5 Ways to Cultivate a Strong Quality of Life for Retirement

in Save by Lacey Langford, AFC®

The goal for retirement is to have the quality of life you want when you decide to stop working. It’s living your retirement years uninterrupted by life’s curve balls. A successful, interruption-free retirement doesn’t fall in your lap. You have to work at it. You have to plant and sow the seeds now to have the retirement you want in the future.

If the thought of years of retirement prep makes you a little weary, there’s good news. Laying the groundwork for a good quality of life doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. In fact, keeping it simple and easy is the way to go. Here’s how to cultivate a strong quality of life for retirement.

1. Consistent Savings

The simplest and most effective way to cultivate quality of life in retirement is to save consistently. Putting money into long-term retirement savings such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), Individual Retirement Account or a 401 (k) every month will help you to have the money you need to maintain your quality of life after you retire.

2. High Savings Rate

Saving consistently is a major component of retirement savings but getting the best rate for your savings is also a key. And you don’t just want that for your retirement savings like the TSP or 401 (k). You also want to get the highest possible savings rate for your short-term savings or your emergency fund. As your savings balance increases, using accounts such as a money market account can give you a higher rate on the money you’re putting aside.

3. Avoiding Withdrawals

Do not break into your own piggy bank. Life happens, it’s a given. Opportunities and problems will come up, and both will require money. The key is to not dip into your retirement money and instead save separately for opportunities and problems. That way, you’ll have the money for them without breaking into your retirement savings.

4. Low-Cost Living

Get the most out of every penny you spend. Living costs money. You need a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes for work, and some form of transportation to get to your job. And you’re going to want things in life. A new cellphone, to go out to eat, and maybe a vacation or two. The trick is to try and get the items you need and want at the lowest possible price. That means shopping around, finding a cheaper house to rent, and waiting to buy work clothes until they’re on sale. Adopting a low-cost living will not only save you money and allow you to save more, but it will also be a helpful habit you will carry into your retirement. You want to spend less than you make now and in retirement.

5. Make Your Retirement Vision a Reality

Retirement is not one size fits all. Each of us is unique, and thus our retirements will be unique. Where do you want to be, who do you want to be with, and what do you want to be doing in retirement are all questions we’ll have different answers for. Knowing what your responses to those questions are will help you plan and prepare for retirement and ultimately ensure the quality of life you want. Knowing what you want in retirement will help you stay on track to make the vision a reality.

Cultivating the life you want now will help you keep that quality of life later. Remember to keep it simple plus: