Regardless of age, at some point we all dream about what it would be like to leave our job and retire.

Whether it’s to open our own business, take up golf daily, or just do nothing, it’s all about settling into a life of freedom, flexibility, and of course, financial security.

However, many Americans can only dream about retirement as it is a way of life some may never experience. The reality is that the average age at which U.S. citizens can retire is on the rise. Being financially ready is a big concern, especially because people often make big plans for when they do finally decide to retire. It also means that some people shelf their dreams with hopes they will be able to afford them later in life.

If you’re sensible with your savings and smart with your planning, it’s possible to find a balance between leading a comfortable retirement and living life to its fullest degree during retirement.

Enjoy more time off

If you’re among the large number of American workers who don’t use their vacation days, simply take them. Also, booking your vacations in advance will let your employer plan for the time that you’re not there. If you’re already using your allotted time off, consider asking for more. Remember: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Check discounted, cheap, and free outings

A good way to enjoy the quality of life you dream about without breaking the bank is to take advantage of discounted and cheap things to do. Visit a park, read a book, head to a museum where there is no charge for admission. Take up a hobby or do physical exercise. Always wanted to visit a certain destination? Research when its high season there and make a plan that allows you to visit during low season. This will save you money on flights, accommodations, and activities while you’re there.

Focus on experiences which cost hardly any money or are free but provide you with a high sense of personal achievement.

Relocate someplace cheaper

Don’t wait until you retire to move someplace cheaper; relocating to a less expensive city, state, or country may save money and help you live part of your retirement dream. If you’re not tied to your home by your job, then it doesn’t have to be a permanent move. You could spend half your time in the cheaper place while having fun and saving money. There are many less expensive places that could be the place you call your new home.

If you don’t know where to start, write a list of what’s important to you in your everyday life and research areas that can accommodate those things in your life.

Work from home

Start thinking about changing the way you work and where you work. The office environment is ever-changing and working from home is not so rare these days. If you don’t have to spend time commuting or dressing for an office environment, working from home might be an option.

However, don’t think working from home means doing less. It’s not a way to ease into the retired life in that sense. What it does is bring flexibility, as well as offer potentially huge savings in the time wasted getting to and from the office. It’s also a way to increased productivity thanks to having fewer distractions at home than in a typical office environment.

With these helpful tips you may very well be able to move right into retirement a lot sooner t