Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at Bakersfield College. The topic was basic and very familiar to me so the time I spent preparing was minimal. I wasn't worried and felt I was ready because everything I was going to discuss was basic information that we talk about daily on the Moneywise Guys radio show.
The night before I was to speak, I began reviewing the information and realized that I was not even close to being prepared. It was a painful realization that the time to prepare had almost run out and I still had a lot to do to make this presentation go smoothly.
Now let's imagine for a second -- It's getting closer to your retirement and you don't have enough money saved. Sound familiar?
For too many today, that is the reality. It is often right before retirement that they finally sit down to review their retirement funds and realize that time has run out and they are far short of what they need.
If this is the case for you, there are adjustments you can make to get you closer to meeting your retirement expectations that don't include crossing your fingers or buying lotto tickets.
First, if your retirement funds aren't enough to last you might want to consider working a little longer. If you have a job you enjoy, holding off retirement for a few years can have a major effect on your retirement needs. The impact can be even greater if you use this time to save as much as possible.
By working longer you will be able to delay taking your Social Security benefits. Each year that you wait to take Social Security can increase your Social Security payment by up 8 percent. This will also give your portfolio more time to grow.
Next, you might think about picking up a part-time job doing something you enjoy. Many people enjoy working and after retirement a part-time job can be a great way to not only bring in extra cash but to bring some enjoyment as well as positive interaction with other people.
Next, always remember to save any financial windfalls. When you get a tax return, a bonus, inheritance or other extra cash put that money into a savings plan. Fight the voice in your head that is telling you that you deserve to blow this extra money on something wild and crazy like a motor home or expensive jewelry.
Scale back expectations
Lastly, remember you can always simply scale back your retirement expectations. If there are things you wanted to do in retirement, like travel the world while staying in 5 star hotels, you might have to adjust to domestic travel while staying at the Marriott.
So, if you're getting closer to retirement and you find you don't have enough money, take action now, make some of these adjustments and you'll find that even some small changes can get you closer to your retirement dreams.
Paul Anderson is an investment advisor and partner at Moneywise Wealth Management. He is also a host of the Moneywise Guys radio program on KERN 1180 weekdays 10 a.m. to noon. His email is Paul@moneywiseguys.com and website is www.MoneywiseGuys.com. Advisory Services offered through : SCF Investment Advisors, Inc. Corporate Office: 155 E. Shaw Ave. #102 Fresno, CA. 93710 800-955-2517. These are Anderson's opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian or SCF.