Starting Over? 15 Ways To Build Your Dream Retirement Fund

Are you retiring soon? Are you worried that you won’t have enough money set aside by the time you retire? According to the 20th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers, 45% of baby boomers shared that their main concern about retirement is outliving their savings and investments. Here are fifteen tips to help you save up for retirement. 

1. Estimate Your Retirement Savings Needs

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How much money will you need to survive during retirement? Many people guess an appropriate figure for their retirement instead of actually taking the time to calculate what they will need. By carefully planning ahead using your current living expenses, you can accurately estimate your retirement savings needs and reduce the risk of underestimating the total. 

2. Budget Your Spending 

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The amount you spend today will determine how much you spend during retirement. If you don’t use a monthly budget, consider starting one right away. With a budget, you can record your monthly expenditures, recognize where you’re overspending, and boost your savings.

3. Set a Goal

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Once you’ve figured out how much you will need during your retirement years, it’s time to set a savings goal. How much will you save toward your retirement account at the end of every month? While calculating how much you will need once you’re retired is important, you must also look at your current spending and determine how much of your income you can comfortably set aside in your savings account.

4. Automate Savings

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Making consistent deposits into a savings account is easier said than done for many individuals. However, if retirement is quickly approaching, you might need to employ some aggressive saving habits to ensure you’ll be taken care of after your final day at the office. By making your retirement savings an automatic monthly transfer, you could increase your savings without ever having to think about it. 

5. Stay Up-To-Date

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Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, and so should you. Many retirees become out of touch with the latest advancements in their industry once they’ve stepped away from the world of work. However, you never know when an opportunity to do a consultation, training, or part-time job will present itself, so always keep your job skills up to date. 

6. Use Catch-Up Contributions

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With limited contributions to IRAs and 401(k)s, saving at an early age is important. However, if you haven’t been saving as much money as you would have liked, your financial history could qualify you for catch-up contributions to boost your retirement savings. If you’re fifty years old or older, you’re eligible to continue saving for retirement through catch-up contributions to IRAs and 401(k)s.

7. Hire a Financial Advisor

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The average person will need a professional financial advisor to help them plan for retirement and manage their retirement savings and investments. Hiring a financial advisor will ensure you’re making the right choices for your lifestyle based on the amount you have and ensure you will have peace of mind once you’re retired. 

8. Change Your Lifestyle

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When planning for retirement, it’s important to take a step back, examine your current lifestyle, and determine what changes are necessary to make your transition easier. Will your retirement savings be sufficient to sustain your current spending habits? What expenses can you cut out to save money? Could you live without your expensive phone plan, reduce travel, or cut back on dining out? 

9. Downsize

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For many people, downsizing could be the best option when planning for retirement. Consider the size of your home. Would you be comfortable living in a smaller house or converting a portion of your home into an income property? Consider the vehicle you drive. Could you survive without it, or would you trade it in for a cheaper alternative?

10. Delay Collecting Social Security

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Many retirees rely on social security benefits to survive their retirement years. While it won’t be nearly as much as you made while working, the longer you wait to collect social security benefits, the greater your payout will be. In the United States, if you wait until age 70, you receive a credit of 8% per year. 

11. Apply for a Reverse Mortgage

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Many retirees are turning to reverse mortgages to supplement their retirement income. A reverse mortgage is a line of credit provided based on the equity in your home, where either a lump sum or monthly payments are granted to the homeowner. The loan isn’t repaid until you sell the house, move, or die, and the amount you used is deducted from the proceeds of the sale of the home. 

12. Save Additional Cash

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Any additional income while preparing for retirement should be placed in your retirement account. If you receive a raise, tax refund, bonus, or any other form of additional income, instead of spending the money on discretionary purchases, you should put it toward your retirement savings. If you’d like to give yourself a treat, make it something small and set the rest of the money aside for the future. 

13. Plan Your Insurance Strategy

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Health insurance can take a substantial portion out of your retirement savings. Many people don’t think about insurance before retirement because their employer’s health insurance covers them up until then. But, healthcare can cost thousands of dollars during retirement years. You need to find a health insurance plan to support you during your retirement years ahead of time. 

14. Pay Off Your Debts As Soon As Possible

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Debts like student loans, credit card balances, and mortgages can really diminish your retirement savings. The best investment you can make for your future is to pay off your debts as soon as possible. This will make living on a fixed retirement income much easier.

15. Continue Working

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While this won’t be the ideal solution for everyone, continuing to work for a few additional years could make a huge difference. It will give you a few more years to build up your retirement savings, increase your social security benefit, and reduce the time you’ll spend dipping into your retirement fund. If working full-time at your current position isn’t something you’d want, consider requesting a “demotion” to a less demanding position, returning as a consultant, taking on a part-time role, or taking on an encore career. 


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She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.

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