Planning to save for your retirement can be an enormous undertaking. Saving for the future is planning for the unknown and storing away a large sum of money for retirement can appear daunting. Retirement is the cession of work, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your income earning days. Expenses continue past retirement and with a limited income you must strategically plan any later life debts.
According to recent surveys, over 30% of Americans have nothing saved for retirement. There are several steps you can take to ensure that your retirement plans come into focus. Enlist the help of a financial planner or advisor to assist you in securing income for the future. The key is to start saving immediately if you haven’t already.
Once you’ve started saving and planning here are some additional steps to keep your savings growing.
- If you have hired a financial advisor then this step will be considerably easier, but if you have chosen to manage your investments, then make sure that you have researched your investments and picked wise investments. Risk is an important part of investing, so make sure you have realistically accessed the amount of risk that is appropriate for your goals and available capital.
- Your housing plans should be secured prior to retirement. You should also make sure that the housing you are currently paying for is manageable. If your home is too large or fraught with repair needs, now may be the time to start planning alternative arrangements. A house can have many unforeseen financial costs that can be very distressing for a limited budget.
- Make sure you are saving enough to reach your goals. You should aim to save at least 10% of your gross income. If your company provides matching funds in your 401k, then make sure you are maximizing those contributions. Make sure your tax-deferred accounts make sense for your future economic situation. If you currently earn income in a lower tax bracket but expect retirement to push you into a significantly higher one, consider investing in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k product.
- Managing your debt load is an important part of saving for the future. While you cannot eliminate all expenses, try to avoid or cut back on discretionary spending. Opt instead to put as much of your discretionary income as possible into your savings plan.
Choose the most profitable Social Security start date. The point that you start your Social Security is important while you are allowed to begin anywhere between 62 and 70, waiting until full retirement age is ideal. You will receive 25% more income if you wait. If you don’t need the money, then waiting until 70 will give you 32% more than the full retirement age amount.