11 things to do to get your money right for retirement – Parts Eight, Nine & Ten: Fill your gaps

Plug those holes that can sink your retirement plans

Detail of a Banknote Puzzle

We’re continuing our series on 11 Things to Do to Get Your Money Right for Retirement.  So far we’ve tackled the issues of creating a budget, paying off debt, establishing emergency savings, rethinking college savings, and planning for retirement.  One scary part of planning for retirement is to do the math and realize you’re going to come up short.

The life expectancy in the United States is about 80 years old.  That means if you retire at 65 you have 15 years of living to save for.  The good news is that, even starting at the age of 40, you still have 25 years to get ready for retirement.  What you do in those 25 years can make a huge difference on well you live during those last 15 – 20 years.

8. Look beyond your current job for money.  If you’re like me, as I was reading this retirement to-do list my first thought was “where am I going to get money to handle day-to-day expenses, save for college, save for a rainy day, save for retirement AND save on my own?!?!?!”   That’s where alternative funding comes in.  It’s time to think beyond your 9–5 job when it comes to income.  We’ve talked in previous articles about starting a side hustle, mindfully saving your pocket change, possibly getting a second job, or even starting your own small business.

9. Keep learning.  Job security and a steady source of income are important to keep your retirement plans on track.  It’s hard to focus on saving for the future when you’re struggling to make ends meet now.  One way to increase your chances of job security is by increasing your knowledge.  Take advantage of any training or professional development opportunities your current employer provides.  Stay up to date on the latest technology and trends happening in your field.  Embrace the opportunity to learn new stuff and cross-train on other jobs.  While there is no such thing as a secure job, keeping yourself up-to-date will not only make you a valuable asset where you currently work but could also decrease how much time you spend unemployed, should you lose your current job.

10. Keep up your health.  Staying healthy is another BIG way to save money now and in retirement.  Doing the things necessary to avoid diseases and chronic illness will save you lots of money in medical expenses and prescription drugs, increase the number of active years you have (thus increasing your ability to work part-time if need be) and delay your need to go into assisted living or nursing home facility.  In addition, being healthy can reduce your insurance premiums or at least stop them from rising.  Just like it’s easier to squirrel away a little money on a regular basis now, it’s also easier to get into the habit of eating better and exercising regularly now while you’re young (and you ARE still relatively young).

Written by Myrtis Smith

African American. Female. Christian. Sometimes-Vegetarian.

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.

Writer. Teacher. Zumba Enthusiast.