There’s rarely a greater joy in life than when you make that personal decision to hang up your hat andenjoy retirement. After years of faithful service to the working world, visions of traveling, golfing, and spending time with the grandkids can freely fill your head. Just don’t forget thatretirementtakes planning, commitment, and a good financial head on your shoulder. Here are3 great ways to prepare for retirement.

1. Identify your retirement needs:The average American spends twenty years in retirement, so it makes sense that you’d want to take the time to identify your retirement needs so you can plan accordingly. Do you want to buy a home? Travel? Go back to school? Start a business? Retirement can be expensive, with experts estimating that you need seventy to ninety percent of your preretirement income to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. So whatever it is you want to do in your golden years, it’s best to save or invest so that you can enjoy them to the fullest.

2.) Save…then save some more:You can never save too much! Saving is a rewarding habit and one that is never too late to start. If you’ve already started saving, keep going and stick with your financial goals. Don’t touch yourretirement savingsearly or you may have to pay withdrawal penalties, lose principal and interest, and lose tax benefits. If you’ve just now started saving with few years left until retirement, don’t be deterred. It never hurts to explore investment and saving options that can help you reach yourretirement goals.

3.) Get to know your Social Security Benefits:A lot of people just assume thatsocial securitywill meet their retirement needs without truly knowing what could be available come retirement.Social Securitypays benefits that are on average equal to about forty percent of what you earned before retirement. If you want to learn more, there are often free workshops and seminars available all over the Valley that addresssocial security benefitquestions and concerns. You can also estimate your benefit and learn more information on theSocial Security Administration’s Websiteor by calling them at 1-800-772-1213.

If you have additional questions about preparing for retirementor would like tosell or purchase an Arizona hometo enjoy yourretirement, please contact Sharon Mason.