I’m getting older and want to do more things with my money. I don’t want to wait until retirement because by then I might be too old to really enjoy the things I want to do now. Is there a way I can enjoy my financial success in a smart way that won’t also break the bank? Maybe create a budget or not-quite-so-long-term goals?
There are definitely ways to accomplish your short-term goals without sacrificing your long-term ones.
While keeping up your regular contributions to your retirement accounts, you can look at your disposable income and divert some of it to your shorter-term goals, like traveling. The first step is to look honestly at where your dollars go each month. Imagine taking every dollar you earn each month, looking at it, and then deciding where you’re going to spend it. Most of us have money that leaks out of our bank account, and we aren’t really sure where it goes. Taking steps to stop leakage from your monthly budget will free up more money than you might think. Once you’ve looked at things you’re willing to forgo in order to reach your dream of travel, you will be able to place those found dollars into your travel account. From there, you can save each month for whatever trip is on your mind.
I recommend to my clients that they enjoy life while working toward retirement. I’ve known people that scrimp, save, and put off enjoying life until the day they can walk away. They have a vision of spending those post-retirement years traveling and doing whatever they want to. What can happen, though, is a medical crisis, aging parents, or unexpectedly having children or grandchildren move back into their home. They sometimes must postpone retirement or aren’t physically able to enjoy the time when it comes. So, within reason, enjoy your life now.
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