Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time for Year-End Evaluation



The end of Daylight Saving Time forces us to realize that the year is also ending. Families are preparing for Thanksgiving and store displays are filled with holiday decorations. It can be difficult to cherish and make the most of each day, particularly during the holiday season when everything seems rushed. As 2013 becomes 2014, we should take inventory of our annual accomplishments and where we fell short of achieving personal goals.

Our perception of time varies throughout our lives. When we are very young, we think time drags on. This makes sense because to a four-year old, a single year encompasses one-quarter of a lifetime. By the time we are forty, a year is just one-40th of our lives, while living that same one-quarter of a lifetime would take ten years. Therefore, sense of urgency typically increases with age. As we approach retirement, we feel like we are scrambling through each year, trying to keep up.

If you are in your 20s or even 30s, retirement age may seem far off. However, failing to prepare now can make the retirement years far from golden. Many retirees find themselves without enough money to live comfortably or even sparsely. According to a recent poll, more than 80 percent of employed Americans believe that they may work for pay during retirement. Almost half anticipate retiring later than originally planned. On average, these folks see themselves working almost three years longer than they planned to when they were 40.
 
Retirement should be a pleasant phase, not something to be feared. We cannot count on the government taking care of us during those years so we must create our own financial security. Approximately 10,000 people from the Baby Boom era will reach retirement age each day for the next twenty years. If they have not planned for this life change, they could represent a huge drain on national resources.
 
Teaching children to save a single dollar every week creates future millionaires. Learning the value of money at a young age can prevent extended employment due to lack of finances for retirement. Whether you are still young or just feel it, take a mature approach by saving money now and watch it pay off later.
 
We control our destinies and this extends to what happens during the retirement years. It is never too early to begin planning for the period beyond employment. Even if you have begun building a nest egg for retirement, you can always do more. If you have not yet started, now is the time. Use the year-end evaluation period to create a plan and implement this by the time 2014 begins.
 
The first step is typically the most difficult so get past that as soon as possible. There are many enjoyable ways to earn and save money. Pick up a second job at a retail store or start a legitimate home business. Invest earnings and watch them grow. Keep an eye on the future and be prepared for its arrival. New years seem to arrive quickly so do not let them take you by surprise.

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