While the flu and cold season is rapidly coming to a close I am reminded of a few things that help me get through a flu and cold season with more confidence that I won’t have to deal with it. What are my trusted barriers to lowering my chance of getting the flu? They are simply what most doctors have been telling us to do time and time again. Here is my fav four flu and cold fighting formula.
- Washing hands. Flu is often spread through touch and our hands are the main culprit. While it can sometimes be hard to wash your hands often one thing you can do to help is to keep your hand and fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth and much as possible. Either way, wash your hands with soap and water as often as reasonably possible for you, especially before eating.
- Sleep. Sleeping is huge for our immune system. A 2009 Carnegie Mellon study found that anything short of seven hours of sleep nearly triples your odds of catching a cold. That is seven hours of straight sleep. While everyone has different sleeping needs I would do your best to try at least seven hours of sleep. Your body will thank you with a strengthened immune system.
- Good Diet. Good nutrition goes a long way. We replenish our body with the proper nutrients it needs to fight off potential sicknesses. The more balanced our diet the better. One question I like to ask people is how many veggies they ate for the day. I have found that most of us answer without almost zero! If you want to have a better chance of not getting the flu or a cold then eating your fair share of whole grains, veggies and fruits will help.
- Exercise. In order to have a better chance of not getting the flu or cold it is all about giving your body the best chance to push away any potential sickness. Exercise is just another step in that fight. Being active boots so many different levels in our bodies that help to fight sickness.
While these are my fav four steps to fighting the cold and flu we should parallel this strategy to our finances and more specifically our retirement. The simple phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is the perfect way to think about our finances as well.
Just as the flu season will eventually come upon us again and we’ll do everything we can to fight getting sick so will our time to retire eventually come upon us. When that time comes we want to be ready for it and able to fight back. If not, we might find ourselves in a dire situation looking for a “cure” to our retirement sickness.
The following steps our my fav four steps to being prepared and ready for anything that comes our way during retirement.
- Get In The Know. It is important to figure out what your retirement situation is if you don’t know it. If you do know what it is then it is wise to do a yearly check to make sure you are still on target. If you aren’t sure where to start or what to do then check out, “Retirement Guide“. During this process it is important that you figure out a rough estimate of how big your nest egg will need to be by the time you retire. This is a rough estimate but the closer you get to retirement the more you should know exactly what you will need and if you will have enough for your needs and wants.
- Saving. This is one of should be applied to everyone regardless of your financial situation but for most of us who have to stretch in order to pay our bills will find it hard to think about saving for retirement. I feel like most of the time we live pay check to pay check simply because we don’t control our spending. If we truly knew what we were spending our money on we would probably be shocked. That is why you must analyze your spending because more than likely you will find a way to save some money that you can then put towards your retirement. If you truly want the best retirement that you can have you must analyze your spending and find ways to put more towards your retirement. For help analyzing your spending I suggest using mint.
- Invest Now. Once you have figured out where you are at and what roughly you will need while in retirement and are starting to save you should invest that extra money as soon as possible. Time is one of the biggest things you can do for your retirement. The earlier you start the better chances you have to get that nest egg you need. For instance, If you began investing $10.00 a week at 8% starting at 30 years old. By the time you reach 65 you would have invested $18,200 and it would have grown to $99,402. Now what if you were even smarter and started investing $10.00 a week at 20 until 65 then you would have invested a total of $23,400 and it would have grown to $228,563. While you you would have only invested $5,200 you would have made $1291,61 more dollars. That is significant and all because you started 10 years earlier. The earlier you can start the better and depending on how many years earlier it can be very significant. Start today!
- Diversify. Most investment professionals really push the idea of diversification. Why? Because the truth of the matter is, nobody knows what the future holds for any one type of investment or area of investments. Because of that it is really important to invest in a wide range of assets. It is also wise because when one asset is dropping in value another can be gaining in value. So diversification helps to keep you less risky but it can also help to increase your profits. One way to truly diversify is through a self-directed IRA or 401k. These accounts give you the ability to also diversify outside of stocks and bonds. You can invest in things like gold, real estate and more. It is important to remember that while the stock market can be a great way to invest for the distant future there are also plenty of other investments that can be great investments for the distant future, like real estate. A self-directed IRA that is invested in real estate is often referred to as a real estate IRA. This allows you to have the regular benefits of an IRA but the ability to invest in actual real estate.
These are just four steps to help you prepare so that when the time comes to retire you are prepared and are able to withstand any issues that may come when in retirement. What type of issues can come while in retirement? Issues like a market crash, or even unexpected medical bills. If you applied the concent, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” to your retirement plan then you will better be able to roll with any retirement issues and still be able to have enough of a nest egg to cover you while in retirement. While there are other things that you can do now in order to secure a more secure retirement these are a good start. No matter what you do I would suggest trying your best to secure a strong and healthy retirement and that mainly consists of doing things right now to better your retirement future.
If you would like help setting up a self-directed IRA or real estate IRA contact us today as we are professionals in self-directed IRA investing and real estate IRA investing.
Author: Nick Barker