Summary: The article details several factors that ensure a comfortable and secure retirement.

Your retirement may be far off into the future. However, what you do today can significantly impact how comfortable (or miserable) your retired life will be. Plan your retirement early, and reap bigger dividends when the time finally comes.

Work While You Can

There is no retirement age for someone who wants to work. Every day without work is a day you’re tapping on to your retirement funds. While most companies will offer retirement packages when an employee reaches 65, a few companies will gladly continue employing their workers at any age. Of course, there may be negotiations regarding salaries, but a cut in your wages is better than no wages at all.

Continuing to work also gives you a little more focus in life, limiting the risk of depression and warding off Alzheimer’s. Even if a company decides to let you go, nothing stops you from seeking employment in another company – or maybe even running a business of your own. Keeping the money flowing is essential to build a solid foundation for your retirement. Once you stop working, your limited funds will severely impede your freedom and the choices you make.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Financial stability starts with the right choices. Limit your spending to the necessities as much as possible, and if you need to splurge, limit it to small items that won’t make a dent in your savings. Draw a line on what you need and what’s convenient. Do you really need a car when you can use public transport? Vehicles are huge money drains, especially the bigger SUVs. Gas, parking fees, regular maintenance, tire changes, and many other expenses associated with owning a vehicle will cut into a big portion of your earnings, not to mention the cost of the vehicle itself.

If you can take public transport, do so. A few extra minutes on the road shouldn’t be a problem, especially when you can set aside money for a permanent home instead of a vehicle that can last a mere 10 years or so. If you must buy a vehicle, opt for a smaller model. Going for a small electric vehicle (EV) can eliminate gas costs, and charging your car won’t consume large amounts of electricity. Your biggest goal should always be a home for yourself and your family. Otherwise, you can end up in a retirement home (or the streets).

Plan for Emergencies

Medical emergencies and the high cost of hospitalization are the biggest drains on retiree finances. Government-run healthcare systems can be unreliable, requiring tons of paperwork and wading into a sea of red tape. Most will have limited coverage, with only the most basic procedures and medication (some won’t even cover medication).

The right health insurance plans can minimize or limit your medical spending, putting you in a better position to face any ailments or conditions you might suffer from in the future. Insurance premiums can vary with different programs, so opt for a package that suits you and your family. Some insurance plans will provide additional coverage to your family.

Stay Fit

Keeping your weight down can be one of the most important factors in ensuring a comfortable retirement. Obesity and being overweight are associated with many illnesses, including heart problems, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, kidney problems, and many others. Staying fit keeps you out of the hospital and their ludicrously expensive bills.

Packing extra weight also puts undue stress into your body, damaging your ligaments and weakening your bones. Arthritis and joint pains can become problems, and losing your mobility in your later years can be very problematic. Staying fit allows you to have greater independence once you retire, and exercise can help you live a longer and more comfortable life.

Start a Hobby

Retirees can waste away in their own homes because of inactivity. Staying cooped-up in one’s home can lead to depression, and lack of social interactions and new stimuli can lead to Alzheimer’s. A hobby or something to do can give you direction or an additional goal in life. Start a hobby and join a group of like-minded individuals. Whether it’s a book club, watching old movies, or gardening – any activity is better than staying idle. Opt for more social activities, so you can interact with more people and make closer bonds. Isolation will make you grumpy, but social interactions will make you happier.

Every day of your life is a day closer to retirement. Make each of those days count as you move towards the goal of a comfortable and happier retirement.

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