Plan now for retirement … and thank yourself later!
Fact: It is never too early to start retirement planning. Everyone knows they should be saving but many don’t know where to start. According to the Department of Labor, less than half of Americans know how much they’ll need for retirement. With a little planning and preparation, you can take control of your goals… and if you start now, you’ll thank yourself later!
1. Write it All Down
How do you picture retirement? Maybe you’re on a lake in the woods, cruising in your pontoon boat. Maybe you’re near a beach, spending your days on a golf course or fishing the ocean. Maybe you can’t see yourself leaving town and want to stay in your neighborhood. Once you’ve imagined and written down the specifics, decide on your preferred age for starting this next life phase. This puts a timeline in place and will help you figure out how to reach the lifestyle you have in mind.
2. Save Smartly
Now that you’ve envisioned what you’re saving up for, take action! Save as much as you can and as soon as you can. Choose a maximum monthly amount to set aside for retirement that still allows you to cover basic expenses. To keep it easy and consistent, arrange an automatic paycheck deduction into your retirement account. If your employer offers help with retirement planning, or better yet a sponsored match program for retirement funds, take advantage of it. Learn about the many retirement strategies and options to be sure you’re making the right savings decisions.
3. Keep it Separate
Ideally, your retirement funds will be left untouched until retirement. Protect your hard-earned nest egg by contributing what you can to a separate savings account that will cover life’s expenses: a house purchase, new vehicle, home repairs, medical bills, and more. Even the smallest contributions will add up over time. Review your monthly budget to see where you can cut back. If you get a tax refund: save it, don’t spend it! If you receive a pay raise at work, set aside a portion (or the full amount) to go directly into your savings. Small efforts to grow savings on the side will have a big impact on keeping your retirement funds safe.
Retirement planning doesn’t have to be overwhelming! These simple steps are a great start, and knowing where to seek guidance will make the path to retirement even smoother.
Strategize, save, and start now for a happy retirement later!