We all want to get ahead of the curve in life. And when it comes to retiring, we want to get ahead of the curve of life. While it’s not always easy, there are some things each of us can do to get closer to an early retirement. Everyone’s circumstances differ, but the sooner you begin planning and moving toward your retirement goals, the better off you’ll be.


1. Set Your Destination

You don’t take a vacation without knowing where you’re going or how to get there, do you? Adventurous thrill-seekers aside, most of us want to know what lies ahead. That’s why we make specific plans for specific dates and times.

If you want to retire early, you need to know what “early” means. The same way you pick a destination for a trip, pick an age for retirement. You can always change it later, but you need to set a mark to know if you can reach it.


2. Analyze Your Situation

Once you have your target retirement age, start analyzing where you are now and where you would like to be when you get there. It’s probably fair to assume you currently have income and expenses. Hopefully, you also have a retirement savings account. Take a hard look at each of those things and do the best you can to predict their trajectories. If you think you’ll have trouble doing this, consider consulting a financial planner.

Even with wage increases, your income should be predictable, as should many of the expenses you deal with day-to-day. For instance, a mortgage will require a certain amount of money every month for a designated number of years. You should know if and how much you will pay toward a mortgage when you reach retirement age (hopefully nothing!).

You’ll also want to factor larger debts including student loans for you or your children, credit card debt and other long-term payments into your expenses to see what your overhead will look like at retirement age. Compare that to what you will have saved and any income you may receive in retirement, such as from a pension or social security benefits. With this analysis, you can see how close you are to your goal and make any changes necessary to reach it.


3. Think Twice About That Vacation

If you save now, you’ll have later. It’s simple in theory yet challenging in practice. Once you have crunched some numbers, it might seem appealing to cut out a night on the town or skip a vacation. If you put the money you would have spent on entertainment into an interest-bearing retirement savings account, you will stretch your savings even more.

There are other ways to better your financial situation. Perhaps living in another place before or during retirement age will cut your expenses significantly, such that you can retire without financial concern. Maybe an investment opportunity could put you over the top of where you need to be to retire. It’s important to remain flexible and open to possibilities.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed planning for retirement, then we welcome you to contact Sherburne State Bank or stop by one of our locations in Becker, Monticello or Princeton, MN today. We’re happy to put you in touch with the right person so you can plan out a better retirement.

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