Retirement should be a time to enjoy life, but you'll only be able to live this dream if you take steps throughout your life to make it happen.
Social Security alone isn't enough to support you in retirement without a lot of financial stress. It's imperative you make and stick to a plan throughout your career that involves saving enough money to provide substantial additional income.
It may not be fun to sacrifice now to enjoy a more secure retirement later. But these three quotes can perhaps help inspire you to make the right choices so you can live a life unburdened by financial worries in your later years.
1."The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it's at what income."
-- George Foreman
While early retirement may sound good, it's a less attractive proposition if your income would be so low upon leaving the workforce that you'd struggle to keep your head above water.
The single most important thing in planning for retirement is to make sure you have the money you need, both when you leave the workforce and for the rest of your life. You need to set your savings goals early and be aggressive in how much you save to ensure your investments produce enough for you to live comfortably -- and make sure you don't quit work before you have the money you need.
2. "Wealth is not about having a lot of possessions. It's about having a lot of options."
-- Chris Rock
If you want a choice about when you retire and how you spend your retirement years, you need to have the money to buy yourself flexibility. And having options when it comes to retirement can be far more valuable than anything you'd buy throughout your working life.
Prioritizing retirement savings over purchasing non-essentials will ensure you aren't stuck working after you want to quit -- or left with no options to do what you enjoy since you have just enough money to keep the lights on.
3. "Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money."
-- Jonathan Clements
You don't want to be so worried about running out of money in your later years that you don't enjoy yourself after you've worked hard for so long. You also don't want to be left with no cash in your late 70s or 80s, when you can't easily go back to work and earn more.
That means being responsible about your spending in retirement by setting a withdrawal rate that ensures your money lasts -- but also making sure you're making smart choices while working so there's enough in your investment accounts that you can have some fun.
Keep these quotes in mind as you prepare for retirement
Being able to retire when you want, with the income you need, shouldn't be just a dream. It should be a goal that everyone sets. If you have a plan in place, save enough throughout your career, invest wisely, and retire only after taking steps to ensure your money will last, hopefully you can enjoy your later years as much as a vacation in Las Vegas, and still have a little money left over to pass on when you're gone.