My 10 Tips for Keeping Your Retirement on Track

This time of year, it’s easy to get sidetracked from your retirement planning. Kids are in school and extracurricular activities, you’re busy at work, and the holidays are approaching fast! To help you stay on track, I’ve created a checklist of things that you can’t forget, no matter how crazy life becomes:

1. Be a money boss.
Start each month with a budget, listing income and expenses.

2. Follow a debt reduction plan.
Use the debt snowball approach: List all your debts then attack them from smallest to largest.

3. Establish an emergency fund.
Be prepared for unexpected events (a car problem, home repair, hospital visit, etc.) by keeping an emergency fund on hand.

4. Take control of your spending.
Understand the difference between a want and a need. Set limits on spending, even if it means sacrificing your wants.

5. Plan ahead.
Look at the calendar and save money for upcoming expenses (holidays, travel, birthdays, etc.).

6. Boost your income. 
Brainstorm ways you could earn extra money over the next three to six months (sell stuff you don’t need, have a garage sale, offer to tutor, etc.).

7. Get a head start on college. 
If you have children, start saving for college as soon as possible. You want to help them get an education without student loans. But don’t sacrifice your retirement fund in the process! Remember, kids can work their way through college.

8. Plug in to the community. 
Volunteer for events in your area or at your church. Make a list of 10 friends and tell them about R:IQ as financial discussions come up. When people change, their community does too!

9. Know your plan. 
Retirement is not an age; it’s a financial number! Decide on your retirement dream, discover your R:IQ, and determine a plan to get to that retirement number.

10. Keep the right attitude. 
Progress is taking one step forward, one day at a time. Where you are now is your new starting point, so forget what’s behind and start moving ahead.

If you’ve gotten off track with your retirement, don’t lose heart! Go back to the basics of budgeting, debt reduction, and saving. Every day is a new chance to start over. You can do this!

To learn more ways to stay on track with retirement, subscribe to my Retire Inspired Podcast. Check it out on iTunes or Google Play today!