This series was written by a friend of mine, Sara Freitas Maltaverne, and originally published on April 7, 2008. She is a freelance translator and an expert at managing her finances. Even if you are not a freelancer, this is an excellent guide to managing an irregular income. You can read part two here, part three here and part four here.
This article was written by Sara Freitas-Maltaverne, a French to English translator. She specializes in high-quality translating, training and copywriting and works with a team of translators to provide the same service in the major European languages. You can find her blog here. This is part one, of a four part series.
Planning for retirement just isn’t what it used to be! Gone are the days of 40-year careers with a single employer-and the generous pension plans that often came with them. Also gone is the assumption that we can count on state-funded pensions to keep us afloat in our golden years. Life expectancies-and thus the length of retirements-are on the increase and doubts about the future viability of state-sponsored retirement funds are growing as the population continues to age in a number of countries.
While retirement is an issue that affects everyone, freelance professionals are particularly vulnerable for a number of reasons: We have no employer-sponsored retirement funds (and the lucrative matching funds that often come with them-if you have a spouse who is an employee, make sure that they have their employer-sponsored plan maxed out!); we tend to be multicultural by nature and this makes us likely to move from country to country, thus decreasing or eliminating future benefits from state systems; and, finally, our income can be somewhat irregular from month to month, making it difficult to budget effectively and plan for our futures.
However, the best way to face an uncertain retirement scenario is to plan and prepare, which is something that everybody can do. It is never to late-or too early-to start getting your financial house in order. Don’t run the risk of “outliving” your assets in retirement. Think of saving as a way of “buying your future”-especially the next time you hear a pair of shoes or a new tennis racket (or other impulse purchase that you can’t afford) calling your name!