The 21st Century has graced us with innumerable inventions, healthcare advances, and other practices that will keep us living much longer and healthier lives. At the same time, most of us fear that because of these new achievements, our lives will outlast our financial resources, and we will become destitute. How are we going to keep ourselves housed, fed and enjoying life for 30 or more years beyond the original expectation of life’s end. In other words, will we have enough money to support ourselves if we live beyond 100 years of age?
Our world economy is based on financial incentives. We sell our services, products, and ideas and we get paid. We want to buy a house, a car, and a million other things, and we pay. Some of us have stayed on top of this game, and are doing well. But, most of us have not played by the rules or taken time to understand how the world of finance impacts us. Here are some ways to help you start taking the next steps you need to get back in control of your finances.
The Five R’s
Don’t live in fear. Get perspective. You’ve come a long way. Make a list of all of your wins and successes. See on paper how you navigated your life landscape and arrived at your home port unscathed. Oh, maybe a few scratches here and there, but mostly you are okay. If you got here, you can accomplish the next steps to protect your future.
How have you dealt with your finances? Have you saved and invested? Or are you living month to month? Or, like in many cases, did you do all the right things to only lose it all when the economy went flat ion 2008? What’s important here is not to stand in the muddle of what was, but get into what can be. What can you do now to start again?
Find a Certified Financial Planner you trust, who will help you structure your financial future. Become financially literate. Learn about your personal finances and how to maximize their growth. If you are married, make sure both spouses understand where you are together and where you both want to be.
Gain a new mindset about your relationship with money. Be willing to increase your financial acumen.
What you do now regarding your finances will support your second half of life. So its no longer about retirement and pensions and social security. Think bigger and bolder.
Ask the Experts
There are many competent financial planners, who can give you an assessment of your overall financial status, and then guide you on how to achieve your next steps. Get recommendations from people you trust. Then choose a professional financial planner you feel will take care of you and your money.
Make Financial Tools Work for You
Some of us are not great accountants, and we get mired in all the details of our financial lives. Ask for information that you can easily understand to help you grow your understanding about your money.
If your major income earner is deceased, check out your benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov to learn about survivors benefits.
Delay Claiming Your Own Social Security
If you wait until you are 70, your potential check will be larger. But, observe the changing nature of the Social Security system to ensure the money will be there when you reach 70. The way it works presently is that you can start claiming your SS at 62. You will realize a lower payment, because you are being paid over a longer period of time. Of course, you can also choose to start your Social Security at any age between 62 and 70.
The Social Security Systems will Exist
The Social Security system is not going defunct. Although coffers will be exhausted by 2033 if funding and benefit levels stay as they are, the program could still pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits even without a fresh infusion of taxes, according to a Social Security Trustees report.