It is a good idea to start preparing for retirement early and doing so as you enter middle age can be ideal. You should consider your living situation, finances, and goals for retirement to ensure you’re on course to retire comfortably. Retirement should be your best time of life but only proper planning will make it so.
Be sure to take care of your mental and physical health so that you can enjoy retirement for many years to come. Getting into good habits as soon as possible will help you well after you retire.
10 Ways To Prepare For Retirement In Midlife
1. Decide Where You’ll Live
Decide where you want to live after retirement. Consider where your loved ones are located, the ease of travel, and the weather. If you choose to move, be sure to check out the local cost of living, access to shopping and health care, and community demographics. If moving to another country sounds appealing to you, do your research before you become an expat.
2. Prepare Your Home
Ensure your home is suited to your changing needs as you get older:
- Consider installing a downstairs bathroom if you’re concerned about your future mobility.
- Declutter so that you can move around and find things easier.
- Choose flooring that has good grip and avoid slick flooring that will present a slip hazard.
- Ensure you have bright lighting inside and out.
- Install slip bars in your bathroom.
- Invest in a burglar alarm and high quality, secure windows.
- Invest in voice activated device that can call for help should you have an accident.
- Get good energy efficiency by upgrading the heating system and insulation.
- Consider using an extra bedroom for a caregiver if you ever need full-time help.
3. Review Your Finances
Ensure you have the money to retire comfortably and regularly check your 401(k) status. Save as much as you can each month, make a budget to reduce unnecessary expenses and stick to it. You want to enjoy your retirement without the stress of money or needing to go back to work.
4. Pay Off Debts
Ensure you retire without debts and focus on paying off debts with higher interest first. Consolidate your debts into a single loan or credit card to make them easier to manage. Talk to your banks about getting better payment terms on your debts.
You should also consider downsizing if you will still have a mortgage when you retire or have debt. Moving to a smaller home will help you pay down your debts and reduce your monthly costs.
5. Shore Up Your Emergency Fund
Save an emergency fund of at least six months’ wages and continue to add to this until you retire. Put your emergency fund into a high-yield savings account and avoid dipping into it unless necessary. Add some money each month to your savings account and review regularly the savings account you use. Consider switching if you find an account that offers better value.
6. Invest In Precious Metals
Precious metals are often seen as a safe investment and can be ideal for a low-risk investment for your retirement. Especially when traditional savings accounts offer very low rates of return. Invest in silver bars and ensure you have a safe place to store them. Choose a reputable seller to buy silver from, like the United States Gold Bureau.
7. Exercise Every Day
Start a routine of exercising every day, beginning with a short walk if you are out of shape. Maintain this practice throughout your middle age and after retirement. If you want to avoid costly medical care, staying fit is one of the best and easiest ways to do so.
8. Eat Healthy
Eat a healthy balanced diet full of fresh foods, vegetables and fruit. Avoid unhealthy junk foods or enjoy them rarely as a treat. Drink plenty of water and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Again, when you take care of your body now, you will reap the benefits in retirement.
9. Build Your Support Network
Ensure you will have a support network after retirement. Build close bonds with friends and family and consider relocating near to loved ones. Loneliness is common for retirees, so ensure you have an active social life. And if you do decide to move internationally, check out local Facebook community groups to connect with fellow expats and people with similar interests.
10. Keep Your Mind Active
Make a habit of activities that will keep your mind sharp and active throughout retirement. Consider puzzles like sudoku or crosswords. Take up new hobbies like languages and crafts to enrich your life and keep you busy. Keeping your mind active will help you have a rich and fun life in retirement.
Don’t wait till retirement to prepare for your new life. The sooner you get your mind, body and finances ready, the more fun and active your life will be as you get older.