Think the ghost, goblins, and ghouls of Halloween are scary? Try planning for retirement! When many older adults think about retirement planning, they are both scared and overwhelmed at the process. Is now the right time to retire? Do I have enough money? Am I truly ready to stop working? It’s time to take the fear out of retirement planning this Halloween with these three tips.

Don’t be a skeleton. Have the guts to save now! It’s tempting to put off saving for retirement, especially with things like children’s college funds, saving for a home, weddings, and more of life’s major events to financially plan for. But there’s rarely anything scarier than facing retirement without enough money to live on during your golden years. Regardless of your obligations, put your retirement savings first and start contributing as early as possible. Contribute towards a work or personal 401(k) or an IRA putting contributions on automatic and gradually increasing the amount as you’re able. The more you save now, the less you’ll need to save later.

Make like candy and stick to your budget! What’s scarier than not having enough for retirement? How about living beyond your means! It’s nice to have all the things you want as an active adult, but if you overspend and don’t stick to a realistic budget now, you won’t have everything you need to stay out of debt when you’re ready to retire. Start eliminating the “wants” from the needs and continue to stay on top of debts such as credit card expenses and student loans.

BOO! Don’t be scared of the unexpected. When it comes to retirement, it’s great to have a plan but unexpected expenses can arise and throw a wrench into your planning. To protect yourself, set aside enough money to cover at least three months of essential expenses should you run into illness, job loss, or any other unexpected scares. Arizona retirees should continue to try to increase this amount as often as possible even planning to cover six months to a year’s worth of expenses.

Halloween can be scary, but planning for retirement doesn’t have to be. Start using these tips to take the fear out of retirement planning this Halloween so you can start enjoying this holiday and many more to come. Because nothing is sweeter than enjoying the treats of a happy retirement. Happy Halloween! – Sharon