Whatever age you are, retirement might seem a long way off. That’s true if you’re 25 or 55, but it’s not too late to do something to improve your retirement outlook. Do you want to move someplace warm with plenty to do? Or, do you simply want to stay put in your home and maintain the same lifestyle as when you were working? What will that cost?
Whatever your answer is, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to improve your quality of life in retirement. Here are six simple ways to kick your retirement savings into high gear without feeling the pinch in the here and now:
The best way to prepare for your retirement savings is to start now, even if you only begin with $25 a paycheck. This will help you get the necessary momentum you need to start your lifelong habit of saving for retirement. It is better to start saving $25 every two weeks (and end up with $600 each year) then it is to be so paralyzed by the thought of saving up that you never save anything.
If you’ve already started, increase your rate of saving as much as you can. As stated earlier, it’s about the momentum of compounding interest and returns over time, so do what you can now and go from there.
One great way to achieve long-term financial security is to automate your saving. This simple strategy lets you adopt a “set it and forget it” system of saving that keeps you on the right track by removing the human factor from the equation. Just setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account each pay period will help save without thinking and never miss the money what you never had access to in the first place.
If you don’t have an investment portfolio of any kind, this might seem like a section that doesn’t apply to you. But it does. While step one may be to simply start saving, the ultimate goal is financial security, which means educating yourself about the many ways to invest and grow your money.
In order to build a diverse portfolio of investments to protect yourself during volatile markets and uncertain times, you will want to spread your investments out across a variety of investments, including stocks, bonds and cash. By establishing goals and determining your risk tolerance, you will quickly realize the importance of diversification for your long-term investment success.
A Roth IRA – not to be mistaken with a traditional IRA – is another great way to begin building your retirement income. You fund this Roth with after-tax income, and unlike a traditional one, you can withdraw from it multiple times with no penalties.
If your employer has a 401(k) option, take advantage of this simple way to start saving. In many cases, your employer will match up to 6% of your salary, so why wouldn’t you take this essentially free money? This investment vehicle defers taxes and account owners can contribute up to $17,000 annually if they are 49 years old or younger – up to $22,500 if 50 years or older.
One of the most popular ways to support yourself during retirement is by using Social Security to get by. Ideally, it shouldn’t be the only source of your income in retirement, but it can be a wonderful supplement. Though you can start collecting on your Social Security as early as age 62, most begin drawing their benefits at around 66 or 67 years old.
However, you might want to delay collecting on it. Not only will you receive larger checks, but these days many people are still working well into their 60’s. If your income is above a certain level, you could end up being taxed on your Social Security. Another reason to wait is that we are statistically living longer. By waiting until 70 to start drawing your checks, you can protect your spouse by maximizing their survivor’s benefit if you were the primary earner and pass on first.
With all the ways there are to fund your future, perhaps you’re getting excited about the idea of retirement. However, you may be in the middle of a stressful situation where money is an issue. Sure, you may be excited about the future, but do you have a plan for the here and now? Will you be debt-free and able to enjoy retirement to the fullest? If you suspect you won’t, that could be because you have bills and debts that are preventing you from saving.
If that’s the case, a payday loan could help you clear the slate and get a fresh start. These days, the ability to access the credit you need is imperative when it comes to making long-term plans, but for millions of Americans, their credit is standing in the way of their future.
For many people, the first step is a simple search for a “payday loan near me.” For others, maybe they already have a local licensed loan provider they have done business with in the past. The important thing is understanding that while your financial situation in the here and now may be frustrating, have a reliable, local source of emergency cash is essential. With just a little bit of breathing room and a plan for the future, the idea of having a bright and happy retirement doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.