We all look forward to the day we no longer have to work. But are we all prepared for retirement life? People often ignore retirement planning when they are young and do not start seriously contemplating it until later in life.

“Obviously, it would be better to begin retirement savings early,” explains Richard Cayne of Meyer International. “You want your life in retirement to match or exceed your lifestyle now, without worry!”

1. Start now!

It is never too late to start saving for your retirement. Obviously, the earlier you start, the better, but you should never give up on the possibility of retiring as comfortably as possible. If you have a pension through your employer or a national scheme, review what, if any, funds will be available to you. Discuss your options with a financial expert if necessary to determine how much more you need to save.

2. Automate savings wherever possible

If you already have your paycheck automatically deducted to contribute to your employee pension or provident plan, that is excellent. Also, consider setting up a separate savings or retirement account apart from your pension. Discuss this structure with an expert to ensure you are making the most of your savings. You should also make sure that you are contributing as much as allowable and as much as you can afford. How much can you afford to save? Set up a budget so that you can live comfortably and still save for retirement.

3. Set a budget and stick to it

Review your spending. Not just once, but set a schedule. Are there subscriptions you no longer use? Can you get a better deal on car insurance? How much are you spending on coffee everyday? Should you consider bringing lunch to work? Little savings here and there add up. You may be surprised at how little you notice a little belt tightening now, but it can make a big difference when it is time to retire.

4. Lower debt and keep it low

How much debt are you holding? Can you renegotiate terms to get a lower interest rate? Is there any debt you can pay down or completely pay off first? If your debt is accruing faster than you save, you may find yourself paying debts from your youth well into your golden years. That’s not something to look forward to.

5. Set goals

Depending on how many more years until your planned retirement, things may seem very hypothetical. To avoid getting discouraged by looking at a large sum needed for far into the future, set short term goals that you can look forward to achieving. It could be saving a certain amount or paying off a specific debt. Small victories will help you stay on course.

Get expert advise to assist in your retirement planning

There is no need to do this all on your own. Find a financial expert you can trust, like Richard Cayne, to help you work out how much you need to retire and to strategize how best to achieve that goal. You don’t want to work your entire life, but you also don’t want to live frugally when it’s time to enjoy every day!