Are you saving enough for retirement? Most people in America are woefully under-prepared when it comes to retirement planning. Here are some strategies that will help you get on track for this chapter in your life with retirement planning for every age. And since it’s different for everyone, we will look at the best ways to save for retirement at any age.
Make a habit
You’ve heard it before. Your twenties are the best time to start saving for retirement. The most compelling reason is that, because you have the luxury of time on your side, you can put away as much or as little as you want and, most likely, still end up a millionaire by the time you retire. While you’re in your twenties, the most important thing you can do is simply get started with your retirement saving. And once you get started, treat it like exercise. It’s not going to be effective if you contribute one time and then wait months before contributing again. Try to save for retirement every week or every pay period and turn it into a habit. Need help deciding which retirement account is right for you?
If you’re in your thirties, saving for retirement should become second nature to you. Since you are probably experiencing more professional success, now is the perfect time to increase your contribution amounts. Generally, every time you get a raise at work, try to increase your contributions by 1%. Additionally, always opt in if your employer offers retirement plans or matches your savings.
When you’re in your thirties, it’s a good idea to take on as much risk as you can stomach. After all, you have plenty of time on your side and larger regular amounts to contribute—so be aggressive. This is also a good opportunity to start building up your emergency fund. This way you have money set aside that you can pull from whenever life calls for it, leaving your retirement savings untouched and able to grow.
If you have children, consider starting up a college fund for them. In fact, you may want to start saving for their education as soon as they’re born! The reason to begin college saving as early as possible is you don’t want to have to dip into your own retirement savings to send them to school. Too many American parents do this and end up with next to nothing when they retire. Speak with our team today about setting up a college savings account for your kids at FC360 at no cost.
Find the balance
In your forties, you still have a long way to go until retirement. First, make sure you don’t have any leftover 401(k)s at old jobs that you forgot to take with you when you left. Then, roll over your old 401(k)s into an IRA that you can control yourself. The forties tend to be difficult for many individuals as they are balancing spending on big ticket items and saving for the future. So make sure you’re looking into college loans for your kids instead of footing the entire bill yourself (at the expense of your retirement savings). After all, it’s not as if you can take loans out for your retirement, but young adults have plenty of time to pay back their loans.
As always, make sure your emergency fund stays well-funded. Impromptu house repairs, sudden job loss, and other unforeseen costs will pop up and you’ll want to be prepared.
When you’re in your forties it’s important to also do some inventory of your insurance plans. For example, as soon as you have kids, and even before, look into your life insurance options. By now you’ll probably have a lot of high cost expenditures that need to be covered if one spouse dies. But life insurance isn’t the only thing that needs your attention; reexamine your health insurance, auto insurance, and home insurance to make sure you’re adequately covered.
Prepare for what’s next
By your fifties, go ahead and fund your retirement account with all you’ve got. You’re likely at the top of your earnings game, so this is the best time to make sure everything is in order for retirement. Remember to plan for any unexpected costs, review all your funds, do clean up if necessary, and meet with your financial advisor to get your questions answered. Meeting with your advisor periodically is the best way to prepare for your retirement, so do so as soon as you start saving for the future. Contact FC360 to learn how our advisors can help you find the best strategies to meet your retirement goals.
As you’ve probably noticed, there is a lot of overlap when it comes to retirement planning. The takeaway is that it’s never too early to prepare and it’s always a smart idea to try to expect the unexpected. It doesn’t matter how old you are—you can never be too ready for the road ahead.
FC360 is a full-service advisory firm that offers our clients a comprehensive resource for their financial future. Whether it’s help with Wealth Management, Financial Planning, Health Benefits, Insurance, Legal, or Tax Services, we’re here to answer your questions and help you reach your financial goals faster.