Top Tips for People Who Want to Retire Early

When are you planning on starting your retirement?

A few years ago, most people would have answered with numbers like 60, or even 50 if they were feeling lucky. However, as the workplace becomes more demanding, and it grows increasingly difficult for us to save money outside of our monthly expenses, it might feel as though you’ll be working forever.

Average retirement ages are increasing to 80 and beyond for some people. Although there’s nothing wrong with working when you’re older if you love your job and you’re looking for a good way to spend the day – you don’t want to be forced to work until a late age just because you didn’t plan properly.

The following tips could help you to retire a lot faster.

1.    Know your Goals

There’s nothing quite like a clear set of goals when it comes to keeping yourself and your family motivated. Before you start working on your budget and adjusting your spending, ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your money. Do you want to retire at the age of 40, or would you prefer to go on vacation with your family every year?

Are you interested in living in a big home, or would you mind moving into something smaller if it meant that you and your partner could live without a job for a few years more? It’s all about getting your priorities in check from day one. Decide what matters most to you and build a plan that will help you to move towards your goals.

2.    Compare Everything

When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps. That means that you can’t afford to take prices at face value. Rather than just agreeing to a cost because that’s what’s written on a website or price tag, ask yourself if you can get a better deal elsewhere. More often than not, you will be able to save some money just by switching to a different vendor or buying from a new store.

For instance, when you’re getting an online loan, you know that the best way to save money is compare the different banks and building societies that can give you your money. The less interest you need to pay each month, the more cash you’ll have left over for the rest of your life.[Continue Reading…]

Financial planning for middle-income people. Stop the bleeding!

“The most important thing for middle income people to overcome is their concept that, ‘I don’t make enough money to warrant the need for a financial planner.’ I find it’s the opposite. Since you don’t have excessive income, it’s most important to get a handle on what are your expenses, where can they be cut and what can you do to meet your retirement goals.”

Those words are from David Bohannon, a certified financial planner at Consultant’s Corner in Louisville, KY. A self-serving attempt to drum up business? I don’t think so. Why are so many people ready to throw money at Lotto tickets or the hottest stock when a sure-fire way to pile up money is to quit wasting it? Paying for a few financial planning sessions with a good planner might beef-up your bottom line.

CFP James Knaus of LaBrecque, Jackson, Price & Roehl in Troy, Mich., says he, also, doesn’t base financial planning on the size of the assets.

“I base it on the problems or concerns they want to have addressed. I have a no-obligation meeting that probably lasts 30 to 45 minutes to see if we can connect and if there’s something I can do for them. I tell them how long it will take and what I charge. It’s a low-key approach.”

Do your homework

If you decide to see a financial planner, be prepared to do some homework in advance. Knaus asks clients to bring in an approximate balance sheet consisting of assets and liabilities and a cash flow statement. He says most people are able to put them together reasonably quickly if they don’t have them.

“What’s really important for you is to have an idea of what you want to accomplish — goals and priorities,” says Knaus. “I ask an open-ended question and let ’em rip. It’s amazing how much people will divulge. My job is to shut up and listen and take notes.”

David Bohannon says a lot of people may not need to see a financial planner on a routine basis, but they need to sit down with a planner and do a complete financial makeover to get on the right track.[Continue Reading…]

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