I recently returned from a trip to Bogotá, Colombia and immediately fell in love with the city. It’s a beautiful place, with stunning architecture and fabulously friendly people. The food was great, the weather was akin to here (San Francisco) and I spent my sunny days munching on achiras and sipping tropical juices. More than once I remarked to my husband that we should move here. He, too, agreed and said, “Maybe we should retire here.”
Now until I score the winning Powerball ticket, we are years away from retirement, but that doesn’t mean we are not already thinking about it and planning for it. We are fortunate enough to own a home in San Francisco, but with rising real estate costs and inflation, I worry that the money we are on track to have by the time we retire isn’t going to be enough. Both my husband and I have been contributing into our 401(k) plans since our first jobs, and I want the money that we are saving to go as far as it can. Maybe retiring outside of the country is a viable plan?
If this sounds appealing to you, too, then here are some things to be thinking about:
1. Do you currently contribute to a retirement plan? I am hoping that the answer is a big, resounding YES, but if it’s not, as soon as you are done reading this blog post you should sign up with your company’s 401(k) plan! If they don’t offer one, then suggest that they should and we can help with that. You should also open up a personal IRA account to squirrel away even more savings.
2. Can you afford to save more? It’s always a good idea to have a living, breathing budget that you revisit at least twice a year. If you can save even just 1% more that you are saving now, it will help you out in retirement. Also, anytime you have a change in your financial situation (raise, promotion, job change) it’s a good idea to crunch the budget numbers again.
3. How do you imagine your dream retirement? Think of your ultimate retirement dream, no matter how intangible it may seem now, write it down and make it a goal. If you can visualize where you want to be, it will be a lot easier to save more. Remember that a goal without a plan is just a wish – so craft a plan to get there!
4. Spread the retirement word! In our culture, talking about finances and money has always been a hush-hush topic. That needs to change! Many experts agree that for Gen-X and the subsequent generations, Americans won’t have social security as we know now when it’s their time to retire. So we need to be educating ourselves and our peers on alternatives so that we can all be happy in our Golden Years.
I personally take any opportunity I can to talk about retirement with people I meet, because it’s a topic that I am passionate about. Our company recently rolled out a referral program, so if you, too, are passionate about retirement, then you can earn some extra cash for your own nest egg and help people at the same time.
So tell me, what is your retirement dream?