Stop procrastinating planning for retirement

Let’s face it: planning for retirement and the road ahead isn’t fun. Retirement planning isn’t a traditionally “fun” subject for many individuals. In fact, a lot of the time it can be downright confusing.

All too frequently, we ignore planning for retirement in favor of other things. You may think that your bills are paid, you have life insurance and you are contributing regularly to your retirement account so you’re fine to not think about the future for a while.

The truth of the matter is that – while it may not be “fun” or high on anyone’s list – you need to plan continuously for your future. Even if your current financial plan is solid.

So, procrastinators out there: we aren’t saving this information for later we have 4 reasons on why you should save for retirement.

Is your retirement plan good enough?

For now. If you have put off retirement planning for your future because you don’t think you’ll be able to do it perfectly, then begin with baby steps. Starting off with what’s “good enough” to get you by and then building off of that until you reach your goal.

The problem with “good enough” is that, too often, we leave good enough alone. With retirement, you need to train yourself to keep pushing for the next level of “good enough” until you reach your goal. This means being realistic about what “good enough” looks like for you at each juncture of your life.  

This is not only good practice for any savings tactic, but is also good for you and/or your family’s emotional wellbeing. By setting small, achievable milestones you are making it easier to save and preventing you from feeling despondent if you haven’t prepared well enough.

This is particularly important if you begin saving later in life. You may hear the constant warning that you need to save and prepare and you may feel anxiety or inadequacy when looking at your own nest egg.

The good news is that you can catch up. Everyone started from a $0 balance at some point in their lives. It’s simply a matter of finding the right help to build you future out of that $0 balance.

Specific financial advice and not general financial advice

Speaking of the right help: there are a lot of resources out there to help you save and plan your retirement. And we mean a lot.

Figuring out which advice to follow, which blog to read, which investment strategy to use or which financial books are going to be the most helpful often winds up not helping at all. Information overload is a real thin when it comes to retirement, and it can put you behind even further.

Our recommendation: start with a clean slate. No books, no blogs (including this one, as much as it pains us to say), and no advice.

In order to play catch-up and begin saving, your first step is a financial adviser.

These individuals can help you untangle the confusing web of retirement. Remember: they also started out like you once and are now experts in their field. This means they can explain retirement to you in a way you can understand.

Your financial adviser should make you feel comfortable, should answer your questions in a way you should understand and should be mindful of your present financial situation.

Once you’ve found a financial adviser, he or she can point you in the right direction for additional tools and resources that can help you stop procrastinating and start saving.

Get your heart in the game of retirement savings plans

No, that’s not a typo. Your head AND your heart need to be involved in your retirement savings plan.

Your wallet impacts your emotional well being more than you think it does. If you are bombarded with retirement savings suggestions and you’re not on track, you’re most likely having some anxiety.

A decent financial adviser will tell you to avoid entangling your emotions with your money. An excellent financial adviser will take the time to understand the emotions you’re feeling about your financial past, present and future and will do his or her best to build you a retirement savings plan that address these emotions accordingly.

It is important to know that financial planning and retirement planning isn’t just about money. Yes, you need money to live off of. Yes, you should be saving your money.

Howveer, responsible saving and spending techniques are built by understanding your emotions and how they come into play. If spending money makes you happy temporarily but you are anxious thatyou don’t have anything left over at the end of a pay period, it is important to get to the root of why you’re seeking that temporary shopping-spree-induced happiness in the first place.

Essentially, a financial adviser is almost akin to a therapist in a lot of ways. He or she needs to take the time to understand why you’ve built up your spending and saving habits the way you have and how to begin directing you toward a healthier retirement savings plan.

The truth behind your retirement savings procrastination

Can we be honest here for a second? We get it. We know why you’ve put off saving and thinking about retirement.

Aging is not something humans like to think about. With age comes poor health, loss and sadness – and nobody likes to think of these things. Which is why so many people simply don’t acknowledge that they need to prepare for their later years.

You can begin by addressing your concerns about your later years. You should talk about these concerns as openly as you are able with your family and spouse.

Remember: if you are feeling anxiety about aging, remember that it happens to everyone and it isn’t all bad. With age comes wisdom and the ability to tell your story. Once you have retired you can look back at what you’ve accomplished and be proud.

Additionally, age doesn’t have to be spoken about in terms of “looking back.” It’s okay to look forward to the aging process.

Think about it: you don’t have the debt of your twenties. Your children will most likely be grown and you won’t need to care for them at this point in your life. You also won’t have to work. These retired years are your years. You can do almost anything you’d like during this time.

By switching the narrative from dreading the aging process to embracing it, you may find that you’ve already overcome your biggest retirement  savings block.