Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

5 Simple Steps for a More Comfortable Retirement

Unless you were born into wealth or were lucky enough to get a high-paying job with a fabulous pension, your retirement won’t be a one-and-done situation. Building a comfortable retirement will be a series of strategies.

For example, having a 401(k) is great, but you also need plenty of cash savings. A paid-off home is a huge asset, but other forms of consumer debt could sandbag your dreams. A healthy Social Security benefit certainly helps, but not everyone can expect one of those.

Simply put, if you want a happy, comfortable retirement, there are specific steps to take; no matter your age. These tactics can help.

1. Take this quiz to see if you can retire comfortably

Maybe you never thought much about what retirement actually is, other than “that golden time when I no longer have to punch a clock.” But there’s a bit more to it than that, and SmartAsset’s free quiz helps clarify things both financially and personally.

Some of us are hesitant to look our retirement finances in the eye. It’s like stepping on a scale, or going to the dentist: What if the news isn’t good? But that’s where SmartAsset can set your mind at ease.

SmartAsset uses your quiz answers to match you with an experienced money planner in your area. This financial expert will go over your financials, then work with you to create a plan for the retirement you want.

Some people think they can manage their own retirement planning, thank you very much, but keep this in mind: A recent Vanguard study showed that a self-managed $500,000 would turn into $1.69 million in 25 years, on average – whereas a financial adviser could turn those same bucks into $3.4 million.

Here’s what else a skilled financial adviser can provide: clarity. Maybe you haven’t considered what you want to do in retirement (other than sleep late). What might your retirement lifestyle look like: spending time with loved ones, travel, volunteering? Staying where you are now, or relocating? Kicking back 24/7, or starting an encore career?

SmartAsset will match you with a planner to help define your retirement dreams and fund them. Get started by taking this free quiz.

2. Save $8,256 on your mortgage (before it’s too late!)

The Federal Reserve has strongly hinted at not one, not two, but three interest rate hikes in 2022. This may or may not affect your current mortgage, since rate hikes don’t always have an impact.

But why take that chance? Especially since low interest rates have nowhere to go but higher? And if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, then you can pretty much expect that rate to go up-up-up with those three rate hikes.

The solution: Let a company like Better find you a refinancing deal that’s, well, better than what you currently have.

On average, borrowers save $8,256 every year when they refinance, according to the site. Yep, that’s an extra $8,256 a year that you can put towards retirement, dream vacations, or even home improvements. The possibilities are endless.

It’s a 100% online application. The company can get your rate quote in just seconds, and get you preapproved just a few minutes later. And since Better’s loan officers don’t get commissions, they’ll find the best deal for you, not for themselves. Bonus: The company doesn’t charge any lender fees.

Imagine what those bucks could do for your financial goals, each and every year until the mortgage is paid off.

Hurry, before rates go up! Get your personalized new rate today.

3. Don’t let home repairs drain your retirement savings

Imagine living in Atlanta and having your central air conditioning stop working in mid-August. Now imagine learning that you need to replace the entire system. Finally, imagine the hit to your budget: Replacing a system can cost from $3,000 to upward of $10,000, according to The Family Handyman.

Kristy Harrison’s biggest fear about homeownership was the cost of home repair, which she feared would put her “majorly into debt.” That’s why she bought a home warranty from America’s 1st Choice Home Club. A home warranty covers your home’s components – appliances, plumbing, heating/air conditioning, electrical and more – for as little as $390 a year.

When her air conditioning quit in the thick of an Atlanta summer, AFC sent out a technician immediately. (Harrison also had the option of choosing her own repair tech.) The entire system wound up needing to be replaced – but because Harrison had the warranty, she paid only a fraction of the multi-thousand-dollar price tag.

“You always hear that home warranties don’t cover stuff, but with AFC I’ve never had an issue,” Harrison says. That’s why she renews her warranty, year after year: because she knows “they will be there” if something needs fixing.

Protect your most valuable asset! Get a free quote in just 30 seconds.

4. Protect your wealth with a gold IRA

Worried about the ups and downs of the stock market? Not everyone can handle the uncertainty. And some people want something more tangible in their retirement planning strategies.

Can’t get much more tangible than gold, which has represented solid wealth basically since mankind first started exchanging goods and services. Family-owned American Hartford Gold can help you craft a gold IRA that meets all Internal Revenue Service regulations, and make sure it’s kept safe in an approved depository.

Gold demand is soaring worldwide, and not just for jewelry: The electronics industry is clamoring for this precious metal. Depending on your wishes, American Hartford Gold will set you up with coins or bars, or add in gold stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.

As a resource, it’s both physical and finite: Gold is gold is gold, as opposed to paper wealth that can be controlled by government or banking rules.

American Hartford Gold has 5-star rating with Trustpilot and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Get your free investors kit now.

5. Switch and save $700 on auto insurance

Inflation been kicking you right in the budget lately? Millions of Americans are in the same boat. Our dollars just aren’t stretching far enough, so we have to look for places to cut.

Too often people focus on small changes: eating less meat, giving up date night, doing errands in batches to reduce gasoline usage. Sure, these will eventually add up to big savings. But why not start big? For example, switching your car insurance to Progressive can mean savings of up to $700 a year.

Getting a fast quote from Progressive’s website is a great way to goose your re-budgeting. The sense of relief and accomplishment at saving hundreds of dollars will keep you going in the process, to see where else you can save.

Here’s what you won’t be cutting when you switch: Great protection, a customized policy and superior claims service. Progressive has 24/7/365 customer service ready to answer your questions and, if need be, support you through a claim. No wonder why more than 18 million people rely on Progressive every year.

Request your free quote today and see how much you can save.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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