4 Essential Goals for Anybody Who Cannot Afford to Retire

Low income? Worried about retirement? Solve all of your problems right now with these essential retirement goals. Keep fit, live healthy, and secure your future.

4 Essential Goals for anybody who cannot afford to retire

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In the wake of one of the most severe economic depressions in modern times, it is natural to feel anxious about the future. The global crash may have happened almost a decade ago, but its effects are still reverberating around the world. Ultimately, surviving on a modest income has never been as tricky as it is now. Yet, the good times are far from over. It just takes a little more ingenuity to bring them to the surface.

This is particularly true for anybody in their fifties and sixties who might be looking ahead to retirement with a bit of a frown. For young people, it is easy to assume that retirement is a right; that it is something which automatically becomes possible once you reach a certain age. Of course, this is rarely the case. If you do not have the money to invest in your retirement, there are no guarantees.

The biggest mistake made by the majority of American citizens, on modest incomes, is to wait until it is too late to think about alternative plans. We all want to believe that our salaries will eventually rise and that the future will take care of itself, but whilst hoping and waiting, many of us are missing opportunities which can secure our futures, even without lavish earnings. It is possible to retire on a low income, but there are some things that you need to do first.

Eliminate As Much Debt As Possible

This first step is the hardest and it will feel like more of a punishment than a reward right now. However, if you know that you will be living on a low income while retired, it is essential that you deal with debts before this point. If you can manage, double up on your monthly repayments to try and downsize debts quickly. It may be difficult at first, but it can only benefit you in the long term.

This is the right time to attack debts with gusto – whilst you are earning and in work – so think carefully about how you spend. For those who are close to retirement age already, the clock is ticking. Be practical and sensible about your outgoings. Do you really need an expensive car, with crippling monthly payments? Can you find a way to save money on eating out, in order to pay off credit card debts?

If you have large debts and no children (or grown up children who have flown the nest), it can be a good idea to think about downsizing to a smaller house. As you get older, the extra space will likely be troublesome to maintain and clean anyway. Why not look for somewhere cosier and use the extra equity to obliterate some of those debts? For low income earners, retirement can be a wonderful time, but only if you can learn to live within your means.

Unfortunately, this may mean giving up on that unrealistic dream of a holiday home in the Bahamas. You might have to swap the villa in Tuscany for a fortnight in the sun once a year, but is that really so bad? So many of us are taught to expect big dreams and big things when we retire, but the reality is less St Tropez and more trips to the countryside with the kids. To be honest, it still sounds pretty wonderful. It is all about perspective. If you live with optimism, you will find it easier to be happy.  

Get Yourself a Reliable Dental Plan

One of the biggest expenses for retirees is dental costs. Even if you take great care of your teeth as you age, the years will take their toll. However, you can alleviate these costs by signing up with a reliable dental membership plan. Do not leave this until the last minute, because the more carefully you monitor and maintain your oral health, the fewer complications you will run into later. The fastest way to get saddled with huge dental bills is to ignore nagging aches and persistent problems.  

There are two major changes associated with age when it comes to oral health. The first is that the body produces less saliva. Your mouth may feel noticeably drier and you may need to drink more water to fix this. The less saliva in your mouth, the more friction and resistance on your teeth, so keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear.  

Also, age causes the gums to recede. There is no way to entirely prevent this from happening, as it is a natural part of getting older, but you can slow it right down. Always brush your teeth twice a day and floss after meals. Keep up with regular dentist appointments and, if you smoke or drink heavily, try to cut down as far as possible. The older you get, the more of a toll smoking, especially, will have on your oral health.

In older patients, the risk of mouth cancers is slightly increased. Your dentist will check for signs of any kind of damage or disease every time that you visit for a routine check-up. If you experience unexplained soreness, pain, or swelling in your mouth, consult your specialist. It is likely to be a minor (and fixable) issue, but it is always best to make sure.

Exercise Regularly and Eat Healthy

Similarly, it is very important for those approaching retirement age to think carefully about their overall health. It is remarkable how much of a difference something like giving up smoking can have on physical wellbeing. And if you are healthier, you are a lot less likely to end up splurging on costly prescription drugs and medical appointments. With just a little more commitment to staying in shape, you can save thousands.

So, treat your body with love and respect. While you might have been able to get away with all night benders and questionable habits in your thirties, can you still do it now? Cut back on the alcohol consumption, put down the cigarettes, and create a gentle exercise plan. This does not have to involve anything too intense; a short jog, run, or walk in the park once a day is more than enough.

For people with dogs, this should be easy. If you usually take your pet out for twenty minutes per day, increase it by an extra ten minutes each month during the summer. If you do not have a pet and struggle to find the time for exercise, fit a walk or a job in wherever you can. For example, walk to the store for groceries instead of getting in the car. Even a small amount of exercise is better than none at all and it will save you money in the long run.

If you are approaching retirement age (within the next 5-10) years, you are advised to invest in a thorough physical exam. That way, if problems do arise, you still have the salary and the time to deal with them. You do not want to wait until your income dips and your options wane before you address important health issues. Be bold, take the bull by the horns, and make sure that you are always in control of your future.  

Dive Into a Brand New Career

If you have wondered what it would be like to turn a hobby or an interest into a pay check, it could be time to find out. These days, it is easier than ever to make money online. Just take a look at websites like Etsy, which allow creators and designers of all shapes and sizes to sell unique art to paying customers.

The thing to remember is that this kind of revenue stream is rarely substantial. If you are a younger person hoping to hit on a secret cash cow, you will likely be disappointed. For an older person, however, with a modest income to build upon, online businesses can be very lucrative. And the biggest advantage is that many of them do not rely on physical labour.

You can knit hats, paint watercolours, personalise mugs, or write articles without jeopardizing your energy or health. And it can be a lot of fun. The key to success is to start exploring these avenues before you retire. That way, you have the disposable income to invest in any equipment or set up costs and you can afford to be patient whilst you attract online interest.

The best ideas come from a place of genuine passion, so do not be afraid to indulge in the things that make you happy. If you like collecting and upcycling old furniture, keep doing it, but add some research into selling finished pieces for a profit online. You would be surprised at how quickly a basic website and a simple online profile shared by friends can attract attention from internet users looking for something a little different.

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