Reaching your 50s can often mean beginning to seriously think about your retirement for the first time. Rather than simply socking away money in your 401k for a later time that seems distant and abstract, you’re suddenly confronted with the reality of making concrete plans and having to think about how you actually want to spend your golden years. It’s all very new, and it can quickly become overwhelming if you’re not careful.
Don’t worry, though. This is a process that countless people have gone through before you. Preparing for retirement doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, with a little bit of knowledge, you can let your fears dissipate and really begin to enjoy laying out how you want to spend your life after your career has concluded. By taking some advice from those who came before you, you can hit your 50s ready to tackle preparing for retirement and avoiding the mistakes that trip up so many other people.
So, here are five things that every 50-something should know about retirement:
1. Create a Budget, Now – Getting a clear sense of your spending, income, and what you can put away for retirement is one of the most important things you can do.
2. Lengthen Your Long-Term Plan – Make sure you’re planning for your health and happiness well into the future.
3. Automate Your Savings – Prevent anything from getting in the way of your future by automating your savings.
4. Pay Yourself First – Prioritize your retirement savings over the rest of your budget.
5. Have a Retirement Goal Age – With a clear target in mind, you can start making more concrete financial plans.