Are You Ready for Retirement?

Retirement is one of the greatest periods of your life. In many ways, your life will peak after you turn 60 — studies show that life satisfaction peaks in your 60s, as you make the decision to retire and relax. But will you be enjoying the benefits of a lifetime of hard work, or will you find yourself without the nest egg that you deserve? Here’s what you need to know about preparing for retirement and living out your retirement dreams in a way that keeps you financially stable.

Building wealth for retirement

Retirement isn’t cheap, but it is possible to save up enough cash to live comfortably without having to work again for the rest of your life. But getting there means making the right decisions. The average American is not saving enough for retirement, so you’ll have to be smarter than most if you’re going to enjoy life to its fullest when it’s time to relax in your golden years.

The key is to save steadily and to invest your savings. Slow and steady wins the race, so stay diversified and don’t take unnecessary risks, especially as you near your target retirement date. Take full advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as IRAs, Roth IRAs, and 401(k)s.

Gaining sources of passive income

Saving enough money to retire is a great idea. So is having sources of income even after you retire. We’re not saying that you should work when you’re retired — that’s not retirement at all — but we are saying that you should consider passive income.

Passive income is money that you earn without too much effort. Things like stock dividends are considered passive income. Another classic example is an income property. Income properties are usually rental properties, and they’re great investments because they allow you to earn cash in the form of rent.

Of course, income properties aren’t totally passive in the sense that they still require some work on your part. You’ll have responsibilities as a landlord. But you can ease your burden quite a bit by making proper use of powerful landlord software solutions. Online landlord software can make lots of tasks a breeze, from posting listings to tenant screening and background checks.

Saving money in retirement: Medicare and beyond

You’ll need a fair bit of money to live on during your retirement days. But the good news is that, generally speaking, you probably won’t need as much as you needed when you were younger. Your annual expenses should be a bit lower, for a variety of reasons. You may be done paying your mortgage, your children will likely be out of the house and supporting themselves, and you’ll also be able to make use of Medicare.

Medicare is the government’s health insurance program for the elderly, and it’s a great way to save a few bucks in retirement. Once you’re no longer on an employer-based plan, you don’t necessarily have to get a pricey health care plan on the exchanges — if you’re old enough, you can sign up for Medicare. You’ll be able to enroll in a Medicare plan when you turn 65, and you’ll also get the chance for a special enrollment for Medicare after qualifying events such as a change of employment, change of marital status, or a move.

Be sure to protect yourself financially by investing in “gap plans,” too — Medicare doesn’t cover certain things, such as care you receive outside the United States, so make sure that you’re covered and that an accident on vacation doesn’t destroy your savings.