Gardening is not one of my talents. Luckily for me, Dan has always had a passion for gardening and his passion is evident in the landscaping of our house. We purchased our home not for the house itself, but for the large yard and the potential that Dan envisioned when we were house hunting in Allendale, NJ. Every year I marvel at all of his plantings and the blooming of the flowers and trees. The oak and maple trees are finally in full bloom and the flowers are beginning to spring up in all shades of pink and purple. The thought process of keeping the lawn to its fullest potential has taken many years of planning. The yard has changed over the years with some of Dan’s additions and during our 15 years in this house, the landscaping has fully matured. It is comforting to sit back and enjoy all of the hard work and planning.
Just like a fully bloomed garden, retirement is for sitting back and enjoying all of your hard work and planning. And just like the landscaping of our lawn, retirement needs to be planned out. The thought process of how to invest and which portfolios to choose can be overwhelming. But, if you have the correct financial planner you will be able to sit back and enjoy. The early years of planting and nourishing your retirement portfolio will leave you with an enjoyable and fruitful retirement.
Here are 3 things for you to consider today to aid you in your retirement planning:
Maximizing your Retirement Plan- The annual limit for 401(k) contributions increased to $17,000 in 2012, and the catch-up provision for employees 50 and over remains at $5,500. These contributions reduce your taxable income, so make sure that you max out your retirement plans.
Review your Mortgage – Interest rates are at all-time lows so it would be a good time to explore whether refinancing your mortgage would be beneficial to you. It is preferable to refinance to a 30-year loan and invest the additional savings in your investment account monthly.
Eliminate your Credit Card Debt– You need to pay down your credit card debt. The interest charged on the credit card is generally quite high and this rate is higher than one can expect to receive from their own investments. In addition, you should make sure that you have your emergency fund established.
And remember during all of the planning years, take time to smell the roses!