With the day-to-day pressures of life it can often be difficult to stop and think about what exactly the future holds. However, thinking about your retirement well in advance is extremely important as you don't want to reach an age where you are unable to or don't want to work anymore and find that financially you aren't in a position to stop. Here are three things to consider which could ruin your retirement:
Not Having a Plan to Save Enough:
The most obvious way you can ruin your retirement is by not having enough money set aside to not only maintain your lifestyle but to also enjoy yourself. In order to not spend your golden years constantly stressing about money, stress a bit about it now and come up with a plan. Start saving early and do some research on the best place for you to put your savings so that they will continue to grow. Two good options would be contributing to a 401(k) (especially if the company you work for will match your contributions) or opening a Roth IRA account. If financial planning is not your strong suit consider turning to a financial advisor who can help you manage investments and decide on savings accounts.
Not Paying down Your Debt:
Carrying debt into your retirement years is the easiest way to quickly drain your resources. Make one of your goals to enter retirement debt free by making consistent, substantial payments towards any debt you may have, such as, student loans, a mortgage, or car payments. Before taking out loans and making any grand purchases take the time to consider how the payments might affect your retirement.
Assuming Social Security Is All You Will Need:
Upon reaching your retirement age it would be nice to assume that your social security paychecks would be enough for you to live on. This can be very misguided, however, especially if you are still carrying debt or have a lavish lifestyle. In trying to decide how much money you should aim to have set aside for your retirement it can be helpful to use an online social security calculator (such as this one: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/quickcalc/) in order to get a general idea of how much you will be receiving. Also remember, your social security benefits will be reduced for the rest of your life if you choose to retire before the official retirement age, so take this into consideration when deciding at what age you want to retire.