Over 40? Great Ways to Plan for Retirement NOW!!!
If you are over 40 and not thinking about retirement, you are not being wise. 65 is not as far off as many of us would like this think and there are some things that we can do to prepare for the future now. Keep in mind you will NEVER get rich working for someone else, unless you are in upper management or you work in show business. If you are not doing one of the two then you better plan for your own retirement.
Get an Online College Degree…
… or save a ton of money and go to your local community college. Many offer online classes. Some think taking classes online is harder but it’s not, for the older returning student, taking the classes online and the coursework are easier because you have learned a lot of the material just living life. Depending on your financial situation, by attending a local college you will either pay a very minimum fee for taking the classes or you can apply for grants… NO STUDENT LOANS… we STRONGLY urge you not to make that mistake. For those of us who have done it, we know it NEVER comes off your credit report. Which brings us to the next post….Some online schools offer Online Associates Degree, Online Bachelors Degrees and more.. Do your research, schools like University of Phoenix are VERY overpriced and you can probably get the same education at a local college for MUCH less and still do it online. MAKE SURE THE SCHOOL IS ACCREDITED AND THAT YOUR CREDITS CAN TRANSFER…. GET IT IN WRITING.
The first step in correcting your debt is to correct your credit. How much longer can you allow your credit score to be less than it could be? Ironically, most people don’t realize that you can call past creditors who are damaging your score and negotiate directory with them. Their number is usually on your report. If you owe $300 for a bill from four years ago, you can ask them if you can pay $100 on it and they remove it from your report. Many times they will do it but MAKE SURE you get something via fax or email verifying their promise to remove the item BEFORE you pay. If they refer you to a collection agency for your bill tell them you would rather deal with them directly. If they don’t have a copy of your bill, fax it or email it to them. Collection agencies are in the business of making money. They can also negotiate with you for payment and remove the item from your report but it will probably be for more than if you deal with the company direct. You can a free report from all three agencies each year and you can also keep tabs on your report from Experian for about $15.00 a month if any changes take place on your report. Pay off your debts and increase your credit score.
Keep your ears open for great deals including government deals on refinancing your home and lowering your payments. This may also require that you constantly check sources online to see if any banks or companies are offering great specials. You can even ask your bank from time to time. Why not save some money.
Purchasing Real Estate
If you are under 55, it’s still a great time to buy property to help prepare for retirement. The most important factor is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION… while it’s not possible to see where a neighborhood will be in 10 years, the market will consistently get better and we should start seeing profits again in the next five years. Look at it like this, why should you pay someone ELSE’s mortgage when you can pay your own and in 5 to 10 years not only walk away possibly with ALL the money that you paid for your mortgage and perhaps something extra in your pocket? I know people who have been living in an apartment or condo for 20 years. What an incredible waste of financial resources. By the time, God willing, that you reach 65 you will probably be ready to downgrade to a condo and there’s a much better chance that you will have the money to do so if you plan right now.
Life Insurance/Term Life
You certainly want to handle this situation ASAP. Unfortunately you NEVER know what may happen to you and like those commercials say with Alex Tribek, why leave this situation up to your family to handle. There are several ways you can get life insurance. One is your own policy which you would want to maintain and is the most expensive. You may get a policy from your job but you need to check to make sure you can maintain it if you leave the company also you can get smaller policies like Term Life (The Alex Trebek Commercial) if you are 50 or over which actually do pay up to $25,000 for your final expenses provided you do not die within 2 years of getting the policy. Check it out the next time you see the commercial. It’s for Colonial Penn.
Travel-Three Day Vacation
A “vacation” is NOT going home to see family. While it may help you to relax it’s not like taking care of YOU and being completely stress free for a few days. Sites like Expedia have GREAT discount 3 day and 4 day vacation packages to various places. This is a GREAT way to de-stress and keep yourself motivated. Too often we work and don’t reap the benefits of our hard work. Take a much deserved break.
Start Your Own Business
Whatever it is that you LOVE doing is where your own business could be. Ask yourself if it’s possibe to do what you love part time or even full time. Taking the plunge is absolutely frightening but it’s incredibly rewarding. Know that corporations will never hire you to make YOU rich they hire you to make THEMSELVES rich. We will be posting more info on how to start your own business in the new year. One thing you may want to consider right now is thinking of a name and registering the domain name NOW. it’s only about $10 to $20 a year and people buy names like crazy everyday… so this is the time to do it, in addition, it’s the first step in your commitment.
kevRoss – [email protected]