If retirement age is fast approaching or whether you’re worried about becoming a victim of the economy there are ways to have put money aside that will help you enjoy your Golden Years. Even if you are “behind” in saving for retirement you can start today and build a nest egg.
A recently released study shows that fewer than 40% of workers have $1,000 in in total savings and investments. The study also showed that fewer than 30% of retirees had more than $1,000 in savings and investments. When you consider how long individuals are living, thanks in part to medical advances, you can see why it’s critical that you are saving for your long-term living needs.
Even if you having started saving yet, here are five steps you can take today to begin building a retirement nest egg:
- You don’t need to always buy the latest and greatest. Simply because a new technology or vehicle or pair of shoes is introduced to the market, that doesn’t mean you need to own it … just then. Impulse purchases can be the bane of your savings account. You should weigh all purchases on whether you “need” it or whether you simply “want” it. If it’s not a critical need, then it’s best to delay the purchase.
- If you’re still employed and your employer provides a matching contribution in a retirement account, take advantage of that. Invest in the highest amount that your employer will match – it’s like free money in the bank!
- Make it a practice to save 10-15% of your income. Don’t think that you have to wait until the end of the year and then look at your earnings to determine how much to save. Take your weekly paycheck and deposit 10% of that. Once you’re in the habit, you will not miss that 10% that you’re putting into a savings account. It will become automatic and depending on how much you earn annually you could be saving significant dollars by years’ end.
- If you get a raise, immediately bank it. You’ve been living the past year without that raise in your pocket and if you don’t count on spending it now, you can continue to live as though you hadn’t received a raise. Consider putting any bonuses or tax refunds into a savings account as well.
- Pay off your debts wisely. Consider this: you’re saving 10% of your income but you’re paying credit cards with interest rates of 18-25% percent! You’re never going to get ahead. Pay off the highest interest rate cards first. Find a second job and devote all of the money earned from that to paying off the high interest rate credit cards. Your budget will thank you.
Enjoying life in retirement means many things to many people, but being able to live in the manner to which we have become accustomed is something that all of us want to do. What steps can you take today to make that a reality?