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One Secret To Retiring Sooner

One Secret To Retiring Sooner

As people have really dug into my new book over the last few months, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think: The Five Money Secrets of the Happiest Retirees, I’ve had a common question come back to me:

“Given the fact that people are already living longer, requiring a longer draw-down period from their nest egg, how do you reconcile people retiring even earlier?”

It reminds me of the quote, “No man on their deathbed says, I wish I had worked more.”

My answer to this may sound a little grim but it’s realistic. While as a whole people in the US are living longer, it doesn’t guarantee that we’ll all live to age 100.

I have known too many wonderful people who spent years planning their retirement, but when they finally reached their “golden years” they sadly passed away unexpectedly just a few short years into their perfectly planned retirement.

Of course none of us knows exactly how long we will be on this earth. If we did know, retirement planning would be much easier. This leaves people with the difficult decision of retiring with the fear of possibly running out of money, or potentially missing out on the ability to enjoy retirement altogether. That’s why I suggest that if you’re looking to retire early, you might want to consider phasing into retirement.

Rather than diving straight into the retirement pool, you can wade in by first moving to part-time work. By continuing to work you may be able to stop saving for the future while also not spending from your savings. Just working part-time will give you more of the free time you’re looking for in retirement, but delays when you have to start using your savings.

Traditional retirement planning is often seen as black and white. Meaning you go from full speed building your nest egg to full speed spending your nest egg. By instead moving to part-time work you’re able to have more freedom with your time while also extending the life of your nest egg.

Think of this phase as your retirement happy hour before the party really starts.

It’s helpful to start planning that move to part-time work a few years out, before actually enacting it. While for many careers it may simply be a matter of reallocating priorities and cutting back, there are careers that do not easily offer part-time work. If that is your position, use the few years beforehand to start thinking through and planning your part-time career move.

Ideally, your part-time work just needs to cover your monthly expenses, so you may be able to switch to a new field. You could even take up a hobby as a part-time gig. If you’re crafty, enjoy woodcarving or have other skills like this, consider opening an online Etsy store. If you love shopping you should consider applying to work at your favorite store. On top of a job you’ll likely get an employee discount. You should be realistic, though. It’s probably pretty tough to get paid to go fishing or to watch college football.

An important happiness pillar from my book’s research stems from retirees participating in many different “core pursuits” also known as hobbies on steroids. If you can find a way to get paid while enjoying your core pursuits, then all the better.

Everyone seems to know someone who died too young to enjoy the money they had diligently socked away for retirement. I’ve personally seen it too many times to ever recommend that anyone stay somewhere they don’t love when they could potentially move to the next phase. Rather than focusing on continuing to build your nest egg, just be sure you’ve reached some of the benchmarks I’ve outlined before, and then get creative with how you ease into retirement.

Remember, it’s five-o’clock somewhere.

Read the original article here.


 

The Truth About Diamond Rings

These days with social media pictures everywhere, there’s more pressure than ever to buy the perfect diamond ring for your future fiancée. Did you know, though, that diamond rings have only been an engagement staple since the 1930’s?

While engagement and wedding rings have been around for much longer, it was only when De Beers launched a major advertising campaign in 1938 when they began to rise to popularity. De Beers later came up with the famous slogan, “A Diamond Is Forever,” in 1947 which helped diamond rings quickly become commonplace. Before the ad campaign you were more likely to see a bride wearing a sapphire or a different gemstone rather than a diamond because diamonds were considered relatively low-brow and even old-fashioned.

The marketing campaign behind diamonds also created the now common thought that to-be grooms must spend at least two months’ salary on an engagement ring. For many people, that’s a ridiculous amount of money to spend on anything, let alone jewelry!

It’s amazing to me to look back and realize exactly how effective a marketing campaign was at reshaping people’s image and budget for a stone. While a diamond might be forever, I would argue that so is granite, and it’s considerably cheaper.

What’s really important with purchasing an engagement ring is finding a ring that match’s your fiancée’s personal style. Whether it’s getting her a diamond, sapphire or a granite ring, the trick is to first do your homework, and know exactly what you’re looking to buy.

Once you know the direction you’re headed, then it’s time to put a budget to it. While De Beers and Madison Ave. execs will push you to spend two month’s salary, remember that that’s coming from a marketer, and not someone trying to help you get to retirement sooner. Instead, talk with your fiancée or at least think independently about what you think is a realistic and comfortable amount to spend.

If you’re paying for the wedding, thinking about buying a home, or have other looming financial obligations, you don’t want to spend all your savings on one piece of jewelry. Remember you can always upgrade your lady’s ring as an anniversary or holiday gift at a later time. The ring itself won’t be what causes your fiancée to say “yes or no” when you pop the question.

Many rings cost just as much as a car, and you wouldn’t go car shopping without having done your research. If you’re feeling like bucking the De Beer’s standard, and buying something other than a diamond engagement ring, then you need to do some research online for ideas on the price ranges associated with your options.

If you do decide to go in the newly traditional direction of a diamond engagement ring, be sure to learn about the four C’s; cut, carat, color and clarity. You can prioritize the four C’s to actually give you more flexibility when choosing your diamond. For example, if you’re looking to get the biggest carat possible, you might give a lower priority to the clarity to free up some of your budget for a larger rock.

Bottom Line

You should not feel obligated to purchase a diamond or to spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring. These “traditions” were made up by an advertising agency in the 1940s. However, when you’re going to make a large purchase on any kind of engagement ring, you should first do your research and also set a budget. There are several online articles and tools (such as Price Scope) that you can use when researching engagement rings. I would suggest going to www.yourwela.com and reading some of the articles that we’ve put together on engagement rings, and setting up a savings goal to track when you’re ready to make that big purchase.

Congratulations on taking this big life step!

Read the original article here.


 

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