I heard on talk radio the other day that the retirement age is increasing. The age used to be between 60 and 65 that most individuals decided they were financial set to retire. Now days, that age is around 80 years old. That is an extra 15 to 20 years individuals have to work to feel like they have enough money to be able to survive. How can you prepare now to be able to retire earlier and enjoy those 15 to 20 years without feeling financially strapped?
Basic Retirement Steps
There is no time like the present to start investing your money. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, now is a great time to start you on the road to financial freedom. People sometimes tend to make the mistake of not thinking about retirement because it seems to be so far off, but by starting at a young age, you are allowing your money to continue to grow and increase in amount. Here are a few tools to help you take the necessary steps to help you build your retirement fund.
The first step is to decide how much money you can afford to put into savings. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, but it should be a set amount that you continually put into your retirement account. Most banks offer automatic transfers, which is a great tool to help you put money away monthly. You won’t even have to worry about remember to transfer or deposit the money, the best banks will take care of that. If you decide on a smaller amount to invest because aren’t making much extra money, be sure to increase the amount as your salary increases. The more you are able to put in, the more interest you will receive over a number of years.
The second step is to decide how you want to invest your money. Investing in stocks can produce more return on your money, but is a more risky investment. Other accounts like CDs and money market accounts are less risky, but will also give you a lower return on your investment. Don’t be afraid to take risks, especially if you are starting out at a young age, because if you lost some money you would have plenty of years to replace it. Always be cautious about your investments, no matter what your age is.
The third step is to have a good amount in your savings accounts. If you don’t have what you need in your savings account, when an emergency happens you might be tempted to withdraw the money from your retirement account. Once that money is gone, it is even harder to replace because you have lost the benefit of having those extra years earning interest. If you have at least three months worth of money built up in a savings account, you can use that money for emergencies and leave your retirement fund as just that, a retirement fund.
The fourth step is to be aware of your spending. Anytime it comes to saving money, you have to actually have the money to save. If you don’t feel you have any money to put into a retirement account, look at your spending habits and see where you can cut back. Those small, frivolous purchases won’t seem as important when it comes time to retire and you don’t have enough money saved.
The fifth step is to set goals for yourself. Saving for retirement is a life long goal. It takes years to build up the amount of money necessary to not only survive, but actually enjoy retirement. Make it a high priority to put some money away now in order to fully enjoy those golden years of your life.
You can’t ever be certain how your life is going to turn out, especially financially. Having a life insurance policy is one way to ensure you will have what you need if a tragedy were to happen, and also provide for those who would be left behind. Also be aware of what your employer offers when it comes to retirement. If your employer has benefits related to retirement, do all you can to get the most of those benefits. IRAs and 401Ks are accounts set up to help you save money specifically for retirement. Find the best banks or financial advisor and get something set up before it is too late. The sooner you do, the more financially prepared you will be.