Cooler weather has arrived, and many of us will soon be spending more time inside. It’s a good time to think about … retirement.
That’s right, retirement.
Not jazzed? Not surprised. Who wants to calculate a savings goal or check on their Social Security earnings, when they could snuggle on the couch and binge watch Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell in “The Morning Show”? And sure — retirement may sound like a far-off, even somewhat theoretical event. You may sometimes feel that so much money is needed, it’s useless to even try to build a nest egg. But the best way to prepare for the eventuality of retirement is to start planning and saving now, so your money has time to grow.
Saving for retirement is increasingly important, because we as a nation are living longer. Over the past century, Americans have added 30 years to their lives — but half of us are financially unprepared for those extra years, a recent report from the Stanford Center for Longevity found.
Don’t despair. Our seven-day retirement challenge is here to coax you away from the television, and toward a series of steps toward a better retirement. Each day, you’ll receive an email with a task or topic that you can accomplish relatively quickly — or that at least will teach you why you should be doing it. If you have a laptop or a phone handy (and you do if you’re reading this), you won’t even need to leave your sofa.
So sit up, and maybe grab a snack — ideally, a healthy one. A helpful interactive video tool from the Center for Financial Literacy at Boston College, called “Curious Behaviors That Can Ruin Your Retirement,” offers a snack analogy to help encourage you to make wise choices in retirement planning. Treats like chocolate cake are delectable, the tool’s narrator says, but fruit salad is far more nutritious. “Retirement planning,” the video advises, “is like choosing fruit salad.”
We’ll make that fruit salad a little more enticing by walking you through the most important things you can do to secure a healthy retirement both financially and emotionally, starting with advice about how to envision your retirement and how to begin saving, and ending with when to hire professional financial help.
If you can’t get through each step on a given day, you can save it and return to it later.
When you’re done, you’ll be on a path toward a more rewarding retirement.
And then, you can eat that chocolate cake.