It has been said that Americans are not saving enough money. The advice that everyone always gives is to SAVE EARLY! This will ensure that you are gradually building funds over time to on a good pace for retirement. So why don’t people always follow this rule?
Most people start late. Whether it is financial troubles or laziness, it is never too late to start. Nearly 1/3 of Americans don’t have any retirement account what so ever so this isn’t unusual. Despite how much people try to drill in our heads to save early, most people just don’t do it.
Catching up is not complicated so there is no reason to panic. There are certain steps that you will want to take in order to begin gearing towards saving.
Get Rid Of That Nasty Debt
Getting rid of debt before retirement is a good way to ensure your overhead is in check. This will help keep your monthly expenses low.
Sit down and create a plan on how you can pay off any existing debt. When doing this, it is important to cut down the high-interest rate debt first. Typically anything over 8% is considered bad.
By lowering your monthly expenses when in retirement, you won’t need as much monthly income to live comfortably. This helps ease stress and allows you to enjoy your retirement.
Max Out Tax-Deferred Accounts
Next, you will want to ensure that you are maxing out your tax-deferred accounts. This will include things like an IRA or 401(k). The maxes are higher once you reach age 50, so know you can bump it up at that point.
Do a little bit of research and find ways you can contribute more of your income to these accounts. Starting late has its setbacks, but isn’t impossible to make up for a lost time.
This may take some re-budgeting on your end. If you take money directly out of your paycheck and put it into a retirement account, you will have less money to spend in your everyday life. Find ways to cut your monthly spending budget and this should not be a problem.
Other than that, you may want to work longer to allow some extra growth to your accounts. This may not be something you want to hear, but it may be the best option.
Retiring before you have enough money saved up can cause unwanted headaches. Depending on your situation, it may be necessary. Take the time to sit down and draw out your expenses and how much you will be bringing in each month from the different accounts you have been contributing to overtime.
Be sure you do not try and take any shortcuts. A panicked investor is a bad investor. Good Luck!