4 Simple Steps for a More Comfortable Retirement

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Unless you were born into wealth or were lucky enough to get a high-paying job with a fabulous pension, your retirement won’t be a one-and-done situation. Building a comfortable retirement will be a series of strategies.

For example, having a 401(k) is great, but you also need plenty of cash savings. A paid-off home is a huge asset, but other forms of consumer debt could sandbag your dreams. A healthy Social Security benefit certainly helps, but not everyone can expect one of those.

Simply put, if you want a happy, comfortable retirement, there are specific steps to take, no matter your age. These tactics can help.

1. Take this quiz to see if you can retire comfortably

Maybe you never thought much about what retirement actually is, other than “that golden time when I no longer have to punch a clock.” But there’s a bit more to it than that, and SmartAsset's free quiz helps clarify things both financially and personally.

Some of us are hesitant to look our retirement finances in the eye. It’s like stepping on a scale, or going to the dentist: What if the news isn’t good? But that’s where SmartAsset can set your mind at ease.

SmartAsset uses your quiz answers to match you with an experienced money planner in your area. This financial expert will go over your financials, then work with you to create a plan for the retirement you want.

Some people think they can manage their own retirement planning, thank you very much, but keep this in mind: A recent Vanguard study showed that a hypothetical self-managed $500,000 would turn into $1.69 million in 25 years, on average – whereas a financial adviser could turn those same bucks into $3.4 million.

Here’s what else a skilled financial adviser can provide: clarity. Maybe you haven’t considered what you want to do in retirement (other than sleep late). What might your retirement lifestyle look like: spending time with loved ones, traveling, volunteering? Staying where you are now, or relocating? Kicking back 24/7, or starting an encore career?

SmartAsset will match you with a planner who can help define your retirement dreams and fund them. Get started by taking this free quiz.

(Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, “Putting a Value on your Value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha.”)

2. Don’t let home repairs drain your bank account

Home repairs aren’t cheap. Whether it’s a leaky roof or a broken appliance, your home can quickly become a nightmare and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to keep up.

But you don’t have to worry. Luckily, with a home warranty company called Select Home Warranty, you can safeguard yourself against giant repair bills. From home appliances to electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, it can all be protected.

When something goes wrong due to normal wear and tear, you just call Select Home Warranty, day or night. The company has a wide network of reputable repair folks who will fix what’s wrong.

And if they can’t fix it? Select Home Warranty will replace it. All you pay is a service fee.

You don’t need a home inspection to qualify for a warranty, and there’s no limit to the number of claims you can file. Right now, Select Home Warranty is offering $150 off plans, two months for free and free roof leak coverage.

Hey, if you’re handy and like to repair stuff yourself, that’s obviously the cheapest route. But if that’s not you, a penny spent now could save you big bucks later.

If nothing else, at least see what it would cost. Get a free quote in 30 seconds.

3. Protect your wealth with gold

Gold has historically held its value over time, making it an ideal asset to protect against inflation.

So, if you’re worried about out-of-control politicians and rampant government spending, gold could be part of the answer.

How do you get started? First, don’t go overboard; most pros advise putting only about 10% to 15% of your savings into gold. And keep in mind that not everyone in the gold business is on the up-and-up. Be careful whom you deal with.

Oxford Gold Group is one company to consider. You can invest in a “gold IRA” done strictly to Internal Revenue Service regulations. Oxford Gold Group also sells gold bars and coins, as well as silver (including silver IRAs), platinum and palladium.

Oxford Gold Group has a 4.9-star rating (out of five stars) on Trustpilot, where 96% of reviewers call the company “excellent” and 4% call it “great.” It has an AA rating with the Business Consumer Alliance and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

If you’ve ever thought of investing in gold, request your free investors guide now.

4. Have a plan for medical costs Medicare won’t cover

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 7 in 10 people who turn 65 today will probably need some kind of long-term care.

Think you can’t get long-term care (LTC) insurance after age 40? Think again. GoldenCare writes LTC coverage for most people. (Unless they live in the four states where GoldenCare doesn’t operate: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii and Washington.)

“But won’t Medicare take care of all that?” Nope. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term custodial care — and paying for it out of pocket could take a huge chunk of your retirement savings. That plus inflation could mean near or total depletion of your nest egg.

Without LTC insurance, your options aren’t great: running through savings, borrowing money, burdening your family with your care, and possibly losing independence because you can’t live on your own.

It’s impossible to say whether your current health will stay good. That’s why investigating long-term care insurance is so important: It protects you and your family.

Plan now for a secure tomorrow. Get your fast, free quote today.

Bonus: Get a free $991.20 every year

You get it. This is the time to sock away money, to save more, to get your finances in order.

But you also get that it’s not always easy. If there were just one easy thing you could do every day to move the needle, to get ahead of the game, you’d do it, right?

Well, here it is: Take five minutes every day and check out the totally free Money Talks Newsletter. More than a million Americans have, and they’ve reported saving an average of $991.20 each year by checking our news and advice.

If you want the best tips and strategies to help you make more and spend less, delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter today.

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