Want a Mexico Retirement?
…may be just around the corner, or retirement may be a long way off, but from this day forward it’s up to you – and no one else – to save enough money to live “happily after retirement”.
As far as Social Security, the nay-sayers and dooms-dayers say it won’t be there – but, just in case it is, (and I can’t imagine any politician who values their political life not working to keep it functioning) then that will be an added bonus to make your retirement comfortable!
Ways to do it:
If your employer offers retirement savings plans…
…take full advantage of them. Contributions are taken out of your pay before taxes – and the savings will earn interest, and you won’t be taxed until you – usually in retirement – take the distributions. And, believe me, in retirement, most of us have a lower income – ergo – lower tax ratio. Win-win – you saved, let it gain interest, and the taxes will be less when you receive the money. If your employer offers a matching plan – take full advantage of it! Contribute as much as is allowed. Same scenario as above paragraph, plus you double your savings!
Once you have a plan established, don’t borrow on it! You’ll find it’s almost impossible to replace the money you already saved – and you’ll be paying back interest too boot! Keep your eyes open for penalties! If you take distributions before 59 ½, those withdrawals may have penalties!
So, try to wait until at least age 62 to retire – you’ll find health insurance can be a huge expense on your own – try to hang in there until 65. Medicare is wonderful!
Now, assuming you’re a bit nearer that golden year of retirement, and have already put the above plans into action, here are a few thoughts to ruminate: Your retirement does not involve only yourself. Your spouse or partner is going to take that ride with you.
Sit down and have many discussions about your hopes, your expectations, your desires you have for the future years. Dick and I have always found a lot of easy conversation while driving and relaxing – find a comfortable setting for you, and share.
Figure out just where your income is going to come from and how much you can plan on receiving – here, a financial advisor may come in handy. Most banks have that service offered for free, but we’ve found you can get a lot of information by just getting out pencil and paper and doing some figuring!
By now you should have a budget figured out – see where you can cut down, where you will be able to save. Use coupons and take full advantage of sales. You’ll probably find that during retirement, you’ll have more time than money, so make a game of coupons… and don’t forget to always ask for the good old “senior discount”! Dick and I would feel really bad if we were to pay full price for almost anything anymore!
Just for the fun of it – go though last year’s financial records…
…Find out just what you actually spent for the year, and see where you can cut down. Even if you have unlimited funds, you should feel very proud not to just waste money.
And what a wonderful lesson to pass on to your children!
Now, you should be in full retirement mode – but – woops – what happens a little later…when the car needs a major repair, the roof starts to leak or the plumbing gives up the ghost and needs a major rework – or maybe your washer just stops in the middle of the spin cycle, never to spin again? All those savings you’ve been able to put away will be a life saver.
Expenses don’t stop just because of retirement!
Addition Feb 3, 2013 – the amount you need to move to Mexico has changed – see – http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/detroit/index.php/info-english
Saving for retirement article by Barbie
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Barbie Parks is the publisher and editor of MoneySavingMexico.com. She is the author of Retire In Luxury: How To Retire Abroad And Live Better on Less and her latest book, Money Saving Mexico: How To Save Money On Everything South of the Border.