Retirement can easily be the best part of your life, if you’re in solid financial shape. This doesn’t happen overnight. It is something you need to work towards.
1. Retirement Planning Tips
To begin with, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement as you can only benefit from the power of compounding that increases with time. Like any big goal, it’s best to eat the elephant one bite at a time.
In your 20s, you should aim to save 10% of your gross salary, aiming to save 1x your salary by the end of the decade. In your 30s, you need to stay focused and aim to achieve savings of about 3x your salary by saving 15-20% of your gross salary. Just look at the money you already saved in your 20s to boost your motivation. Your 40s are when you should aim to save about 4x your salary by the time you are 50 and to do that, you need to resist the tendency to spend more as you earn more. In your 50s, it’s more than aiming to save about 8x your salary within a decade, it’s about putting the retirement puzzle together. You can estimate what you’re in for and boost your savings if you need more. If you make it to your 60s, it’s time to plan your life until you are 95 and make sure it’s the ride of your life.
2. Retirement Mistakes To Avoid
No one said that saving for retirement is easy so it’s no surprise many of make mistakes along the way.
Not making a plan
Without a financial plan, you’re at risk of not estimating your future expenses and income. Not having a detailed plan can burn your strategy to the ground.
Forgetting about taxes
Before you get excited when you peek at your savings balance, don’t forget that a chunk of that money will go to pay taxes. Although you cannot avoid paying tax, you can diversify with after-tax accounts and pay a lower rate
Tapping into savings before retiring
Emergencies happen and as tempting as it is to tap into your savings, you will regret it.
Failing to save
Saving is not easy especially when you have a tight budget, but there are many ways to achieve your savings goals by cutting back on expenses and making small sacrifices.
3. How To Save for Your Retirement
If you want your habits and your future to be better, you have to do something different. Fortunately, saving for retirement is easier than you think.
Trim your living costs
Minimalistic lifestyle is a wonderful thing as it will help you be more mindful. It will also prevent you from overspending on things you don’t truly need. A recent study found that the average American spends almost $1,500 per month on non-essential items. That means that they are spending $18,000 a year on magazine subscriptions, eating out and making impulse purchases. If you get a raise, invest the extra money wisely as opposed to spending mindlessly.
Invest in energy appliances early on
Energy-efficient appliances provide with the same, if not even better, performance while lowering your Direct Energy bill. For example, LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. Do your research on Energy Star devices and prepare to be amazed.
The Retirement in America study found that almost one-third of savers who are in debt ranked credit card debt as a top reason they cannot manage to save more for retirement. Debt does not only take a chunk from your monthly income, it takes money from your future because every dollar spent on repayments could have been invested.
At the end of the day, the point of earning money is that you can live a good life. Besides satisfying your needs, the whole point is to have enough money for your wants too. Retirement isn’t about how old you are, it is a financial figure. Just remember that saving for the future might be a marathon, but it’s not a sprint. Great things take time. You can always get a financial advisor to help you so you can enjoy your retirement because you’ve earned it.