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10 Steps to Get You Ready for Retirement

Start planning now for your ideal retirement

Step 8: Find New Ways to Cut Your Expenses (Start Saving More)

Your retirement may be right around the corner or years away. Regardless, saving more now will always make you better prepared. That doesn't mean all of your extra cash has to go into savings, but now is the time to find new way to cut your expenses. Start by listing your bills and then figure out ways to trim them. Maybe you don't need 100 cable channels or to eat out three nights a week. Even cutting one movie night a month can bring you closer to your retirement goals.

Got a green thumb? Growing your own vegetables can save you money that can be socked away for retirement. Don't ignore your debt as a way to save more. Cutting your debt now will mean less worry when you retire. One strategy that works for many people: Pay off your smallest debts first, regardless of interest rate. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and empowers you to go after the bigger debts, knowing you have the willpower to eliminate debt.

Step 9: Prepare for the Unexpected

Few of us head into retirement expecting the worst. But sometimes it happens. Prepare for the unexpected now and you won't get caught off guard later. Taking time to consider how you'd pay for — and respond to — everything from minor issues like a roof leak to serious ones like a grave illness will help you weather those storms when they come. Discuss the big issues with your family or those closest to you. How much would it cost to make major repairs? What would you want to do (or what care would you want) if there was an illness in the family?

Step 10: Stick to Your Plan (Our Community Can Help)

This step may be challenging but it's definitely rewarding: sticking to your plan. We humans are creatures of habit and it's common to revert to old habits after trying a new course. We have ways of helping you avoid that. Joining our online community will connect you with others going through the same life changes.

The community holds a wealth of information, ideas and tips, and for many is a source of comfort and strength. So join now, build your profile, share photos and even publish a blog. Use the community to tell us how we can help you realize your dreams so you and your family can enjoy the retirement you so richly deserve.

Next, take stock of your protection. Do you have enough homeowner's insurance to cover a major calamity? Is your health insurance or long-term care insurance adequate? If your insurance coverage lacks some things, now is the time to increase it. Put money aside for the unexpected. Preparing now means you won't pay later.

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