Being young is great. Nobody has to tell you how to have a good time, and as you get more experience at work and in your social life, you’ll have more opportunities experiences to enrich your life. With more experience and smart decisions, this should last as you get older. But as you get older, you’re going to have to be smart and strategic if you hope to keep enjoying your life. Old age brings with it certain challenges, like loss of health and income.

However, with careful planning, you can set yourself to continue having a fun and exciting life even when you’re old. This might not sound like something you want to think about now. But trust me: when you’re old, you’ll be glad you thought about this stuff and started preparing.

Having a solid retirement is all about building yourself a foundation on which to live when you (potentially) no longer have career related income. This can be accomplished in many ways. One of the best ways is to start to organize your most relevant needs, so that they are taken care of when you are old. Housing and health are two of the most important. The best way to provide for these in old age is to buy a house now. If you pay off the house over 30 years, starting in your 20’s, you’ll have a house that you own outright well before you retire. Having a house that you don’t have to pay for is a great asset for any retiree. And simply paying for it is just one way to use a house, as this valuable asset is a great way to generate income, be an equity base for future borrowing and investment, and a tax-assisted way of saving money.

You can invest in your health by becoming healthy today. Working out, eating well, and not exhausting or stressing yourself (as much as possible), all of these will pay dividends in your future health. Healthy adults are less reliant on prescription drugs, especially in old age. This contributes to lower bills at the pharmacy and fewer side effects. Think of your body like a car. If you maintain that vehicle thoughtfully, it’ll last much longer than the same car abused and neglected by another owner.

Finally, invest in your future with allocations of money. This pension review service can help you review your employer retirement plan. For Americans, similar services will help you review your 401(k). Private citizens can also start IRAs which are tax-protected retirement accounts meant for every American adult beneath a certain income level.

Taken together, these methods can make retirement a lot easier to live on. Of course, social programs are in place to make sure that no old person gets swept under the rug due to few personal assets. But it’s better not to have to rely on government assistance, which results in lower payments than most want to live on, and is uncertain to remain at predictable levels.

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