- Set a realistic spend-down rate – Do you know how much of your portfolio funds you can spend without worries each year? If you’re around 65 years old, withdraw 3.5 % of your balanced portfolio in the first year and increase the amount every year depending on the rate of inflation. So, if you had $100,000 in investments and home equity, you could easily spend $3,500 in the first year. If there’s a 2% inflation, you can increase it by $70 next year.
- Have a backup plan – You have to consider the fact that investing is uncertain, and oftentimes things might not work out as you planned them to. So, it’s best if you look at your expenses and decide what’s nondiscretionary (property taxes, utilities, food) and what’s discretionary (travel, entertainment). Then, you can decide how much you can reduce them in case the market plunges and does not recover quickly.
- Inventory what makes you happy – Also, try analyzing your non-discretionary expenses and recall which ones have brought you bliss and which have not. Usually, a new car never brings as much joy and long-term happiness as taking the grandkids out for a lunch or on a vacation. Financial journalists Jonathan Clements agrees that experiences usually bring more joy than a bunch of stuff does.
- Take a part-time job doing something you really love – Some believe in phased retirement, and it’s not all wrong. From an emotional point of view, it’s not easy to switch from decades of working full time to having no routine at all. Even more, from a financial point of view, you accomplish two financial goals by working part-time. First, it will bring you more cash. Secondly, you have less time on spending money. Don’t do anything stressful, but go for something that you’ve always loved doing. You’ll soon find out that finding work that you like can be a great way of putting extra money in your pocket, and having an extra reason to wake up in the morning.
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