14 tips for retirement planning
Another great prompt from @chris407x. Don't forget about the non-financial aspects of retirement planning.
1. Start saving early
This makes every other aspect of your life easier. Start early and you might be able to save less or not at all when your older which creates all sorts of optionality for the future you.
2. Make an effort to learn how markets work
This is about basic market mechanics.
3. Make an effort to understand behavioral investing mistakes
This might be more important than understanding market mechanics. There's a short list of investor behaviors that get repeated over and over by new generations that lead to bad, sometimes catastrophic outcomes.
4. Start contributing to Roth accounts early
While you're probably making less money than you will later and benefit less from the deduction of contributing to traditional accounts.
5. Then start contributing to traditional accounts later
Once your income has gone up and you are more likely to benefit from the tax deduction.
6. Live like a college student as long as you can
You will spend a lot less money in this time, allowing savings to grow and giving yourself more optionality
7. Spend less than you make
A repeat from yesterday's list.
8. Get serious about tracking progress eventually
At 35 it isn't too important to know where you are in relation to where you need to be at 55, 60 or whatever. The important thing when you're young is that you are a lot saving money and avoiding catastrophic behavioral mistakes. Then maybe at 50 or 55 start to seriously progress check where you are. If you not where you need to be, you have time to make up the difference.
9. Learn about and then mitigate sequence of return risk 5 years before you want to retire
This is the risk that the stock market goes down a lot right around the time you retire.
10. Create multiple streams of income
There's not enough margin for error with only two streams, Social Security and your savings.
11. Be flexible
A repeat from yesterday, not everything will go your way. Being able to adapt and overcome is crucial.
12. "No one will care more about your retirement than you."
A quote from Joe Moglia that I coopted to say no one will care more about your outcomes than you.
13. Stay healthy, active and curious
These are all within our control to do even if luck does play some role with health. The right behaviors give us the best chance at good health and all three together are crucial elements for successful aging.
14. Do things for the future you
That is to say play the long game but find the balance to live in the moment too. Striking this balance is absolutely possible.