Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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will serve you well (see "Set up an emergency fund" above). Your retirement funds are what will support you for the years you're living without the benefi t of earned income. • Get rid of all debt as soon as possible. For some people this will take months, maybe years. But you don't want to enter retirement with debt hanging over your head. Once you are debt-free (including auto loans), continue to save for ongoing future needs such as new cars, replacement appliances, home maintenance, insurance premi- ums, etc. To help manage debt, use a debt roll-down system, make minimum payments on all but the smallest debt and put as much focus on it as you can until it's paid off. Then move on to your next largest debt, and so on. • Monitor your progress annually. Revisit everything from your benefi ciary arrangements, to insurance policies, to the value of your growing retirement accounts. Make sure you are on track to meet your planning goals. Also, take a look each year at the progress you are making building your emergency fund. It is much easier to tweak your efforts as you go and make adjustments year by year when there is still plenty of time to correct and enhance your planning efforts, rather than wait until you are about to retire and suddenly fi nd out all the changes that need to be made and the shortfalls that may occur. "Get into these good habits early," says Brandon. "Retirement planning is actually a lifelong process." If you start soon enough you will have decades to learn and fi ne-tune your plan for the future, so you can enter retirement with peace of mind that comes from knowing you have planned well. ILLUSTRATION BY KATE HABERER "When people can get into the habit of saving and incrementally increasing their commitment, all of a sudden we're putting a decent pile of cash into savings." —Brandon Turner, financial advisor 99

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