Regardless of your age you should be thinking about your retirement. How do you need to save? If you are not saving enough for retirement you may be forced to work for the rest of your life! If your retirement savings plan relies on “winning the lottery or marrying rich” you should take a more pragmatic approach so you can have something to rely upon during the best years of your life. You are not alone, most Americans are not saving enough for their retirement but you shouldn’t delay saving, The sooner you start the better off you will be so let’s look at why people aren’t saving and what can be done to mitigate this problem.
Retirement Planning Is Complicated and I Have Other Obligations
Most Americans have never taken a financial investing class or learned financial terminology. We don’t know the consequences of credit and not saving for a “rainy day”. Consumers simply don’t see the urgent need to invest for retirement so they put it off and wait till they are in their mid to late forties before actually investing anything and by that time you have to take riskier investments to generate a big enough return to meet your needs.
The most important step is creating a plan and putting away a small amount of money each and every paycheck, this amount can balloon over time into a considerable amount of cash but you need to start investing now.
Investing for retirement is not overly complex and by following these tips you are going to be taking a very big step in the right direction.
How Much Is Enough?
Each person has their own distinct financial needs, for one person $100,000 per year is more than enough and for others they would feel destitute. What you need to do is look at your current living expenses and multiply it by roughly 50%. Since your mortgage and debts should be paid off by the time you retire you just need to cover your basic living costs. You should plan to live to 80 or even longer. There is a considerable number of Americans who are living longer than ever and you need to take that into consideration when planning how much is needed for retirement.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm or In This Case Retirement Goal
The adage “The early bird catches the worm” is very appropriate for individuals planning for retirement. The sooner you start saving the more time your savings can mature and provide you with the returns you need to sustain yourself throughout your golden years.
If you want to make the savings even more manageable plan to retire a few years later. There is a considerable number of Americans who are staying in the workforce longer, Some of them do so due to financial constraints but unless you have something you really want to do there is no point retiring if you can still be economically productive. What you need to do is start off with something small and watch it balloon over time into a large nest egg. Granted it is not easy because it is a new skill but if you stick with it you will realize it isn’t so bad saving for the glorious day when you can say goodbye to work and hello to life.
How to Get the Upper hand
This is your first time investing so we want to help you realize your ultimate goal which is saving enough for retirement. If you follow these easy to apply suggestions you will be one step ahead and have peace of mind.
- Reduce debt and stay away from new debt. Debt is one of the biggest threats to your financial well-being so stay away from it. If you are in debt don’t bother saving money for retirement until the debts are paid off. The interest rates being charged on these debts will be considerably higher than what you will earn in the market.
- Only invest in things you understand. You shouldn’t invest in something “because everyone else is doing it”. Instead follow the golden advice provided by Warren Buffet which is only invest in things you understand and that have a “durable competitive advantage”. When you invest in something you don’t understand you could lose everything because you don’t know how to properly assess the risks.
- Give your investments time to grow. We are all impatient it is part of being human but if you start investing early your investments will grow in value which helps you achieve your savings goal. Just remember there are no “risk free investments” and if you come across an investment that claims to be risk free you need to avoid it like the plague.
The fact you are reading this is a positive sign. If you stick with these suggestions you will be saving enough for retirement just be patient with yourself and you will realize your retirement saving goals.