Retirement Planning: Start Early

retireFor millennials and Baby Boomers alike, retirement planning (or lack thereof) is a concern especially in today’s fluctuating job market.

Only 1 in 3 Americans in their 50s have started a concrete retirement plan according to a National Bureau of Economic Research Study.

Millennials are seemingly just as unprepared according to the Insured Retirement Institute which found that only 29% of the young people surveyed are planning for retirement.

Fortunately, there’s no time like the present to start the planning process and there are a number of strategies to consider:

Get The Most Of Your 401k

Nobody likes the idea of money getting taken out of their paycheck, but when it comes to a 401k, that initial annoyance can lead to long term financial comfort in retirement.

While some companies may have automatic enrollment for a 401k, you may need to opt-in yourself and decide what investment percentage is right for you.

When job searching, you can also look for companies that will match your 401k for added benefits.

Be Flexible with Your Investment Portfolio

As you grow closer to retirement age, you’ll want to adapt your investment portfolio.

High-risk, hopefully high reward investments may have made sense in your younger years. However as you get older you may want to scale back and make more conservative choices with your business ventures.

Educate Yourself on Insurance Policies

As the article “Make Sure Your Retirement Plan is Ready to Slide into Home Plate!” points out, Medicare is a big part of your retirement benefits. This healthcare program has multiple parts that cover certain services like doctor’s appointments or prescriptions.

Because it can get complicated, you’ll want to research the specifics of your health coverage going into retirement and consider things like life insurance policies.

Choose the Right Time to Retire

This is about Social Security.

When you choose to retire will affect how much you receive on a monthly basis. The sooner you retire, the lesser the payment. The longer you delay retirement, the larger your monthly payments will be.

While job-loss may force you into retirement, if you have more control over your work situation it may be advantageous to wait.

Consider Downsizing or Relocation

Assuming that you won’t be working part-time or figuring out a way to monetize a hobby, you may not have the sort of income you’re used to in retirement.

But you can still have the sort of lifestyle you want if you assess any excessive expenses. You may not need to live in a large house (and pay those expensive utilities) if your children are grown up and living independently.

Relocation might be a part of your retirement plan if the cost of living in your area is high. Likewise, you may want to move closer to family in retirement to help with your own care.

Whether retirement is far away or right around the corner, you want to make sure your plan is truly sound.

Following these tips can help you get started, prepare for the unexpected, and set you on the course to a comfortable retirement.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone is a freelance writer and covers a variety of topics including retirement and financial planning.