“I would like to live _____ when I retire.”
Lisa / 21 Aug 2013 / Retirement Trends
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 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.”
Until I score that winning Powerball ticket, we are years away from retirement, but that doesn’t mean we are not already thinking 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 to 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 hope that 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 for your company 401(k) plan! If they don’t offer one, you can easily open up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Whatever you do, keep your eyes on hidden fees.
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 than 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 subsequent generations, Americans can’t rely on Social Security when it’s their time to retire. We need to be educating ourselves and our peers on alternatives so that we can all be happy in our Golden Years.