We all know the importance of planning and saving for retirement; we hear it everywhere we go. We can point to statistics, articles, and studies that all tells us the responsibility of retirement savings is being placed more and more onto the individual worker. While we may know this and hear it from multiple outlets, how much action are individuals and business owners actually taking?
Here are 5 tips to help save for your retirement that anyone can use:
1. Start Now! No matter your age or where you are in your career, if you have not started to save for your retirement. Start now!! The longer you wait the more you must save. It’s a simple fact of compounding that the earlier you begin saving for retirement, the more time your money has to earn interest and grow. More on compounding returns can be found in an article by Investopedia.
This chart from JP Morgan illustrates how a worker who invests for only 10 years early in their career, ends up with more wealth than another worker who saves for 30 years later in life.
By starting early, this worker was able to better take advantage of compound interest.
2. Plan Your Retirement Needs. No worker’s, family’s, or retiree’s needs are the same as someone else’s. So it is really important to know what you want your retirement to look like and more importantly how much it will cost to fund. Fro example, if you want to take a world cruise and spend significant amounts of time traveling you will need to save much more than a retiree who wants to garden and does not plan on tracking extravagant vacations.
Don’t rely on rules of thumb or suggested figures that say you’ll need roughly 80% of your pre-retirement income to live comfortably later in life.
The best way to know what your needs will be is to work with a Certified
Financial Planner™ who can help you (and if you are married, help you and your partner) to settle on an amount to save that’s tailored to your individualized needs. Learn more about the benefits of working with a CFP®.
3. Make Saving Simple. If your employer offers a retirement plan, which allows you to contribute to it, use it! Have your benefits department automatically deduct a percentage of your paycheck that will go into that account each pay period.
Not sure how what percentage you should contribute, ask a professional. If you are working a Certified Financial Planner™, they will be able to help you determine the correct amount. They will also work with you to determine how to invest your funds inside the plan.
If you are saving outside of a retirement plan offered through your employer or in addition to one, eliminate the need to move money from one account to another. Instead automate the process by setting a monthly savings goal and automating a deposit to that amount. When you make saving routine, you are more likely to see your retirement nest egg grow.
To help boost your regular savings, funnel any extra cash windfalls, such as from a bonus or inheritance, directly to your retirement savings.
4. Monitor and Review Your Plan. Reviewing your statements against your plan to see if you are on track to meet your goals is one of the best ways to help yourself retire with confidence. These reviews will let you if you are on the right path or if you need to do work to correct the issue.
Working with a Financial Planning Profession, whom you trust is important. They will help you answer questions like, “Can I afford to contribute more?” “Are may investments still appropriate?”, and “Should I lower my exposure to risk?” This will save you time and stress over the long run. Also, working with a professional can increase your likelihood of reaching your goals.
5. No Touching! That is, “No Touching your Retirement Savings”… Dipping into your retirement savings should be a last resort. You could potentially face significant penalties for accessing these funds too early. Additionally, you will lose principal, which in turn depletes interest earnings and tax benefits.
Also, if you change jobs, remember to rollover your retirement account rather than “cashing it out.” Doing so will help you preserve your retirement savings.
It may be temping to use these funds when you are when funds are tight, but you will benefit more if hold off to your retirement, when you will need these savings most.
These may seem like simple tips. But, they are the critical building blocks for a stable retirement savings strategy. Review your current plan and see if you could benefit from implementing a few of these.
This information is general in nature and may be subject to change. Financial professionals and other representatives are not authorized to give legal, tax or accounting advice. Applicable laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. Any tax statements in this material are not intended to suggest the avoidance of U.S. federal, state or local tax penalties. For advice concerning your individual circumstances, consult a professional attorney, tax advisor or accountant. .
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