Retirement planning isn’t something that you can do by the seat of your pants. Preparing for retirement should begin as early as possible. This article looks at some of the reasons why you should start planning for retirement early.
Plan Retirement Early!
If I want to gain financial freedom way before retirement age or latest at the age of retirement, I need to accumulate enough wealth to achieve the lifestyle that I want. This requires planning as gathered from the Rich Dad’s series by Robert Kiyosaki. If I want to be cautious, I feel that I should have two plans.
The first plan is to plan for retirement. The second plan is to plan to retire way before the age of retirement. This is because in case the second plan fails, I still have the first plan to fall back to. In the worst scenario, I will gain financial freedom at the retirement age.
In order to implement the first plan, I need to embark on the journey to research on retirement planning. After studying and reading a lot on retirement planning, I realize that retirement planning should be done as early as possible in my life. Why?
Firstly, I can capitalize more on the compounding interest of investment return. If I invest early in my life, then my investment has more time to grow. This advantage is gone if I have only invested near my retirement age.
For example, let assume the rate of investment return is 5 percent per annum and my retirement age is 60 years old. If I invest at the age of 30 years old, then my investment has 30 years to grow at the compounding interest rate of 5 percent per annum. If I have invested at the age of 55 years old, then my investment has only 5 years to grow at the compounding interest rate of 5 percent per annum. Of course, I will gain more if I have invested at the age of 30 years old.
Secondly, I can afford to make mistakes in my investment and recover from my mistakes. When I learn to invest initially, I will definitely make mistakes here and there. Because I start to learn to invest at a younger age, I have more time to learn and recover from my mistakes. Learning form mistakes is the key to accumulate wealth based on my understanding of the Rich Dad’s series by Robert Kiyosaki.
For example, if I have made a mistake in investment that result in a loss of $10,000 at the age of 30 years old, I still can earn back the money. But if I have made the same mistake at the age of 60 years, I may not be employable to earn back the lost amount.
Even if I decide to hire a financial planner to help me, it is still my responsibility to know enough about investment so that I do not hire the wrong guy. This knowledge cannot be gained through purely reading. Some kind of practical experience is required to understand more about investments to enable one to decide on the proposed solution given by the financial planner.
Thirdly, I can be more aggressive in my investment. That is I can put my money into more risky investments. More risks usually mean better return on investment. But that may not be always true. If I can manage the risks well, I can get better return on risky investment.
For example, I can invest in currency. That is provided that I know how to manage the high risks in currency investment. Even if I have all the necessary risk management in place, there is still a possibility that the investment still goes wrong due to unforeseen circumstances. In which case, I have time to recover from the loss.
Then, I can invest in long-term investments. This is not possible if I invest near retirement age. At near retirement age, I should only be investing in assets that give me cash or near cash, as I will need the money to support my retirement lifestyle. In fact, most of my investments should be converted to the type that can give me regular income near my retirement age.
For example, it maybe impractical for me to invest in a property and hoping that it will appreciate. A property may take quite a number of years to appreciate to a substantial amount. In other words, I should not be looking for investments that give capital appreciation. I should be focusing on investments that give me regular income such as annuity.
Even though that it is good to plan for retirement early, it is important that I have addressed the more urgent needs first. I should have already planned and insured properly so that I will not face a financial disaster due any unexpected accidents or illness or any other events. Also, I should have already set aside an emergency fund equivalent to 3 to 6 months of monthly expenditure. In this way, I should be able to survive till my retirement age to see the fruits of my retirement plan.
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