Retirement planning. Yeah, I know. I hate it too.
I’ll be turning 30 soon and even though I have a Roth IRA account, I’m totally lost when it comes to planning for my retirement. I mean, I know that I should contribute something to it and I know that I don’t contribute nearly enough.
I always hear all these stories of folks that retire early as millionaires because they started growing their investments when they were 18 years old. It’s enough to make anyone feel way behind in the game if you haven’t been actively planning for retirement.
My mama will be retiring soon so this has definitely been a topic of discussion in our home. Truthfully, my mama could have retired years ago but she’s chosen to continue working for a few more years so she can get the max benefits allowed to her from the county government she works for.
Now here’s why this has been an important topic for us – too many of our family members that have once retired had to end up going back out into the workforce. Why? Because they didn’t plan well enough.
You see, some people think that $250,000 at age 65 is enough money to retire on and for some it may well be, but honestly for most it won’t be enough.
Here’s why – too many people enter retirement still in debt and still not able to manage their money. Throw on top of that too little insurance (health, long-term care, life insurance, etc.) and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. (For more on what insurances you may need, read this post and use it as a guide to help you determine.)
Okay, so how does this affect me? I mean, I’m nowhere near retiring so why am I worried about this stuff? Here’s the truth, two years ago my husband and I made what many refer to as a dumb financial move and yes, it wasn’t really smart on the long-term scale of things, but we have no regrets. We cashed out my 401(k) from my old corporate job (for more on that story, visit this post here).
Of course, I’ve been contributing to my Roth IRA ever since but my contributions are way low, not to mention that I simply had just a Roth IRA account – one that wasn’t invested in the stock market so the rate of return on my contributions has been super low.
Reason being is that the stock market FREAKS ME OUT. Seriously, it scares me half to death because I honestly don’t understand it and guess what – I went to school and learned about this stuff and I still don’t really get it.
However, that’s no excuse for not doing more research and making myself understand this thing. So, enter Chris Hogan and his Retire Inspired book. Now, I’ll be honest I’ve read many financial books and so my hopes for this one weren’t really high because most of the financial books out there on investing are not only confusing but boring and are filled with all kinds of strange jargon.
Chris takes a coach approach in his book to help readers understand how the stock market works and his grocery store analogy was perfect! It was like a lightbulb went off in my head and I finally got it!
Now, don’t get me wrong I still need to do a lot of research and even talk to a financial planner about my investments but now I don’t feel so lost. One of the reasons I’ve been putting off speaking to someone about investing is that I didn’t really understand it enough to hold a conversation about it with someone. I was worried that I’d end up investing my money in the wrong stuff and then still end up lost and confused.
In Retired Inspired, Chris walks you through the different investment options and even guides you based on where you are in life. So, if you’re 50 years old and haven’t invested a dime, Chris helps you understand your options and the minimum amount you need to be investing at this point in your life. He also helps you determine what exactly your retirement goal should be – as in, he helps you figure out the exact number you must have in order to retire one day based on what your goals are.
So, if you’ve been putting off determining your retirement goals or contributing to a retirement account at all, I encourage you stop the excuses and start now. It’s never too late to start.
Are you prepared for retirement? If so, I’d love to hear how you’ve been able to prepare and when you started planning.
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