During a busy working life, many people don’t seem to find enough time to follow their hobbies. Certainly those who commute into work find their weekdays fairly full. At weekends there are the kids who have their own commitments and may need their parents to act as taxi drivers. ‘Wait until I retire’ you might think. It may be hobbies you are interested in or perhaps travel. One thing you will certainly have when you finally retire from your full-time job is time. The question is whether you will have the money to live a comfortable life and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do?
The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has recently published a report that suggests that as many as two thirds of people aged 50 and over expect to work beyond the age of 65, even if it is only part-time. Currently many are retiring at 62 but clearly the next generation does not see that it will have the resources to do so. However whether their existing employers will still employ them is questionable.
Debt seems to be a major issue. Many of the respondents admit to credit card debt and being currently concerned about paying it off. Those with regular income should be able to get themselves a personal loan as long as they can demonstrate their ability to repay the monthly instalments for the full term of the loan. The intention of taking that loan is solely to pay off credit card balances that are incurring a much higher rate of interest.
Even with such debt paid off, many don’t see how they are going to maintain a decent lifestyle never mind enjoy hobbies and travel.
It seems however that the situation is much better amongst the younger generation with two thirds actually doing something now about retirement. The younger generation of course often has an existing burden because many are carrying debt in the form of student loans but it seems conscious of the need to save as well. It does not mean that they are optimistic about being able to retire early. Part of their pessimism may come from the current situation with the Social Security System which is currently under funded to the extent that benefits may drop by up to 25% in the mid-2030s.
Unfortunately many are underestimating how much they may need in retirement. $36,000 per year is a popular figure but a misapprehension; the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the figure currently is nearer $50,000.
It seems that very few in any age group are prepared for retirement at the level they want. The ones that are in the best position to do something about it are those that really understand there is a problem and want to do something about it.
The starting point whatever your age is to get rid of waste and that certainly means the level of interest charged to any credit card balances. If you have a regular income and your application for a loan is realistic, you will find that you can pay off any balances and repay the loan in instalments. The rate of interest charged on personal loans is much lower than that credit card companies charge. Online lenders have introduced a simple & easy application procedure done entirely online asking for simple basic information. Approval is likely to be in hours and the money requested transferred into your checking account fairly quickly afterwards.
How you then use your credit cards in the future is crucial. You must be certain that if you use it during a month you must know that you can afford to settle the monthly statement in full, and then proceed to do it.
Your budget should now have a single payment for repayment of debt and hopefully a surplus that increases because of the personal loan substitution. That should not stop you investigating other possible savings on such things as utilities and insurance. That surplus should be made to work for you and perhaps the best thing to do is to automatically have a figure transferred out of your account on a regular basis. The money will build up over the years towards your retirement, your hobbies and your travel plans.