Planning for retirement can be really stressful. You already have plenty of other things on your plate, and it seems like you have to figure everything out on your own.
The nice thing is you don’t have to learn and know all of the ins and outs of retirement yourself. You don’t have to do everything all yourself. There are plenty of resources out there (many of them free) which you can use to prepare for retirement. In this article, we’ll go over some business and retirement resources you may not have known you had.
Friends who have already retired can give you a glimpse of what to expect and how to prepare for retirement.
One of the greatest resources you have is those in your personal network that can help prepare you for your retirement. They’ve done all the work already and have played the game. Most who have navigated the waters of retirement are happy to help you with what they have learned — so ask around and see what you can learn from them.
When discussing retirement with retirees, be sure to prepare specific questions to ask them. Ask them questions like ‘When did you start saving for retirement? How are you making money in retirement? What surprises came up along the way in preparing for retirement and now being in retirement?
As you ask these questions and others, be sure to write down the gist of what they’re saying. While the experiences they had may not be right for you, they’re still extremely valuable to you. Also, be sure to give them a glimpse of what you’re experiencing at the moment financially. What advice do they have for you personally? As you learn from retirees, you’ll be able to prepare for the future with a real idea of what retirement looks like.
When listening, be sure to take things with a grain of salt and run ideas past them. Maybe one friend sparked an idea for you; run it past another! This will give you multiple perspectives on similar ideas for you personally. This way, you diversify your learning to become more educated for retirement prep and retirement itself.
The American Association of Retired People is another great resource for retirement preparation. The AARP is a membership-based nonprofit organization, and the benefits they offer make it well worth it. To join the AARP, you pay a whopping $16 a year, but only if you don’t sign up for recurring payments. If you sign up for recurring payments, you’ll pay $12 per year. You want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, whether you’re in retirement or not.
What are the benefits that come with a membership?
There are honestly too many benefits to go over in this article, but check them out if you have some free time. Upon joining, you’ll get discounts on traveling, car rentals, medical support, cruises, hotels, to name a few. This may all sound great, but what about financial support? Thankfully, AARP has you covered. AARP gives banking and investments support, helps with financial planning and fraud prevention. They work with credit card companies and banks to help you in every way they can.
While AARP is made specifically for those over the age of 50, there is no minimum age to join. Browse through the benefits and customer reviews, and see if joining is the right thing for you.
Small Business Association (SBA)
The Small Business Association has free resources like a business plan template, suggestions on financing and launching products designed to help small businesses grow.
The Small business Association is a great free resource for all the business owners out there. They help every step of the way, from planning your business to launching it, then even growing it. They’ll go in-depth on each of these topics, breaking it down in a step-by-step manner. The simplicity and ease of the SBA make it a great resource for anyone considering starting a business or those who own a business.
Additionally, the SBA offers free business counseling, business loans, and federal government loans. Many small business owners or those considering creating a business may be unaware of the SBA and its services. They even have a paycheck protection program, which helped small business owners stay up and running during the COVID-19 crisis. When putting together or building your business, consider if any of the SBA resources will be helpful to you.
Your college alumni association
Your college alumni association has a list of alumni who could be potential investors or customers.
College alumni associations can help more than you’d think. Many alumni associations can let your network meet potential investors or clients. There are typically alumni events that you can use to build your network and even your business. It’s even a possibility that you meet other small business owners or even mentors to help you out along the way.
Specific benefits will be unique to each university, but take time and look up what others from your alma mater can do to help in the short and long run.
Your bank will have free online resources to help guide your business’ growth, as well as access to capital to invest in that growth.
Banks have a handful of great resources specifically for businesses. The first of these is a business credit card. This makes life more convenient for you as the owner, as you’re able to separate business expenses from personal expenses.
When choosing which business credit card you’d like, decide on which perks you value most. The American Express Business Platinum Card is great for travel perks, while the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card is best for cashback. Each card is different, so choose which is best for you.
Many banks will also help with payroll services. Small businesses grow and need more employees, making the payment system a bit more complicated. Oftentimes banks will offer services or software for your business to simplify this process.
Lastly, some banks will offer discounts at their partner companies. This typically means you can get discounts on business-related items and services. It’s worth a shot to ask your banks for a list of partner companies offering discounted prices to small business banking customers.
These are just a few resources for businesses and retirement that you may now have been aware of. There are plenty of other resources out there as well, but be sure to focus on what works best for you and your business. Give all of these a try; they’re well worth your time.