Many of us don’t put enough money away for retirement. Statistics show that most Americans aren’t saving enough and will have to work long after age 65 to make ends meet or reduce their lifestyles significantly to get by in the later years. For that reason, we are always encouraging people to save more.

Also true is that it is just as important not always to be worrying about the future. We live in the here and now and need to be present. Our bodies are in better shape when we are younger, allowing us to do more adventurous trips, hobbies, and sports that we won’t be able to do later on in life very well. 

If you have children, their time at home flies by, and before you know it, they are gone. It’s a gift to spend time with kids while they are young, instead of having to work 80 hours per week.  

One way to do that is to live life more simply than you might otherwise; a smaller house, buy used cars, take vacations close to home, don’t eat out very often. That might allow you to have a job that has reasonable hours so that you can be home and interact with your family.

Here are a few tips for retirement:

  1. Increase retirement savings – As you get closer to retirement, the years you have left to save are decreasing. Most of us need to step up the pace to save more. The closer you get to the day you want to stop working, the easier it is to predict what you need to save or whether you are on target.
  2. Pay off debts, so that monthly expenses decrease in retirement. Try to pay off your mortgage and other large debts before retiring.
  3. Consider transitioning to retirement by taking on a part-time job for a while. Being semi-retired might be ideal. You are still bringing in income and not relying on retirement savings as much in those early years.
  4. Consider downsizing your home before retiring. If you have a cash surplus after the sale of your old home and purchase the new one, put it toward your retirement savings.
  5. Live a simpler life. Spend more time with loved ones, doing the activities that nurture your spirit. Put savings away so that you can have a retirement someday. Balance is best.