For some people, retirement seems like another lifetime away, with decades to go before it becomes a reality. For others, it might be coming up soon, and they’re beginning to feel like time for saving is getting short.
No matter where you might find yourself on the path to retirement, it’s never too early – and definitely never too late – to start thinking about a financial plan that will take you into your retirement years. Here are some strategies that can help.
Retirement-building steps to take . . .
In your 20s:
Give yourself a head start for retirement, even though you’ve just begun your professional career. Try these tactics:
- Set up a direct deposit from your paycheck to your employer’s retirement plan
- Begin to invest a little so that it becomes a habit, rather than starting when it becomes a need later in life
In your 30s and 40s:
“Create a plan that’s flexible,” says Margie Johnson, Vice President of Quality Assurance & Compliance at SAC Federal Credit Union. “Your goals may change, and your plan should be able to handle the changes that occur throughout your life.” Consider these steps:
- Establish a savings account in addition to your retirement account so you can access funds without a penalty, leaving your retirement fund intact.
- Research investment choices, and talk to an investment advisor. Johnson says, “You don’t have to know everything, but you should know what investment you have and why you have it.
In your 50s:
At this point, you might think time has run out, but you can still build a solid nest egg. For example, if you set aside $200 per month at an 8% monthly interest rate starting at age 50, you’d have almost $70,000 when you retire at age 65 just from that modest savings strategy. Here are more tips:
- Write down your goals and your time frame. For example, if you want to travel, specify where and when, and how much you estimate you’ll spend. You don’t have to stick to these plans precisely, but it will help you to understand how much you may need.
- Set up an automatic savings plan, talk to an investment advisor about options based on your age and investment level, and get aggressive by establishing an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) to supplement an employer retirement account.
By gauging your time frame and getting assistance when you need it, you can build a robust retirement account – no matter what your starting point.
Have more retirement planning tips to offer? Share them in the comments!
Take control of retirement planning – and more.
Planning for retirement is easier once you have a firm grasp of the ins and outs of managing your money. Set yourself up for success by downloading our free Financial Basics Made Easy e-book, where you can learn about:
- Setting goals
- Establishing savings
- Building credit
- And more