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Lauren’s List: Tips To Assure Your Financial Freedom In Retirement

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s Labor Day, and with many people enjoying a day off work, some may even be daydreaming about how to make this no-work thing permanent.

But over a third of all Americans don’t believe they’ll have enough money to live off of in retirement!

While we should all be planning ahead for retirement, people who want to retire early have less time to figure it all out.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” has some simple tips from the experts to get your financial house in order for freedom down the road.

1. Find your “number”- While budgeting down to the dollar can be tedious, it’s really the only way to figure out just how much you’ll need to live comfortably in retirement. You’ll need to determine the annual amount of income you will need to live on in retirement, and the size of the retirement portfolio that will be needed to generate that income. The sooner you figure that out, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaching your retirement goals.

2. Don’t let your home “own” you- Being “house poor” means you spend a large proportion of your total income on housing expenses with not much extra for everything else. That’s the last thing you want to be if you want to retire early. Having a more affordable home now that doesn’t max your budget allows you to save more. Plus, you may be able to retire before it’s totally paid off if the payments are manageable from the get go.

3. Consider health insurance- Medicare won’t kick in until age 65, which doesn’t exactly help you if you want to retire early. You’ll be on your own for health insurance, so you’ll need to make sure to account for that. Of course, living a healthy lifestyle from a young age should also help cut down on medical expenses later.

4. Stop procrastinating- Finally, the only way to retire early, is to stop procrastinating! Don’t wait to increase your savings or adjust your investments. Do it now. Don’t put off getting your excess spending under control. Financial experts say the “I’ll worry about it tomorrow” mentality will crush those early retirement dreams every time.

At what age do you want to retire?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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