Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement

Retirement comes quickly; the years go by and before you know it, it's time to face the next phase of your life. However, before retirement comes, there are 10 ways that will help you prepare for retirement.

1. Begin a Savings Program
If you have already begun to save for your retirement; you are on the way! If you have not, then get going now!
*Check with your employer about an IRA savings program.
*Make saving money a high priority.
*Set certain savings goals, stay with it and then watch your money grow!
*Keep in mind, it is never too late to think about retirement and the funds you will need to live well.

2. The Basic Investment Guidelines are Necessary
How you save money is just as important as saving money.
*The economy, inflation and the kind of investments you make are important factors in how much you can save for retirement.
*Investment options should be analyzed and questions should be asked on how your investment options will work for you.
*Many financial experts agree that by diversifying your savings such as with an IRA or savings bonds, you can reduce risks and improve the return on your money.

3. Retirement Needs are Expensive
Keep in mind, retirement needs are expensive.
*Most financial experts agree that you will need at least 70 percent of your pre-retirement income.
*This is important in order to maintain your standard of living once you stop working.

4. Leave your Retirement Savings Alone!
It is important to leave your retirement savings alone.
*If you withdraw them early, you will lose interest and principal; as well as tax benefits. *If you have to move, roll them over to an IRA or invest in your new employer's

5. Check out your Social Security Benefits
It's never too early to find out about your Social Security Benefits.
*In most cases, Social Security pays benefits that are equal to about 40 percent of what you earned before retirement.

6. Reduce your Debt Expenses in Retirement
Before retirement comes, make plans to eliminate some of your bills such as scaling down to one car or paying off your home.
*Getting rid of credit card and consumer debt; will also help.
*Eliminating debt expenses can not only help your finances during retirement but also give you peace of mind.
Cutting back on daily expenses such as eating out and scaling back on vacations; can also help.

7. Have your Health Evaluated Soon!
When retirement comes, you want to be in good health.
*For that to happen, set up appointments for medical and dental preventative exams. *Talk with your doctor on how you can maintain good health.
*Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting good sleep are also important.

8 & 9.Social Media and Sharing with Friends and Family: Important for good Health Most doctors agree that keeping in touch with friends and family online and in person; keep us physically and mentally well.
*Sharing with others your skills and interests keep relationships fresh.
*They can also lead to job or volunteer opportunities.

10. Expect the Unexpected!
Of course, most of us don't want to expect the worst; however, sometimes the worst happens.
*If you prepare for the unexpected now by talking about financial issues that could occur, you will be prepared
*and not caught off guard.
*Talk about how much unexpected issues could cost.

To conclude, retirement may seem far off but the years go by quickly. Follow the above 10 ways to prepare for retirement and you will have a happy and productive retirement! Apply for your ni number.