Taking the Dark out of the Twilight Years: The Alternative Route to Saving Money for Retirement

  • Mark Edwards ·
  • July 26, 2018

We get into so much debt at such a young age now, that we could envision us spending the vast majority of our working lives trying to pay it off. This leaves a little in the way of preparing for retirement. But while we are all entitled to a pension, those credit card bills won’t go away. So are there any additional nuggets of knowledge that we need to know so we can save money for retirement?

Downsizing to Save Your Outgoings

To understand how best you can save for retirement, you need to think about what you would do in your retirement years. Not just in terms of your day to day activities, but what you actually need. For example, if you live in a big house, will you need this when it comes to the time you are unable to move around like you used to? Many people after retirement go down the condo route, and it’s pretty obvious why! Not only is it in a desirable location, so you can spend your twilight years feeling healthier and happier, you don’t require as much space anymore. A condo is easy to maintain, and it gives you just enough space to enjoy what you really was important now. Of course, there are costs relating to this, from the master condo policy suppliers to the actual cost of the place itself. But, you need to remember that in moving to a smaller place, all of your outgoings will shrink. Downsizing is one of the best places to begin, because it makes you truly assess what you view as practical in your retirement.

Working More Now

If you are struggling to get enough money together, should you work more now? Of course, we all need to ensure that we have an adequate work-life balance, but if you aren’t getting enough money doing what you do currently, is it time for you to generate a second income, then surely it’s worth it, at least for a short period of time? There is no need to work yourself into the ground, especially if you take advantage of the numerous freelance websites out there. A lot of people choose to set up a side hustle in addition to their job. If you have a unique skill, then why let it go to waste? Of course, a lot of people think that getting another job just drains the life out of them, which is why it’s important for you to do something you enjoy as a secondary income. If you have the gift of playing a musical instrument, doing gigs around bars and the like on weekends, or even playing in a wedding band, could be a very good way to earn a lot of money in a short period of time. While it goes back to that work-life balance, if you are doing something that you enjoy, then it’s not going to feel like work. And if you are someone reading this who hasn’t made any form of savings, and you are heading into your 30s or 40s, then capitalizing on what you enjoy is vital, not just for your bank balance, but for your happiness.

Figuring out How Much You Actually Need in Your Retirement Years

We view retirement as not being able to earn money ever again. While this is the case (because if you were desperate, you could always go and get a part-time job to supplement your pension) you need to do the math and figure out how much you really need in your day to day life. On top of this, if you’re considering enjoying your retirement we vacations, or any sort of expeditions on a regular basis, then figuring out how much you will need overall is going to prove more beneficial to you, rather than just trying to save as much as you physically can’t. Of course, while working yourself to the bone could mean you will save a lot more money than you anticipated, it’s important to remember that when you do retire, it’s because you are in declining health. When you save money for retirement, it’s not about having the same amount of money every week. In fact, you will spend more money at the very beginning of your retirement, and gradually over time, you will spend less. We don’t always take this into account, so when you are thinking about saving a certain amount, is this because there are things you want to do, or have you just done some calculations and worked it out as an average amount of money that you need per week?

Thinking Bigger

If you feel it’s too late to get yourself acquainted with shares and stocks, think again! Because there are so many more options to consider nowadays, especially with online currencies like Bitcoin, you have more than your fair share of avenues to explore. Of course, investing and getting on the stock market is always a risk, but if you are trying so desperately to play catch up with your finances before you retire, this could be one of the few ways to earn a big lump sum before you leave your job. If you’re feeling so adventurous, real estate is one of those options that can take a long time to accumulate the finances, especially when you put up the investment at the very outset, but it is one of the more profitable investments for someone who is wary of dipping their toe into stocks and shares.

Saving money for retirement can feel like a massive undertaking, but even if you managed to save a little bit here and there, this is better than nothing. But before you do anything, you need to ask yourself what you really want out of your retirement years. Your expectations will determine the amount of money you need, and therefore how much you should realistically save. It’s far better to have a more concentrated approach, rather than you need to save a lot of money now!