It is a fact that people are living longer. Thirty years ago, retirement may have lasted around ten or fifteen years for the average person. However, these days retirement can last for twenty to forty years depending on when you are able to hang up your work boots. To prepare for that eventuality, here are five tips to make sure that your savings are enough to go the distance.
Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, the hardest part is letting go of the money in the first place. We all want to save but we are torn between going to that sale now and planning for a future that is many years away. Okay, let’s see if we can make it easy enough for anyone to save the money that they need.
1. Think about your retirement goals. What do you want to do after you retire? If you want to travel, chances are travel costs will rise significantly by the time we retire. If you want to own a beach house or spend half the year in a warmer climate, you will have to have the money to free you up to do just that. Setting a goal gives your financial expert a place to start.
2. Contribute all that you can to your employer’s retirement plan. If you are closer to retirement age than others, you will likely want to contribute more of your income to the plan. At least contribute up to the maximum percentage that the company is willing to match. A good way to save more is to increase your plan contribution when you get a raise. Instead of using the raise for other things, add one or two more percents to the amount deducted from your check for retirement.
3. Consider your spouse’s retirement plan. As partners, both of your retirement plans will feed into the amount of money you have to live on after you quit working. Be sure that your spouse is following the same guidelines so that they are getting the most out of their plan.
4. Look at the diversity options. While a savings account type option for your 401(k) is safe and will get you around 3.5% return, a more diversified picture with a mix of high risk and low risk stocks and mutual funds makes the most of your money. You know what they say about putting all your eggs in one basket.
5. Look at your Social Security statement. You get one every year from the Social Security Administration. It tells you what your benefits could be based on your earnings to date and the amount of Social Security taxes you have paid.
There are ways to save for retirement without it being such a struggle.