The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R24

THE ABC'S OF

Retirement Planning
Whether you are just starting a job or have been working
for several years, there is no better time to start planning
financially for retirement. Here are five steps to take when
setting financial goals and how to achieve them.
BY TANI PENN-TIMITY

Retirement is something not many people in their
20s or 30s think about. But actually, those are the best
years to start thinking about your future. Planning for
retirement can be difficult and almost stressful at times
no matter what age you start, but Caleb Mann, an agent
for Farmers Insurance in Roanoke, has five tips to help
you start a path to a great retirement.

"I try to help people understand that money isn't
the whole answer," he says. "I have to share what I
learn from so many people. Before a person retires,
they have to know what makes life worth living. Too
many bury themselves in their work and routine, and
when they retire they face reality they've never faced
before, 'Why am I here? What am I supposed to do?
Great, I don't work now but how do I value myself?'"

Think about your retirement dreams and
goals; this will help you figure out how
much to save.

Always be positive

So many people find retirement planning hard to understand. Often, they do not start a retirement fund
because they are confused about how to start one;
they may feel discouraged by the economy, or just
feel negative about the concept. Don't be pessimistic
about retirement. When you don't know something,
ask, says Mann.
"If you don't understand, talk to people you trust
that aren't trying to sell you something first because

24

2015 RETIRE-VA.COM

there are so many people out there: teachers, parents,
etc. that can help you along the way," Mann says.

Balance your purpose

Remember to find a balance between relaxation and
actual retirement. Some people think of retirement
as not having to work, but there's much more to it
than that. Think about what you want to accomplish
during retirement, says Mann. Retirement is not just
about leaving the working world; it is about being
happy with what you are doing. Mann suggests volunteering or working part-time, not because you have to
but because you want to. When you realize that there
needs to be a balance between life and how you want
to live, then you will be on your way to planning for
a better retirement.
"Retirement is not just enjoyable. You can't just say
that you want to live on the beach, you have to think
about how excited you are on that seventh day on
the beach. How you feel on that day is retirement,"
Mann says.

Control debt

This is one of the biggest parts of retirement planning.
It's important to have debt out of the way now, so you
won't have to deal with it later in life. Understand that
taking away debt is a guaranteed return rather than
focusing on putting your money away in bonds. Learn
to share your money among your spendings in order
to please your interests, Mann says. Know that when
you buy one thing, you are taking from something
else that you may want to buy. Then, instead of tak-


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - September/October 2014

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