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Okay, I’ll admit it, I like to collect things. At some point in my childhood I started collecting watches, and while most of them are in need of a new battery, I do enjoy looking at my watch collection. I have fond memories of either the person who gave a watch to me or from the experience I was having when I purchased it. Having one collection isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

However, throughout my life, I started to accumulate more collections. Suddenly, anytime I acquired an object that was related to another I thought of it as a collection. Soon collections started taking up more boxes and more space and I saw myself on a future episode of Hoarders. The madness had to end!

So I tossed most of it all away and decided that I was only going to collect one thing in the future: Money.

It’s the perfect collection, really. It doesn’t take up space (unless you are hiding it under the mattress). It provides actual long-term security, and it even multiplies without any intervention on your part. I get much more satisfaction looking at my increasing bank balance than I ever did dusting off any of my past collections. More importantly, it gives me confidence that when I retire years from now, I will have enough saved to not worry.

We live in a very materialistic, instant gratification society, so it’s a challenge to not buy something as soon as we want it. But I believe that peace of mind about my future is worth far more than anything I can buy today. Sure I have my splurges, but they are always done after I have hoarded away some money. Anything extra, it gets saved too! I want to ensure that I am planning for a realistic retirement and that it’s not just some ambiguous event that will happen in the future. It’s real, and I need to be prepared.

I challenge everyone to think long and hard about whether your actions today will give you the confidence to retire in your golden years. A good reality check is to see how many of these scenarios you are preparing for or already are prepared for. Yes there are some that are out of our control, but it’s still a good idea to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Right off the bat, I am already planning for the idea that when I retire, Social Security will be a thing of the past.

How confident are you in your retirement plans?

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.”

Bogota - a day to remember!

A day to remember.

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 401k 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 401k 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!

Lastly…

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.

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1160 Battery Street, Suite 350, San Francisco, CA 94111 / Support: 855.401.4357

© 2018 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings / Privacy Policy
1160 Battery Street, Suite 350, San Francisco, CA 94111 / Support: 855.401.4357