Don't Ruin Your Retirement This Summer

Few Americans have employers that save for their retirements automatically. Pensions are going the way of the dinosaur. Therefore, Americans are required largely to save for their own retirements. This means that it's important to make retirement savings a priority. This can seem like a boring life, and there may be a temptation to take a two-week trip traipsing around the French countryside; however, this is not really a good idea in most instances. Expensive vacations could derail your retirement plans. However, this does not necessarily mean that you have to skip a vacation altogether. When starting retirement planning vacation options do not have to completely disappear.

Stay Close To Home Depending upon where you live, it might be possible to take a short trip to a relatively local destination like a lake or an amusement park. Most Americans who take a vacation stay within a day's drive of home. In fact, the vast majority of vacation travelers drive to their destination. It's likely that family or friends live close to your hometown, and staying with these connections might allow you to save on lodging during your trip.

Budget To avoid destroying your dreams of retirement because of a family trip, it's important to set a budget before leaving. The items that you'll want to budget for are transportation, lodging, food and souvenirs. Some of these items could vary quite a bit. For example, are you looking to drive or fly to your ultimate destination? Are you staying with friends or in a hotel? Buying bread and meat for a sandwich will be cheaper than eating out for every meal. Choosing a hotel that has breakfast could save some money on food, as well. Knowing how much you'll likely spend is an important step to ensure that vacation spending does not get out of control and that you're still able to save for retirement.

Save Up It's usually a good idea to save up ahead of time for a vacation. After setting the budget, you could decide to set aside a given amount each week or month so that you can offset the cost before embarking on your trip. Otherwise, you'll be more likely to make bad decisions such as putting off retirement savings or going into debt. Neither of these options is ideal, and they could wind up costing you in the long run.

Look For Discounts Traveling during the off-season can be a great way to save money so that your retirement savings does not take a hit. If you have no kids in school, you can travel pretty much any time your boss will give you the time off. This could be September or October for beaches along the East Coast or in the Caribbean. Additionally, some hotels will offer deep discounts when they have a large number of rooms available. Looking for these discounts can go a long way toward making your vacation more affordable. Loyalty points can also offset the cost of your vacation. If you have enough miles or points, your flight, your lodging or both could be nearly free. By taking these steps, you'll make it less likely that you'll need to raid your retirement savings to take a nice summer vacation for your family. If you're getting closer to retirement, you might even want to take a retirement planning vacation to find a nice community in which to retire. This could involve a beach condo that you might want to rent for the winter or another option that would allow you to retire on your own terms.

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