Momentum is a powerful thing. Especially when handling the complex needs of retirement. So it’s best to get things moving sooner rather than later.
But when you’re retiring independently, you might feel unsure of where to start. Like you’re spinning your wheels, but gaining no meaningful, long-term traction.
Don’t worry! We’ve got your back.
In this article, you’ll see multiple ways you can start building retirement momentum as an independent woman. And you’ll be exposed to the additional support you can receive every step of the way.
1) Create, Stick To, and Maintain A Personal Budget
A budget is a cornerstone of personal finance. It provides you with the need-to-knows on what’s coming in, and what’s going out. So if you’re not used to working one, now’s the time to empower yourself.
With a budget, you get a transparent look at the present state of your finances. You’ll see how your habits are channeling your money. And you’ll have the clarity to make more impactful decisions on your financial future.
With a budget you’ll:
- Identify your most essential expenses
- Know your spending habits inside and out
- See where money is being properly/improperly channeled
- Experience clarity, and autonomy in controlling your finances
- Feel freedom and permission to spend rather than fear and a need to hold back
Creating, committing to, and maintaining a personal budget can be challenging. Especially if you’ve never worked one on your own. But as your dedicated financial partner, we’ll help lay this financial cornerstone in place, and keep you growing with confidence.
2) Establish An Emergency Fund
How vulnerable are you to the unexpected? If you don’t have an emergency fund, you may already know the answer. Too vulnerable!
Emergency funds serve as the buffer between you and life’s unpleasant surprises. Whether that’s a set of flat tires, a trip to the doctor’s office, or a job loss, your emergency fund is there to help break your fall. Not to mention, to provide some much-need peace of mind.
But what’s a healthy emergency fund look like? Generally speaking, you’ll want 3-6 months of living expenses on hand. But where in that range you’ll fall, and where your accessible cash should be stored will depend on your unique circumstances.
Together, we’ll build the emergency fund that’s right for you. And you can start building wealth from a place of security rather than scarcity.
3) Clear Out All “Bad” Debts
Sometimes it’s something we lack, like an emergency fund, that holds us back. But other times it’s actually what we have. And when it comes to bad debts, your progress can be seriously slowed.
By “bad” debts we’re talking about high-interest consumer debts (ex: credit card debt). These debts eat away at your income, take far more than their fair share, and are often overlooked in how harmful they can be.
As a team, we’ll lay out all your debts with zero judgment. We can start with smaller ones first, and build our way to cutting down the rest.
4) Identify, And Stop Harmful Spending Habits
Your budget will help you identify any harmful spending habits you may have. And by correcting them you can push back against the big worries of never having enough, and outliving your savings.
You’ll feel weights come off your mind as you cut the expenses (ex: unused subscriptions) that no longer serve you. And with a budget, you won’t have to suffer from the uncertainty of where your spending will leave you in the long-run.
Proper spending habits enable your wealth to grow, and be preserved. And they’re a pillar in creating a retirement that’s built to last.
As your financial thinking partner, we can help prevent harmful spending, and bolster your investments. And we can help make sure your drawdowns in retirement continue to support a work-optional lifestyle.
5) Have The Hard Conversations
Your parents are getting older. You’re getting older. And if you have kids… Well, you can guess what’s happening there too.
As time passes, the need for difficult conversations becomes more and more pressing. But anxiety can’t get in the way of proactive planning.
Examples of hard conversations you’ll want to have ahead of time:
- Informing your kids of what will happen should you pass/become incapacitated
- Discussing insurance options for your own potential future mental/physical decline
- Talking with your parents about how they will be cared for as they continue to grow older
We know how hard these conversations can be. But you’ll feel a tremendous relief wash over you by having them in advance. And as your devoted financial guide, we can see to it that the proper protections are put in place.
6) Consistently Give To Causes You Whole-Heartedly Believe In
Being able to give is rewarding. But when that giving is tied to causes you whole-heartedly believe in, it’s even more so.
Whether it’s your time or money, contributing to something larger than yourself will be a powerful driver of your momentum. You’re not only working towards your own freedom, but you’re helping others do the same.
Wonderful causes we’ve helped our clients support include:
- Educations of children and grandchildren
- Climate change
- Women’s shelters
- Human trafficking
Don’t think you have to be wealthy to give (though it certainly helps). Like your savings, your giving can grow overtime. And together we can strategize to help you change lives in a tax-friendly way.
7) Evaluate Paying Off Your Home
Owning your home can be a huge financial, and emotional milestone. Financially speaking, you’ll no longer have sizable mortgage payments eating away at your income. And on top of that, you’ll have a sellable asset that can appreciate over time.
From an emotional standpoint, the benefits can also be substantial. There’s a rush of freedom that comes from owning your home outright. You’ll have full control over a place you can use to host events, shelter loved ones, rent out, or fill with leopard-printed furniture- if that’s your style!
But whether or not this is the right move, will depend on you, and your overall financial ambitions.
As your financial thinking partner, we’ll run through multiple “what-if?” scenarios to better understand if paying off your home is a proper, momentum-building goal. And if it is, how you can best approach paying off that mortgage.
8) Rediscover Yourself, And Your Ideal Vision
So often, our ideas of what “success” looks like stem from outside influences. Advertisements, family, friends, and colleagues all shape we’re we think we want to go. But when’s the last time you checked in with yourself?
If you’re approaching retirement independently, you need to think independently. And the goals of your financial strategy need to be ones you actually have.
Great ways to rediscover yourself, and your vision include:
- A career change
- A work sabbatical or extended vacation
- Meeting with a counselor, therapist, or life coach
Together, we’ll find a way to financially support your rediscovery. That way, you can strive towards your future in a state of alignment.
9) Know What The Dream Will Take
There’s something about writing down the dream, and the numbers behind it, that makes it all a lot more real. Instead of estimating, you’ll know exactly what it’ll take to get you where you want to go.
As a team we’ll help you calculate:
- The numbers you can take from investments without overdoing it
- The returns on investments that call for cutbacks/increases in spending
- The investment performance you need to keep work optional
And don’t think these figures are set in stone! We regularly review your progress, and make adjustments when needed.
10) Learn, Grow, And Evolve With The Right Financial Partner
At Snowpine Wealth, we specialize in partnering with women to help them pursue their long-term financial aspirations, while dealing with inevitable concerns that come along the way. We’re experienced in helping widows, divorcees, and other independent women stand firmly on their financial feet, and put their best foot forward as they navigate retirement.
We’re able to help you build financial momentum in a variety of ways. And we can start with the basics of establishing a budget, building an emergency fund, and paying off debts other than your house.
Once those are taken care of, we can continue to help you build momentum through investing, donations, savvy habits, tax-saving strategies, and tracking progress towards your vision of the future.
If you’re a woman tackling retirement independently, know you have help available. We’re here to walk with you every step of the way, and bring you closer to the lifestyle you envision. If you’re ready to start building momentum give us a call at 801-534-4463, or book your complimentary consultation.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Fixed insurance products and services not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash