“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” That quotation, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, is the perfect illustration for why ought to think about plans to save for your retirement sooner rather than later. And the sooner, the better.
The secret to building up a large savings account is to begin when you get your first job. Yes, the chances are you will have some debts that you want to pay down, such as college fees and loans, maybe a car and eventually a property, but that doesn’t mean you can’t finance. Even if it’s not that much to begin with, you’ll get into the habit of putting something away on a regular basis that will gradually build into a substantial fund for your future.
Don’t wait to accumulate
Even if you haven’t started saving early, there’s always time to get on that saving ladder. It may be that you will have more disposable income available if you’ve worked for a number of years and the chances are that your employer may have a retirement plan. The longer you put money into any savings plan the more it will accumulate thanks to compound interest, where your money earns interest, and you also receive interest on your added interest.
Here are five tips for saving money for your retirement.
- Check out the plan sponsored by your employer
Always look into any retirement plans offered by your employer and, as they differ, take advice as to would be best for you and your goals. An easy way to save to such a plan would be to have automated contributions each month from your paycheck. Your employer may well have a company match program where a percentage on each retirement contribution is made up to a certain amount. Effectively that’s free money, so take advantage of it.
- Organize a plan for repaying debt
Debt affects everyone so it’s sensible to budget for how you are going to tackle what you owe. There are times when you may need to tighten your belt for a while or go without a particular holiday or new car, but that’s how life works. Put yourself in control of your finances and always work to budget for those retirement contributions, whether it’s through your employer’s plan or some other way of saving.
- Consider an IRA
Whether or not your employer offers a retirement plan you can still invest in an Independent Retirement Account (IRA). As your career progresses you may find you have money available to put into a number of plans but you should always choose an IRA that you think will work best for you. If you’re not sure about things then consider taking to a financial advisor to help you through what can be a maze of options. You’ll pay for advice but you could save yourself a lot of money in the longer term if you get the right savings vehicle. Find a plan that doesn’t have minimum contributions so you’ll get the returns without additional pressure.
- Make a will
It’s surprising how many people keep putting off making a will but it’s sensible to set one up and then adapt where necessary when or if your circumstances change. You specify who you want to leave your assets to, both financial and physical, and it’s also a sound idea to set aside money for your funeral. Whether you decide to have a burial or a cremation you take the burden away from your loved ones when you put a financial plan in place to deal with all the costs involved. No one really wants to think about passing away, but as it’s inevitable then some forward planning will be helpful to everyone.
- Budget wisely
If you don’t know what you’re spending month to month, then get a grip on your finances as soon as possible. A simple spreadsheet will give you an instant picture of your income and expenditure and the categories into which they fall. A sensible budget will allow you to look at how much you can afford to put into any retirement plan and from time to time you may find you can increase the amount you save, all for your benefit when you decide to stop working.
Good planning, good retirement
Financial organization is the key to building up a retirement pot that will allow you to live in comfort when you finally step off the work treadmill. Invest carefully, start as early as you can, and watch your money grow over the decades.