
By flexing your financial muscles, you can make the most of whatever amount of financial control you currently have.
Invest the Right Way
Retirement is heavily dependent on investing. The thing is, investing is a bit of fine art. There’s a reason people devote their lives to managing others’ finances, and there’s a reason why most people take the easy way out and just sign up for that good ol’ 401(k).
If you want to maintain positive momentum as you plant your retirement, though, it’s important to develop a bigger, more comprehensive sense of how to invest. This can be scary at first, but as you gain experience and knowledge, it becomes much less intimidating. The results will typically be much better than if you simply follow the 401(k) formula.
It’s important to look for other ways to diversify your investments, as well. By amassing 20 to 30 different investment options, you can create a well-balanced portfolio. Many of these can be traditional choices, like stocks and bonds.
Others can be more offbeat. Invest a little cash in cryptocurrency, become an angel investor — you get the idea. Just make sure that these high-risk investments are always done in an informed manner and you utilize money that you aren’t dependent on.
It’s also important to start investing early. Waiting until you’re older to start investing is a classic retirement mistake. The sooner you can get the ball rolling — even with small amounts of money — the more room you’ll have to recover from mistakes and watch your wealth grow.
Avoid Common Retirement Pitfalls
As you plan your retirement, remember that saving money is just one-half of the coin. You also want to make decisions that don’t negatively impact your existing retirement savings, as well.
It’s also worth reviewing other retirement pitfalls that many fall victim to. Avoiding these can help you stay motivated and on track over time.
For instance, don’t plan to work indefinitely. This plan ultimately relies on little room for error. Relocating too often just “because you can” is another resource waster. Pulling from savings too soon is a classic way to undermine your retirement efforts.
Review these kinds of mistakes and set yourself up to avoid them in your journey. By doing so, you won’t struggle with discouragement in areas that could be easily avoided.
Stay Flexible Over Time
Finally, it’s important to do your best to remain flexible over time. This can be done in a couple of different ways.
One good way to prevent too much rigidity in your retirement planning is to avoid getting too specific with your plans in the first place. If you decide that you need to save a certain amount toward retirement every week and you find that you can’t do so, it shouldn’t drain your present happiness as you fret about the future.
The same can be said for your expectations. If you plot out a very specific way that you want to retire, chances are you won’t be able to do so. Even if you do, you’ll end up a majority of your working years stressed around the clock to ensure that your plan works out.
Instead, set healthy expectations with plenty of wiggle room. If you find that a particular retirement dream isn’t panning out, consider if you can adjust your goals rather than panic. This will allow you to stay committed to playing the long game while remaining focused on enjoying the present, as well.
Finding Financial Balance Both Now and in the Future
Many areas can lead to fretting and frustration when it comes to retirement planning. This has always been the case, but the current political and economic climates have only exacerbated the struggle.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can regain control of your future finances and your present mood.
Start by taking a moment to breathe. Remind yourself that you’re in control of shaping your future, regardless of what resources you have to shape it with.
From there, take the time to develop healthy financial habits. Live wisely in the present. Build up your investing acumen. Avoid common retirement mistakes when you can.
Finally, do your best to adapt to whatever comes your way. By remaining flexible, you can find the good in any scenario, and avoid becoming jaded over time, too.